LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Ahman Green, the star running back who helped lead Nebraska to a share of the national title, will skip his senior year to enter the NFL draft, the Lincoln Journal Star reported today.

The university scheduled an afternoon news conference, but Green and the athletic department have declined comment. The Journal Star cited a source close to the Nebraska program.

Green was the nation's second-leading rusher this season. He also turned in the second-best season for a running back in Nebraska history, gaining 1,877 yards.

He gained an Orange Bowl record 206 yards in Nebraska's 42-17 win over Tennessee.

Four players have left Nebraska early for the pros: tight end Johnny Mitchell, a 1992 first-round draft pick by the New York Jets; and running backs Derek Brown, who was drafted in the fourth round by New Orleans in 1993; Calvin Jones, a 1994 third-round pick by the Los Angeles Raiders; and Lawrence Phillips, who was a first-round pick by St. Louis in 1995.

Frank Solich, who is succeeding Tom Osborne as coach, said from a coaches convention in Dallas that he spoke with Green by telephone Tuesday.

``Ahman told me his plans, but I'm just going to let it come from Ahman,'' Solich told the Journal Star. ``That's how he wants it to work.''

Two of Green's relatives said they hoped he would return for his senior season.

``I'm hoping he will stay, but the decision is his to make,'' Green's grandmother, Gladis Ross, told the Omaha World-Herald.

Cliff Robbins, Green's uncle, told the newspaper he had not spoken with his nephew since the Orange Bowl.

``I didn't ask what his decision was going to be,'' Robbins said. ``I just told him we would be in support of him whatever his decision would be. I did tell him we wanted him to stay.''

Green gained an Orange Bowl record 206 yards in Nebraska's 42-17 win over Tennessee. He also turned in the second-best season for a running back in Nebraska history, gaining 1,877 yards.