Underclassmen Update: Big End to big week
Donte Whitner

Posted Jan 6, 2006


A flood of underclassmen made public their intentions to enter April's draft today as the week ended. Less then ten days remain for those who wish to follow suit.

In what is no surprise to anyone, Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata will enter the draft, as we first reported on December 4th. Ngata said  financial concerns and his mother's poor health led him to the decision.  "I just want to help my family out," Ngata said. "My mom's going to be in and out of the hospital."  Likely the first defensive tackle to be selected in April, Ngata is a top 12 pick.

That same day we alerted subscribers Fresno State cornerback Richard Marshall would also enter the draft and the junior declared his intentions today as well.  Though Marshall made no public comment his coach Pat Hill did.  "Right now Richard is in a position where he is expected to go on the first day of the draft and believes he's ready to start making a living in the NFL."  A potential shutdown cornerback, Marshall should slide into the draft's top-45.

Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs made known today what sources had led us to believe in the middle of December.  "It was a decision that was certainly not easy and a decision that I hope the people who have supported me throughout my career can understand and respect," said Jacobs, the schools all-time leader in touchdown passes.  Off an All-American sophomore campaign we rated Jacobs as an early first round choice.  Yet an injured shoulder hampered him throughout the season and Jacobs is likely to slide into the third round.

Our friends at Bucknuts.com alerted us on December 9th that Ohio State safety Donte Whitner would enter the draft and he did just that today.  Whitner is the second Buckeye to enter the draft this week as receiver Santonio Holmes did the same on Wednesday.

In a bit of a surprise North Carolina State linebacker Stephen Tulloch announced he would enter the draft.  A first-team All-ACC performer, Tulloch was voted MVP of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, which found the Wolfpack victorious over South Florida.

Equally surprising was the decision of Washington State receiver Jason Hill to bypass the draft.  Even after a big season and early indications that he would enter the draft because of financial concerns, Hill opted to return for his senior season.

In similar fashion Tennessee defensive tackle Justin Harrell has also decided to return for his senior season.

Obviously one story which must be watched is that of Marcus Vick. The  Virginia Tech quarterback was dismissed from the team Friday, the result of numerous legal transgressions and his conduct in the Gator Bowl. 

Will Vick now declare for the draft?  If he does it will be a huge mistake.  Character issues aside, several scouts we spoke with at the ACC title game in Jacksonville state Vick is nowhere near ready for the next level.

UNDERCLASSMEN MAIN PAGE



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QB Omar Jacobs (profile)
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DT Haloti Ngata (profile)
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