Six High Schoolers Enter NFL Draft

Taking advantage of the court ruling in the Maurice Clarett case, six high schoolers have been granted early eligibility in this year's NFL Draft. But don't hold your breath that history will be made this year — none of the six are serious NFL prospects.


Six high schoolers are among nine players taking advantage of the Maurice Clarett court ruling allowing early eligibility in the NFL Draft, according to the list released by the NFL on Friday.

But you won't find the names of top recruits like Brian Brohm, Keith Rivers or Adrian Peterson on that list.

In fact, the list of high schoolers appears to be more of a joke than anything. None of the six are even close to being Top 100 recruits, and several of them didn't even play varsity football for their high school teams this year, according to ESPN.com.

In other words, don't hold your breath that history will be made this year with the first prep player selected in the NFL Draft.

According to NFL.com, the six high school players who requested and were granted special eligibility for the draft are: Joe Banks of New Directions Academy (Baltimore, Md.); John Belisle of Capac Community High (Capac, Mich.); Earl Fields of Appling County High (Baxley, Ga.); Joe Lee of Gates High (Tacoma, Wash.); Ethan Mitchell of Flowers High (Springdale, Md.); and Ken Petitt of Redford High (Detroit, Mich.).

The only two serious early-entrance candidates are USC sophomore wide receiver Mike Williams and Clarett, the embattled Ohio State sophomore running back whose lawsuit against the NFL opened the door for high schoolers to enter the draft.

Previously, the NFL limited draft eligibility to players who were at least three seasons removed from their high school graduation. But Clarett challenged the NFL's three-year eligibility rule, and a judge ruled in his favor.

The NFL set March 1 as the deadline for players filing for early eligibility, and applicants were given 72 hours to withdraw.

In addition to Clarett, Williams and the six high schoolers, the ninth early-entrance candidate is Ronnie McCrae of Pasadena City College in California. Like the six prep players, McCrae is not considered a serious NFL prospect.

This year's NFL Draft is scheduled for April 24-25 in New York City.


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