The Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to decide if they want to return to college or declare for the 2018 NFL draft is fast approaching. With bowl season in the rear-view mirror and only the College Football Playoff title game remaining for the 2017 season, decisions from prominent players will be coming out left and right in the coming days.
In the days leading up to the deadline, we’ll be keeping you updated with the players who decide to pursue professional football.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: After three seasons at LSU, Derrius Guice is going pro. Guice announced the news Wednesday, a week and a half after finishing his junior year with 98 rushing yards and two touchdown catches in a Citrus Bowl loss to Notre Dame. Guice rushed for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns this season after putting up 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016. Guice finished with 3,074 yards and 29 touchdowns overall for his career.
— 5⃣ (@DhaSickest) January 10, 2018
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Ridley led the Crimson Tide in receptions in his three seasons with the program, totaling 224 in all. Those 224 catches went for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns. Ridley burst onto the scene in 2015 as a true freshman and registered 89 catches for 1,045 yards and seven scores — all career highs. His 63 catches for 967 yards this season accounted for more than 30 percent of the team’s passing offense. Ridley is a projected first-round pick.
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) January 10, 2018
Deon Cain, WR, Clemson: Cain led the Tigers with 734 yards and six touchdowns and was second on the team with 58 receptions in 2017. For his career, Cain totaled 130 catches for 2,040 yards and 20 touchdowns. He averaged 15.7 yards per reception in 2017 and 19.1 yards per reception in 2016. He is the second Clemson WR to declare, joining Ray Ray McCloud.
Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech: The Edmunds brothers told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel they will forgo their final year at Virginia Tech to go to the NFL. Terrell, a safety, had 196 tackles and six interceptions with the Hokies while Tremaine, a linebacker, totaled 213 tackles, 33 tackles for loss and 10 sacks over three years. For more on their decisions, read Thamel’s story here.
R.J. McIntosh, DL, Miami: McIntosh was a second-team All-ACC selection at defensive tackle and started all 13 games for Miami in 2017. He had 52 tackles, including a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. McIntosh totaled 103 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks for his career.
Kendrick Norton, DL, Miami: Norton lined up alongside McIntosh at defensive tackle for the Hurricanes. He was was an All-ACC honorable mention selection, finishing the year with 26 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. For his career, Norton totaled 84 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and five sacks.
After a lot of thought, prayer, talking to my family and coaches, I’ve decided to make myself available for the 2018 draft. This decision wasn’t an easy one, as I love being a hurricane, but I feel I’m ready for the next step in realizing my dreams of being an nfl football player. My time at this school, the experiences with my teammates, Coach Richt, Coach Diaz, and of course my guy Coach Kool as well as the support of the amazing miami fans everywhere, Sometimes the best decision is not the most popular decision But I Will carry these memories with me forever. Thank you too everyone for the support in my decision. I will always be a Miami Hurricane. GO CANES! Ps. And shout out to Peter for jumping out on the limb and guessing.
A post shared by Kendrick Norton Jr™ (@kendricknorton7) on Jan 8, 2018 at 10:07am PST
Toby Weathersby, OL, LSU: The 6-foot-6, 308-pound Weathersby played in 31 games over three seasons with LSU, starting each of the 11 games he played at right tackle as a junior in 2017. He also started in four games at right tackle over his first two seasons with the Tigers.
It’s been real folks much love and God bless! pic.twitter.com/YmB2yF9AKU
— Toby Weathersby (@_weathersby66) January 9, 2018
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: A two-year starter for LSU. Jackson was a second-team All-SEC selection by the conference’s coaches this season. He finished the year with 49 tackles, 10 pass breakups, one interception and one sack. For his career, Jackson had 110 tackles, four interceptions and 20 pass breakups.
— Donte Action Jackson (@_DJack01) January 9, 2018
Justin Reid, DB, Stanford: A first-team All-Pac-12 selection, Reid totaled 99 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and five interceptions as a junior for the Cardinal. For his career, Reid, a safety, had 170 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions and 14 pass breakups.
I am foregoing my senior year of eligibility and am declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft. I know that I'm mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to become a professional athlete. My education is very important to me, and I do fully intend on returning to finish my degree. pic.twitter.com/QKpeGQHR2P
— Justin Reid (@jreid_viii) January 9, 2018
Quenton Meeks, DB, Stanford: Meeks was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2017 and finished the year with 65 tackles and two interceptions. Meeks, a cornerback, totaled 115 tackles, seven interceptions and 17 pass breakups over his three years on the field for Stanford.
I am making the decision to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL Draft. God has blessed me with the opportunity to achieve my lifelong dream. pic.twitter.com/slBxaaarYa
— Quenton Meeks (@ShowtimeQM) January 10, 2018
Jalen Wilkerson, DE, Florida State: After moving over from tight end, Wilkerson was a backup defensive end for the Seminoles in 2017 and totaled 19 tackles and six tackles for loss.