65 early entry players set for NFL draft

Jan. 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A record 65 players, including quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, were given special eligibility for the 2012 NFL draft, the league said Thursday.

Griffin helped Baylor to a 10-3 record en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. Luck, a two-time runner-up in the Heisman voting, guided Stanford to an 11-2 record this past season.

Both would have been seniors next season.

Three other quarterbacks -- Arizona State's Brock Osweiler, Oregon's Darron Thomas and Auburn's Barrett Trotter -- also left school early and applied for the NFL draft.

Alabama, which won the Bowl Championship Series title this past season, is losing linebacker Dont'a Hightower, defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick and running back Trent Richardson, who have entered the draft.

The NFL said 65 players were approved for special eligibility. That passes the record of 56 early entry players last year.

The 2012 NFL draft is April 26-28.

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