NEW YORK (AP) — Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and Ohio State stars Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott are among 96 players granted early entry into the NFL draft.
The NFL also gave clearance to enter the draft to 11 other players who have graduated with eligibility remaining, including Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo.
The 96 early entrants are up 22 from last year, but still short of the 98 who declared for the 2014 draft. That was the most players entering early in the last 10 years.
Ohio State, with nine, had the most players on the list of 107 released Friday by the NFL. Joining Bosa, who could be the top overall pick, and Elliott are quarterback Cardale Jones and All-America safety Vonn Bell.
Clemson had seven players out of the 107, including All-America defensive end Shaq Lawson and second-team All-America cornerback Mackensie Alexander.
Notre Dame had four players declare early, three of whom could go in the first round: offensive tackle Ronnie Staley, receiver Will Fuller and linebacker Jaylon Smith, who injured his knee in the Fighting Irish’s bowl victory against Ohio State.
Henry is one of two players from national champion Alabama given permission to enter the draft despite not being a senior. His Crimson Tide teammate, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, also is on the eligible list for the draft this spring.
Jones is one of four quarterbacks who have entered the draft as underclassmen. The others are California’s Jared Goff and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, who are considered contenders to be the first quarterback drafted, and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
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