January 29, 2016 |
MOBILE, Ala. - If talent trumped everything, and the Eagles had a chance to take Noah Spence 13th overall in this year's first round of the NFL draft, they'd probably do it. Spence is a 6-2 1/2, 254-pound edge rusher with rare strength, aggressiveness, flexibility and speed. He showed that for two seasons at Ohio State and then again this past season, after transferring to Eastern Kentucky, where he managed 11.5 sacks and was Football Championship Subdivision defensive player of the year.
January 6, 2016 |
After receiving a positive evaluation from an NFL advisory committee, Ohio State cornerback and former Eastern High School star Eli Apple announced Monday on Twitter that he would give up his final two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Apple, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound redshirt sophomore, started 14 games as a freshman on Ohio State's 2014 national championship team. He had 13 starts this season, when he was second on the Buckeyes with eight passes broken up while posting 33 tackles.
January 5, 2016 |
Will Fuller called it a change of mind more than a change of heart. Notre Dame's leading receiver, who played his high school ball at Roman Catholic, announced Sunday via Twitter that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft - this, nearly two months after Fuller, unprompted, said he would be back for another season in South Bend, Ind. Fuller tweeted, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Under that message was his announcement. "My heart truly wanted to return to Notre Dame," Fuller said.
January 4, 2016 |
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When it came to being loyal to Penn State, few football players who have passed through Happy Valley showed that quality more than quarterback Christian Hackenberg. It was that loyalty that had Nittany Lions fans hoping he would return for his senior year. But in the end, after 38 consecutive starts, two offensive systems, countless hits, and opinions over whether he regressed after a great freshman year, Hackenberg did what most people expected. He said he will declare for the NFL draft, announcing the decision Saturday after the Lions' 24-17 loss to Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl, a game that Hackenberg left for good early in the second quarter with a sprained right (throwing)
December 20, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg confirmed Friday that he has filed paperwork with the NFL Draft Advisory Board to gauge where he might fall in the draft should he decide to skip his senior year with the Nittany Lions. But when it came to giving any indication about which way he might be leaning, Hackenberg was typically tight-lipped in an interview during Penn State's TaxSlayer Bowl media day at Beaver Stadium. On his anticipated evaluation by the advisory board, he said, "I don't know if we've gotten that back yet but that's normal protocol for juniors in that situation.
November 20, 2015 |
When Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans played for Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, Ala., it wasn't uncommon for assistant coach Harry Winston to bring his precocious nephew to practice, a budding youth player who, even at 6 or 7 years old, was happy to tell the older boys about his exploits as a quarterback. "He was this young kid, always throwing the ball around, always talking about how great he was in little league and how he was dominating games even back then," Ryans said with a laugh.
September 27, 2015 |
JORDAN HICKS has a hard time remembering exactly how old he was when his parents got divorced, but he knows he was very young. Growing up, he didn't know any different. After the separation, Hicks and his mother, Kelly Justice, stayed in Indianapolis for a few years, then moved to South Carolina, where they remained until Hicks reached the fifth grade. Hicks' father, Scott, who played basketball at Notre Dame from 1984 to '87, stayed behind in Indianapolis, where he's now the head varsity basketball coach at Broad Ripple Magnet High School.
August 3, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Christian Hackenberg knew the inevitable question was coming. He's had to answer it dozens of times since his sophomore year ended with his redemptive performance in Penn State's dramatic overtime victory in the Pinstripe Bowl. But his dread for it hadn't waned. Wearing shorts and a T-shirt from the Manning Passing Academy, where he worked as a counselor this summer, Hackenberg reluctantly honored a request to again give his thoughts on whether he will consider entering the NFL draft following the conclusion of the 2015 season, when he becomes eligible.
May 25, 2015 |
The sports draft, devised 79 years ago in Philadelphia because Bert Bell knew his Eagles couldn't otherwise compete, is a curious institution. Without one, wealthy teams such as the 1927-1964 New York Yankees can dominate. But with one, shrewdly run franchises such as the 1957-69 Boston Celtics can do the same. Though its worst-goes-first structure is meant to level the playing field, the system, as tank-ful 76ers fans understand, can still be manipulated. To preserve parity and integrity, leagues have tinkered constantly with their drafts.
May 8, 2015 |
Penn State coach James Franklin says his program does its best to provide the information his players need while trying to make the decision on whether to leave college with football eligibility remaining to enter the NFL draft. But he also has a "general rule": "You should never come out early unless you're going to be a first-round draft choice," he said. The Nittany Lions had three players come out early, and two of them - offensive tackle Donovan Smith and tight end Jesse James - were taken, Smith in the second round by Tampa Bay, James in the fifth round by Pittsburgh.