ESPN says Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh has been declared eligible for this spring's NFL draft. Click Here (sports.espn.go.com)
Apparently, Fitzgerald transferred to a military school during his senior year. He's a true sophomore, but three NFL seasons have "elapsed" since he graduated. I'm not too clear on why the number of credits at the military school matters, especially if it was during his senior year, but they're allowing him to enter. The article also touches on Maurice Clarett.
Could this possibly lead to a change in the NFL's draft eligibility policies? For instance, Clarett might get in due to a loop hole, since he graduated in December of his senior year, not June, and the NFL season technically wasn't over. I know I've heard about more high school seniors passing up the second half of their senior year to start at college. We've got 3 early entries at Penn State now. Is this the new trend in college football, passing up the senior year of high school so that you're draft eligible after your sophomore (or redshirt freshman) year? It's something I'd hate to see personally, but I'm curious as to other peoples' takes on this.
The only kids that can do that are generally (at least, in theory) able to handle an increased scholastic workload so they can graduate early. Judging by Clarett's record in college, I'm not sure how he was able to do this, although, by my original plan for college, I'd be graduating very soon with a teaching credential. So I'm not really the best judge of that. But anyway, the fullback for USC this season; Brandon Hancock did this same thing. He actually went to a HS in my town and his stepmom was my senior Sociology teacher.
As a Pitt fan, I'm disappointed in this news, but as a bigger Larry Fitzgerald fan, I say thank God he left. Pitt was going to stink next year with or without him, and the only thing that could have happened to him was an injury. Congrats to him on winning his little battle, there's not a better person to enter the draft this early. Hope the Raiders enjoy their Rookie of the Year.
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I was under the impression that he attended the military academy for a year after he had actually graduated; he's 20, so he would have been a redshirt soph or a true junior by now if he had started college after he graduated. The article fails to mention his graduation date, so I'm not certain this is the case.
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