Tears await several of 98 underclassmen going pro

Johnny Manziel likely will be one of the first underclassmen picked in this year's NFL Draft. (AP)

Johnny Manziel likely will be one of the first underclassmen picked in this year's NFL Draft. (AP)

The gigantic list of college underclassmen heading to the NFL includes many of the players we expected to see on it.

There’s Jadeveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins, Johnny Manziel (who ESPN guru Mel Kiper Jr. has going No. 1) and Marqise Lee, among others.

The list keeps going until it reaches a record 98 names.


Just think, 98 college underclassmen think they’re strong or fast or smart or good enough to make it on a NFL roster. Each one has his reasons for going, but some of them won’t be drafted and won’t make teams next fall.

The list has increased each of the past six years.

When 56 underclassmen declared in 2011, it set a record.

Another record was established when 65 left early in 2012.

The mark was increased to 73 last year.

Now, it’s at 98.

That list that includes 20 wide receivers.

The reasons to leave are numerous, from wanting to support their families to disliking their coaching staff, from being academically ineligible to getting to relying on bad advice.

Some, like Clowney, Manziel and Watkins, will go fast.

Others won’t go at all. Some might sign as free agents, but many will never play in the NFL.

I understand the rush.

Most young NFL players won’t make the big money until their second pro deal. Many want to get there as fast as they can, so they leave college early.

I don’t blame that solely for the record exodus, but it does play a part.

Anyway, they all have their reasons to turn pro.

Many will be disappointed when their name isn’t called.

You can follow me on Twitter: @AJ_Writes

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39 comments Add your comment

[...] Tears await several of 98 underclassmen going pro [...]


January 21st, 2014
6:24 pm

That’s why Cam Newton (who is currently making millions) goes back to Auburn for the Spring semester. Smart of him to realize that sheepskin is going to be with him all his life, the NFL will not be.


January 21st, 2014
6:21 pm

FootballTopFan(c) would like wish all college underclassmen declaring for the National Football League (NFL) draft the best of luck and success !!!

Giving up your college eligibility is a BIG, BIG decision.

Millions of college players dream of the NFL experience yet few are chosen.

[...] Tears await several of 98 underclassmen going pro [...]


January 21st, 2014
9:33 am

I guess these kids haven’t checked the odds of a person making on to (and I am sick of this next term)”the next level.” The NFL usually carries around 60 players…what college team would carry that many on a seasonal roster?? These kids who declare early have a dream I guess…which usually turns into a bad dream. Oh well, how many of these so-called student -athletes are even close to graduating on time?? These colleges take these young kids and on the average load ‘em up with worthless classes just to keep their GPA in line with being eligible anyway…bet if college football players had to be on track to graduate like in high school, things would be different. But with the present system, the NFL gets a free minor league football league and the colleges end up making millions off these players…while the NCAA denies them any chance at making anything resembling a substantial amount of money. It’s a crummy system…but it’s based on the $$$$. Oh well, good luck to those 98…what % will make it?? Maybe 5%?? What will happen to the remainder?? Too bad kids nowadays don’t emulate Peyton Manning who came back for the senior year…he said back then in 1998 or 1997 “the millions would be there for him but a college degree and the college experience was something he wanted.” And today he sits atop the total career earnings for pro footballer…in his career Manning has been paid over $206-million!! I also hope Aaron Murray gets his shot in the NFL…he deserves it!!!


January 21st, 2014
8:30 am

@ Tomas Broun – I guess reading comprehension is not your strong suit. The article is about UNDERCLASSMEN declaring for the draft. Aaron Murray is a senior and has exhausted his college eligibility. So whether he gets drafted or not he will not be among the “many … disappointed” because he is not an underclassman. BTW, I would be willing to bet that whether Murray gets drafted into the NFL or not he will be a much happier and mature and successful human being than anyone who sits on a newspaper blog and anonymously takes shots at people who can do things (and has done things i.e. numerous SEC and UGA records) they could never dream of accomplishing.

Tomás Broun

January 21st, 2014
8:23 am

“Many will be disappointed when their name isn’t called.”

Aaron Murray, for one.


January 21st, 2014
7:19 am

either they can get paid or they need to move on #slaveryover…no one is knocking the education, but undergraduate degrees don’t mean as much as they used to any more, colleges are not paying and they are not allowing you to make money off your talent. moreover, the NFL makes you stay three years so that they can have a free farm system, three years is not going to stop you from stealing a laptop, smoking weed, punching a classmate or (having sex) with a white girl. either you going to learn to be mature or you’re not..and that’s fine, that’s the gamble :manny: all im saying is three years is enough to do something for free when you put your body at risk. so join the league or if all else fails go out for the military


January 20th, 2014
11:55 pm

hello toad missed yah