The 2012 NFL Draft could officially become the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes after the redshirt junior quarterback announced this week that he's unlikely to return to Palo Alto for his senior season.
Luck said at Pac-12 Media Days that the 2011 season is very likely to be his last and that he's "approaching like such." Widely panned as the top prospect since the start of the 2010 season, would have a year of eligibility remaining (2012) but said he expects to graduate before the 2012 NFL Draft in April.
He's the top-ranked player by NFLDraftScout.com and is projected by senior analysts Rob Rang and Chad Reuter to go No. 1 overall in each of their early 2012 mock drafts.
Sporting a ragged beard indicative of a laid-back collegian, Luck partially closed the door on his return for two more seasons on Tuesday. "It may have been the first time I said it, but I've always thought it," he said.
The Heisman Trophy finalist declined to enter the 2011 NFL Draft to the surprise of many. He announced on January 6 that he'd return to Stanford to complete his degree in Architectural Design even after head coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach the San Francisco 49ers. "I've been very happy," Luck said. "I haven't had any regrets."
Luck finished second to Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in balloting for the award last December. He said the lockout that curbed Newton's preseason learning curve with the Carolina Panthers was "a bummer."
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