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November 21, 2014

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Record 98 underclassmen eligible for NFL draft

NEW YORK — A record 98 underclassmen, including Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney, have made themselves eligible for the NFL draft in May.

The league released the list of early entrants Sunday, and says the number has risen six straight seasons. The deadline for underclassmen to apply was Jan. 15.

Last year, 73 underclassmen entered the draft. The year before it was 65 and in 2011 it was 56.

Also, four players who graduated and still have eligibility left are joining the draft class. Most notable among those is Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Among the early entrants expected to be selected near the top of the draft are Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback, Clowney, the defensive end from South Carolina and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins.

The draft is May 8-10 in New York.

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