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Blog Entry

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:16 pm
 
The NFL announced Thursday morning that a record-breaking 65 underclassmen have been granted special eligibility for the 2012 draft. The previous high was 56 which last occurred a year ago. So much for the theory that lesser contracts for high draft picks would curtail the mass exodus of young players into the NFL.

Prominent among the list, of course, is Stanford's Andrew Luck, Baylor's Robert Griffin III, Alabama running back Trent Richardson and a host of other supremely talented underclassmen that we covered in this underclassmen tracker.

While college coaches are likely bemoaning the loss of so many talented players today, NFL teams couldn't be happier. Frankly, this was an average senior class at most positions and the underclassmen have greatly improved the talent level. In fact, if one were to go group by group, they'd find that an underclassmen ranks at the top of 10 of the 15 offensive and defensive positions on NFLDraftScout.com's board. An even greater testament to the impact underclassmen will have on this draft class, consider that of the highest ranked 11 prospects graded by NFLDraftScout.com, 10 are underclassmen. Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, currently ranked eighth overall, is the exception. Following Still and North Carolina's Quinton Coples, however, are four underclassmen -- each of whom could be first round picks.

Three of the 65 underclassmen listed by the NFL I watched in person practicing at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, California over the past few days. You can read about my impressions of Miami's Brandon Washington (OG) and Aldarius Johnson (WR), as well as Boston College's Max Holloway in this writeup following Tuesday's practice.

Besides the players we'd already known to be leaving school early, there were a few surprises on the NFL's official list. One, Miami's Johnson, I just mentioned. The others are Texas running back Jamison Berryhill, Kansas State running back Bryce Brown, Minnesota tight end Tiree Eure, Syracuse wide receiver Dorian Graham, Purdue guard Ken Plue, Oklahoma State defensive back Johnny Thomas, and Syracuse defensive back Phillip Thomas.

Below is the full list of names released this morning from the NFL.

 

Player

Pos.

College

Alexander, Alvester

RB

Wyoming

Allen, Dwayne

TE

Clemson

Baker, Edwin

RB

Michigan State

Ball, Mike

RB

Nevada

Berryhill, Jamison

RB

Texas

Blackmon, Justin

WR

Oklahoma State

Brockers, Michael

DT

Louisiana State

Brown, Bryce

RB

Kansas State

Burfict, Vontaze

LB

Arizona State

Charles, Orson

TE

Georgia

Claiborne, Morris

DB

Louisiana State

Cox, Fletcher

DT

Mississippi State

DeCastro, David

G

Stanford

Eure, Tiree

TE

Minnesota

Forston, Marcus

DT

Miami

Gilmore, Stephon

DB

South Carolina

Givens, Chris

WR

Wake Forest

Graham, Dorian

WR

Syracuse

Griffin, Robert

QB

Baylor

Hampton, Jewel

RB

Southern Illinois

Harris, Cliff

DB

Oregon

Hightower, Dont’a

LB

Alabama

Hill, Stephen

WR

Georgia Tech

Hillman, Ronnie

 RB

San Diego State

Holloway, Max

DE

Boston College

Hosley, Jayron

DB

Virginia Tech

Jackson, Janzen

DB

McNeese State

James, LaMichael

RB

Oregon

Jeffery, Alshon

WR

South Carolina

Johnson, Aldarius

WR

Miami

Johnson, Damaris

WR

Tulsa

Jones, Chandler

DE

Syracuse

Kalil, Matt

T

Southern California

Kirkpatrick, Dre

DB

Alabama

Konz, Peter

C

Wisconsin

Kuechly, Luke

LB

Boston College

Lewis, Ronnell

DE

Oklahoma

Luck, Andrew

QB

Stanford

Manning, Terrell

LB

North Carolina State

Martin, Jonathan

T

Stanford

Massie, Bobby

T

Mississippi

Mercilus, Whitney

DE

Illinois

Miller, Lamar

RB

Miami

Osweiler, Brock

QB

Arizona State

Page, Eric

WR

Toledo

Paige-Moss, Donte

DE

North Carolina

Perry, Nick

DE

Southern California

Pierce, Bernard

RB

Temple

Plue, Ken

G

Purdue

Poe, Dontari

DT

Memphis

Randle, Rueben

WR

Louisiana State

Reiff, Riley

T

Iowa

Richardson, Trent

RB

Alabama

Robinson, Josh

DB

Central Florida

Sanu, Mohamed

WR

Rutgers

Scott, Darrell

RB

South Florida

Streeter, Tommy

WR

Miami

Thomas, Darron

QB

Oregon

Thomas, Johnny

DB

Oklahoma State

Thomas, Phillip

DB

Syracuse

Trotter, Barrett

QB

Auburn

Vernon, Olivier

DE

Miami

Washington, Brandon

T

Miami

Wilson, David

RB

Virginia Tech

Worthy, Jerel

DT

Michigan State




Comments

Since: Jan 21, 2012
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:11 pm
 

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

I am all for education............if you have to live the normal life that some will do..........What 4 year career will will offer Millions the first year of employment....................These

guys are smart.........Most of the majors that these kids take in College will not yield 30 thousand plus jobs at all...............I say go for the money........education is forever.........talent is limited.......to about 4 to 6 years top...................



Since: Jan 21, 2012
Posted on: January 21, 2012 11:07 pm
 

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

Kevin Koger U of M Tight END........big with all the potential a NFL team needs////////////His heart is pure and you have to look at the talent that has not been seen yet........... I believe this kid will go in the fourth round..........Univeristy of Michigan taught him well...........NFL teams should not look past this talented kid.............



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:02 pm
 

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

This is the very reason that I have a deep admiration for guys like Andrew Luck, and Matt Barkley. They are loyal to their teams, and they will be compensated on their terms.



Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2012 10:33 pm
 

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

You know, you really can't blame these guys for taking the money; one injury can end all opportunities, but dang, it seems like they are very young to be entering a game with some pretty hard core, physical players.  The pros are well-schooled on inflicting pain, more so than raw talent in college ball.
They are also a lot more physically developed, exposing these younger kids to injury.  That being said, it is the kids' decision; hopefully they have some diligent, honest guidance to help them figure out their path.  Good fortune to all these guys entering early; only a few are presented this opportunity...... or temptation.



Since: Jan 19, 2012
Posted on: January 19, 2012 9:59 pm
 

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

Wow, good luck to all these guys.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com