2018 NFL draft early entrants - January 12

Dr. Saturday
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/255291/" data-ylk="slk:Nyheim Hines">Nyheim Hines</a> rushed for 1,113 yards in 2017. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
Nyheim Hines rushed for 1,113 yards in 2017. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

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.

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Previously: Jan. 2Jan. 3Jan. 4Jan. 5Jan. 8, Josh RosenSam DarnoldSaquon BarkleyLamar Jackson, Alabama’s draft declarations

Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State: The Wolfpack back revealed his decision on Friday.

“I would like to thank the coaches for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play at my dream school,” Hines said in a school statement. “I appreciate everybody at NC State who has helped me along the way. Last, but not least, I want to thank Wolfpack Nation for always supporting me – even in high school – to help make my dream come true.  NC State will always be a part of me wherever I am in life, and I will always be drawn back here.”

The wide receiver turned running back was primarily used as a weapon in the passing game last season and had 43 catches to 15 carries. Those numbers flipped dramatically in 2017. He rushed for 1,113 yards and 12 touchdowns on 197 carries and had 26 catches for 152 yards.

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Will Clapp, OL, LSU: LSU’s starting center made his announcement on Thursday. He’s previously played guard for the Tigers.

Trenton Thompson, DL, Georgia: Thompson declared for the draft via his Instagram account. 

After long discussion with my family and coaches I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. I would like to thank my family, teammates, Coach Smart and the rest of the staff for all of their support the last 3 years. Coming to Athens was the best decision of my life and the memories and friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime. Playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mine and I’m excited to see what the future holds. Even though I’m moving on to the next chapter, Georgia will always be home! I certainly want to thank the greatest fans in the country for their passion and support! Thank you Jolly Nation and Go Dawgs!!

Thompson had 38 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 2017.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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