Record number of underclassmen granted draft eligibility

The NFL released the names of 65 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2012 draft to be held April 26-28.

It is the highest number of underclassmen to be granted eligibility, nine more than the 56 from a year ago, which at the time was an all-time high.

The 65 players met the NFL’s three-year eligibility rule and submitted a written application in which they renounced remaining college football eligibility. The deadline for receiving applications was Sunday.

The challenge for teams now is doing the homework needed on some of the underclassmen, work that might not have necessarily started yet because club didn't know if the players were returning to school.

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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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune</em>

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