Clock ticking louder on underclassmen

January 10, 2022

Clock ticking even louder for underclassmen … With college football’s national championship in the books juniors and redshirt sophomores thinking of entering the 2022 draft have less than a week to file paperwork with the with the NFL in order to be eligible to be selected. In fact, they have until the end of business in New York on January 17th to get their paperwork into the league office. So far, just over 80 underclassmen have indicated in one way or another that they will be turning pro this winter, although this is in fact well below last year when at this time well over 100 underclassmen had already declared for the draft. Comparing the two years, though, is complicated by the fact that everyone in college was granted an extra year of eligibility for the partial loss of the 2020 season.

However, there is still a number of prominent underclassmen who have yet to be heard from including small armies from both Alabama and Georgia which faced each other in tonight’s national championship game. Alabama players the NFL is waiting to hear from include for example, OT Evan Neal, WRs Jameson Williams and Jon Metchie, LB Christian Harris and FS Jordan Battle, while UGA Bulldogs to keep an eye on LB Nakobe Dean, WR George Pickens, G/T Warren McClendon and OLB Nolan Smith. At the same time, underclassmen from other schools still to be heard from include Iowa C Tyler Linderbuam, DE Zach Harrison and OT Dawand Jones of Ohio State and OT Zion Nelson of Miami.

Once the January 17th deadline passes, those underclassmen who did apply to the league for early entry to the 2022 draft will have the usual 72 hour window of opportunity to withdraw their names. There is a second deadline coming up on March 4th(?) by which time any current seniors who wish to take advantage of the NCAA’s ‘free’ year of eligibility and return to school need to declare that intention. For the record, just 115 days until the picks start coming off the board at the 2022 draft! Hang in there guys!!