Record Number of Underclassmen Declare for 2012 NFL Draft

The NFL announced today the college football players who had been granted "special eligibility" for the 2012 NFL Draft - also known as underclassmen taking part in the draft. The deadline for a player to declare for the draft was January 15 - with a record setting 65 players declaring.

For a player to receive "special eligibility," they must have been out of high school for three-years, and renounce, in writing, any remaining college football eligibility.

Headlining this year's underclassmen is Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck and Baylor Bears quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. The list also includes possible Miami Dolphins targets tackles Riley Reiff (Iowa) and Jonathan Martin (Stanford).

The full NFL press release, to include the list of all 65-players, is below.

65 PLAYERS GRANTED SPECIAL ELIGIBILITY FOR 2012 NFL DRAFT

The National Football League announced today the names of 65 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26-28 in New York.

Each of the 65 players has met the league's three-year eligibility rule and each has submitted a written application in which he renounced his remaining college football eligibility. The deadline for receiving applications was January 15.

The NFL Draft will kick off in primetime for the third consecutive year. The first round will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 8:00 PM ET. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 27 at 7:00 PM ET. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 28 at noon ET.

The players granted special eligibility for the NFL Draft the past 10 years:

Year

Players Granted Special Eligibility

Year

Players Granted Special Eligibility

2012

65

2007

40

2011

56

2006

52

2010

53

2005

51

2009

46

2004

43

2008

53

2003

47

The players granted special eligibility for the 2012 NFL Draft:

Player

Pos.

College

Alexander, Alvester

RB

Wyoming

Allen, Dwayne

TE

Clemson

Baker, Edwin

RB

Michigan State

Ball, Mike

RB

Nevada

Berryhill, Jamison

RB

Texas

Blackmon, Justin

WR

Oklahoma State

Brockers, Michael

DT

Louisiana State

Brown, Bryce

RB

Kansas State

Burfict, Vontaze

LB

Arizona State

Charles, Orson

TE

Georgia

Claiborne, Morris

DB

Louisiana State

Cox, Fletcher

DT

Mississippi State

DeCastro, David

G

Stanford

Eure, Tiree

TE

Minnesota

Forston, Marcus

DT

Miami

Gilmore, Stephon

DB

South Carolina

Givens, Chris

WR

Wake Forest

Graham, Dorian

WR

Syracuse

Griffin, Robert

QB

Baylor

Hampton, Jewel

RB

Southern Illinois

Harris, Cliff

DB

Oregon

Hightower, Dont'a

LB

Alabama

Hill, Stephen

WR

Georgia Tech

Hillman, Ronnie

RB

San Diego State

Holloway, Max

DE

Boston College

Hosley, Jayron

DB

Virginia Tech

Jackson, Janzen

DB

McNeese State

James, LaMichael

RB

Oregon

Jeffery, Alshon

WR

South Carolina

Johnson, Aldarius

WR

Miami

Johnson, Damaris

WR

Tulsa

Jones, Chandler

DE

Syracuse

Kalil, Matt

T

Southern California

Kirkpatrick, Dre

DB

Alabama

Konz, Peter

C

Wisconsin

Kuechly, Luke

LB

Boston College

Lewis, Ronnell

DE

Oklahoma

Luck, Andrew

QB

Stanford

Manning, Terrell

LB

North Carolina State

Martin, Jonathan

T

Stanford

Massie, Bobby

T

Mississippi

Mercilus, Whitney

DE

Illinois

Miller, Lamar

RB

Miami

Osweiler, Brock

QB

Arizona State

Page, Eric

WR

Toledo

Paige-Moss, Donte

DE

North Carolina

Perry, Nick

DE

Southern California

Pierce, Bernard

RB

Temple

Plue, Ken

G

Purdue

Poe, Dontari

DT

Memphis

Randle, Rueben

WR

Louisiana State

Reiff, Riley

T

Iowa

Richardson, Trent

RB

Alabama

Robinson, Josh

DB

Central Florida

Sanu, Mohamed

WR

Rutgers

Scott, Darrell

RB

South Florida

Streeter, Tommy

WR

Miami

Thomas, Darron

QB

Oregon

Thomas, Johnny

DB

Oklahoma State

Thomas, Phillip

DB

Syracuse

Trotter, Barrett

QB

Auburn

Vernon, Olivier

DE

Miami

Washington, Brandon

T

Miami

Wilson, David

RB

Virginia Tech

Worthy, Jerel

DT

Michigan State

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