Big Day for junior entries

Just one day after the college football season officially closed out several big name prospects who will impact next April's NFL Draft officially declared themselves eligible. The defensive side of the ball got a big boost today as did the running back position after one of the nation's most underrated ball carriers made his intentions known.

Just one day after safety Thomas Davis entered the draft defensive teammate Odell Thurman followed suit. The explosive linebacker finished the season with 65 tackles after being suspended for the first three games of the year for violating team rules.  Playing in the middle at Georgia, Thurman projects to the outside in the NFL and presently grades as a second-to-third round pick.

Citing a need to take care of his family, a second SEC linebacker, Channing Crowder of Florida, is also taking his game to the next level.  A true sophomore, Crowder will enter the draft under the same guidelines which allowed Larry Fitzgerald entry last year.  Crowder signed with the Gators in 2002 but sat out that season with a knee injury before finally taking the field in '03.

As we reported on Monday Louisville running back Eric Shelton is also entering the draft.  "After getting word back from the NFL I decided that this was a great time to fulfill a life-long dream of playing in the NFL," Shelton said. The big back who projects as a first day pick rushed for 938 yards on 146 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

Finally, Clemson cornerback Justin Miller made the inevitable public telling everyone he was also leaving for the draft. Miller's intentions were known as far back as the last week of November and the cover corner who doubles as a game impacting return specialist projects as a first round choice.

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