Urban Meyer throws the flag at draft process for underclassmen
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer thinks elite college football players should have more time to make one of the biggest decisions of their life.
Meyer is in favor of pushing back the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft to make sure they don’t feel they have to make a rushed decision.
"We would like to have more space, more time," he said on Sunday, the day before the first College Football Playoff title game. His Buckeyes meet Oregon for the national championship.
After the finale of this year’s four-team playoff, the players involved will have less than 72 hours to decide whether to make themselves available for the draft.
Players who are at least three years out of high school can declare for the draft by Thursday. The draft is April 30-May 2 in Chicago.
Heisman Trophy-winning Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has not made up his mind whether he will forgo his final year of eligibility with the Ducks.
"After this game is done, I’ll take a couple of days to make that decision with my family," Mariota said on Saturday. "We will obviously make the decision that’s best for us as a family."
Even though he’s coming off shoulder surgery that ended his final season of eligibility before it started, Ohio State’s two-time Big Ten player of the year, quarterback Braxton Miller, has told Meyer that he is returning to the Buckeyes.
Miller will be one of three starting quarterbacks expected to return for the Buckeyes, including championship game starter Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett, who broke his ankle in the last regular-season game to open the door for Jones.
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich is a proponent of the new rules set up to five players a better idea of where they might be drafted before they make a decision.
"It’s basically, `You have the ability to be drafted in this round, this round, or stay in school,’" Helfrich said Sunday. "Percentage-wise, it’s a good thing. It’s getting those guys the right information, the best information, available."
Meyer disclosed that two of his junior starters — left tackle Taylor Decker and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington — approached him weeks ago to tell him that they intended to return to play their final year of eligibility at Ohio State.