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Should the NCAA allow a player who entered the Draft early the ability to come back if undrafted?

Tyree Jackson went to the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent, now imagine if he could have returned to the NCAA if he went undrafted? Could this help college football?

This year, 149 underclassmen entered the draft, but 44 went unselected. With no mechanism in place to allow them to return to school (such as exists in college basketball), their football careers might well be over. So here is my question, should the NCAA allow them to return to play out their final year(s)?

Tons of players made the decision to leave early and it is not always the smartest move. Guys like Tyree Jackson from Buffalo who was a beast at the MAC, decided to come out to end up going undrafted, but if he was to stay in school another year, his stock could have risen and allowed him to be a draft pick.

Well this has been a topic in the latest days and Alabama’s Nick Saban commented on it the other day.

“If we’re going to have this many people go out for the draft, that’s obviously a solution that some people should look at,” Saban said. “If that were the case in football, how many guys would go out for the draft? You could kiss spring practice goodbye. You wouldn’t know what kind of team … or who would be on your team for the next year. How would you know how many guys you could recruit if you don’t know how many guys are coming back to the team? I think when you have smaller numbers (as in basketball), that’s a little easier to manage.”

“… Every coach I know is all about the players,” Saban said. “They want what is best for the players. When you have 140-some guys going out for the draft and 49 don’t get drafted, and a significant number get drafted in the last couple of rounds from that group, which means they probably won’t be on the squad in three years, you’ve got a lot of people with failed careers and no degrees. And that’s not really a combination for them and their success in the future.”

Saban makes some very valid points I agree with him as well. While it is about the player, what happens when players just want to see if they would get drafted and if they don’t they can come back. So instead of 149 players, you end up with 300 entering, which would be insane. I want to know what you think, is this is a dumb idea?

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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