Record 135 enter draft early
NEW YORK — A record number of college football players will bypass their remaining years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
The 135 players forgoing eligibility surpasses the 119 from last year. The NFL released the official list on Friday. There are 103 underclassmen eligible for the April 25-27 draft. Another 32 players have graduated but still have college eligibility.
The vast majority of players made their intentions known ahead of Monday’s NFL deadline. Among the most notable were Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Alabama has seven players among the 135, the most of any school, including All-America defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, All-America safety Deionte Thompson and All-America offensive tackle Jonah Williams. Ohio State and Oklahoma each have six players.
n Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been getting lots of support from fans after dropping a critical pass in a playoff game, including from a second-grader who wrote him a supportive letter.
Jeffery stopped by Abigail Johnson’s classroom in West Chester on Thursday to thank her and her classmates at Sarah Starkweather Elementary.
In her letter, Abigail says she thinks he’s “an awesome player no matter what. It takes a lot of practice and courage to catch a ball.”
After Sunday’s loss against the New Orleans Saints, Jeffery said he let all his teammates and the city of Philadelphia down.
Abigail’s teacher, Alli Morris, says she had her students write to Jeffery after they talked about empathy and kindness.
She says they “wanted to boost him up after a tough loss.”
n Scott Linehan is out as offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys only days after coach Jason Garrett sent mixed messages about the future for the oft-criticized assistant.