(STATS) - Of all the FCS players who might pursue an NFL career early, the first to come to mind for many people probably wasn't a punter.
But Delaware punter Eric Enderson announced Monday he will forgo his final year of college eligibility to pursue a free agent opportunity with a team. He had already earned a degree in criminal justice in 3 1/2 years and will take the next several months to train full-time with kicking coaches.
Few punters are taken in the draft, so Enderson hopes to sign as a free agent.
"Over the last month or so I have really tried to analyze the possibilities for myself moving forward," Enderson said. "It has led to countless hours of researching, talking with my family, and stepping back and really thinking everything through. I finally came to my decision to take my shot at the next level and move on from this part of my life. I am hoping to work towards a chance at playing in the NFL and follow that up with law school."
As a three-year starter at Delaware, Enderson punted 175 times for 7,630 yards and a 43.6-yard average per punt. He holds the Blue Hens' records for average in a season (45.0 in 2013) and a career (43.6). He made the all-CAA first team as a sophomore in 2014 and the second team in both 2013 and this past season.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft is Jan. 18. Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence is the only other FCS player to announce he will bypass his final season of eligibility.