Tuesday December 6th, 2011

Andrew Luck is expected to go No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft. (Bob Stanton/Icon SMI)

Shortly after being named a Heisman finalist for the second straight year, Andrew Luck confirmed on "SportsCenter" that he plans to forgo his final year at Stanford to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

Luck surprised plenty of people a year ago, when he decided to head back to college for his redshirt junior season. But he said he is "absolutely" ready to make the jump to the pros this year.

"I thought it was ... understood when I came back last year," Luck said.

Luck long has been the consensus No. 1 pick for the upcoming draft, and with the currently winless Colts closing in on that top slot, Luck might be headed to Indianapolis in the near future.

"I'm not immune to TV, so I do see things and hear things, but I understand that's a long way away -- the NFL stuff is a long way off."

Assuming Luck's stock holds steady where it is, the Colts will have to deal two factors when their pick comes around: First and foremost, the health of Peyton Manning and how he might interact with a No. 1 pick at QB; and second, the possibility of trading down to beef up the rest of their roster. Even with a potential Manning return next season, the Colts have shown that they have plenty of holes all over their roster.

Luck has thrown for 80 touchdowns compared to just 21 interceptions in his three years at Stanford, and he has helped revive a once-dormant program -- the Cardinal routed Virginia Tech in last year's Orange Bowl and will take on Oklahoma State in a marquee matchup at the Fiesta Bowl this coming January.

Should the Colts wind up with the No. 1 pick, then opt to trade down, there figures to be no shortage of suitors. The Dolphins, Redskins, Browns, Seahawks and several other teams would love to put a franchise quarterback in place. And Luck carries the credentials -- both statistically and on film -- to be a game-changer.

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