Deadline day for underclassmen

January 18, 2016

Deadline day for underclassmen … Underclassmen have until the end of business later this afternoon to file paperwork with the NFL in order to be eligible for the 2016 draft. In fact, almost all the big-name juniors and redshirt sophomores who had been expected to consider entering this year’s draft have already announced in one way or another what their immediate football plans are, although the NFL is still waiting for confirmation from several SEC stars including LSU CB Tre’Davious White, TE OJ Howard and ILB Reuben Foster of Alabama and Tennessee WR Marquez North. The latter, who is not currently enrolled in classes at UT, is expected to enter the draft, although a transfer to an FCS program is also still an option. Meanwhile, the other three are believed to be leaning toward returning to school. So far, by our unofficial count, 102 underclassmen have indicated they will be entering the draft, just a couple shy of the all-time record of 104 set in 2014. And while almost all the big-name players have already spoken, every year a handful of lesser known players including some who aren’t even household names in their own homes, will throw their names into the hat (and most do so without any informal announcement. Once today’s 4 PM ET deadline passes, underclassmen who applied to the draft but  have not signed with an agent or accepted improper benefits have a 72-hour window during which time they can withdraw their applications without penalty. The NFL will then announce the complete list of underclassmen available in this year’s draft on Friday.