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Record 106 underclassmen headed to draft

(AP Photo/David Stephenson, File)

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson and Josh Rosen are among the record 106 underclassmen given special entry to the NFL draft, making it four of the last five seasons in which at least 95 players have declared early.

The NFL on Friday released the official list of college players who have requested early entry . Another 13 players who had eligibility remaining are eligible for the draft after notifying the NFL that they had completed requirements for a degree, including Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. Another four players, including Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee, had inquired about their draft status and were eligible without the need for special eligibility.

Of the 119 underclassmen heading into the draft, LSU has the most with seven players. Florida State and Texas have six players each. The NFL draft will be held April 26-28 in Dallas.


Clemson reserve QB Cooper to transfer

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Clemson reserve quarterback Zerrick Cooper is leaving the Tigers.

Cooper announced his decision on Twitter on Friday. Cooper is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound redshirt freshman from Jonesboro, Georgia. He played in seven games this season behind starter Kelly Bryant, passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns.


Ohio State loaded as most prospects stay

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and his assistants annually brace for announcements about elite and not-so-elite players leaving the program early for the NFL draft.

But Monday's deadline to declare came and went, and the damage wasn't so bad for the Buckeyes.


Louisville DC Sirmon resigns

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon has resigned after one season with the Cardinals.

Coach Bobby Petrino thanked Sirmon for his work with the program and wished him well Friday in a brief release. Sirmon came from Mississippi State last year to replace Todd Grantham, who left to succeed Sirmon with the Bulldogs.


Michigan State promotes Tressel to DC

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State has announced that Mike Tressel will be the team's defensive coordinator after Harlon Barnett's departure to Florida State .

Tressel had been a co-defensive coordinator for the Spartans with Barnett. Michigan State also announced Friday that former Kent State coach Paul Haynes has been hired as the Spartans' secondary coach.


Illinois hires Arizona's Smith as OC

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois has hired Arizona assistant Rod Smith as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Smith spent six years with the Wildcats and has been a coach for 22 years, focusing on the offensive side of the ball.


Stanford LB Beecher battling lymphoma

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Stanford junior inside linebacker Ryan Beecher has announced he is receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma but will remain enrolled in classes and looks forward to making a full recovery. He also hopes to contribute again to the Cardinal football team.

The school released his statement Friday with no additional details. Beecher appeared in 13 games last season and made three tackles for the Cardinal, who lost to USC in the Pac-12 championship game and fell to TCU in the Alamo Bowl.


Taggart fills out first staff at FSU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State coach Willie Taggart has completed his coaching staff with the announcement of five new hires on Friday, including an offensive coordinator.

Walt Bell, who has been at Maryland the past two seasons, will be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He held the same position with the Terrapins and also at Arkansas State in 2014 and 2015.


Salaam's mother thinks Heisman stolen

DENVER (AP) As online bids for Rashaan Salaam's Heisman Trophy near $300,000, the mother of the former University of Colorado running back is convinced the trophy was stolen.

Khalada Salaam told CBS Sports in a story published Friday that the family found the door to his Boulder-area condominium was unlocked and "you could just walk right in" when they went to clean it following his suicide in 2016.


Power 5 OK extending medical coverage

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA's five largest conferences approved sweeping changes in everything from medical care to basketball during the holidays on Friday, dashing through the agenda with little opposition and virtually no debate.

Extended medical benefits for former athletes, a three-day break for basketball players over the holiday season, more money for student hosts, and allowing men's hockey players to receive draft advice before enrolling in college without losing eligibility were all approved. The Division I autonomy group passed all four measures - and 11 in all - in just 35 minutes at the NCAA's annual convention.

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