Ole Miss's D.K. Metcalf, Oklahoma's Rodney Anderson, West Virginia's Will Grier and others have announced an early departure from their college programs to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Several notable names in the world of college football will cut their collegiate careers short to prepare for the 2019 NFL draft. Whether the decision to leave was due to injury, as a precautionary measure or to simply have more time to prepare for their professional future, here are the top players to announce an early departure from their college teams to prepare:
D. K. Metcalf – Ole Miss, WR
Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf announced on Twitter he will forego his final two years of college eligibility to turn pro.
The 20-year-old Oxford native finished his college career with 67 receptions, 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns in 21 games over three seasons before a neck injury sustained during the Rebels' Oct. 13 game against Arkansas sidelined the star receiver for the remainder of the season.
I have enjoyed my time at Ole Miss, gaining brothers and a family, now it’s time for me to pursue my dreams of playing in the NFL. I want to thank the University, my coaches, and teammates, but most importantly my family for helping me through this process. #HottyToddy #GodsPlan— DK Metcalf (@dkmetcalf14) November 23, 2018
Rodney Anderson – Oklahoma, RB
Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson also decided to forgo his senior season to declare for the draft after sustaining a season-ending knee injury vs. UCLA on Sept. 8. Anderson announced his decision in early November after a stellar sophomore campaign.
Injuries plagued Anderson's first two seasons but he finished his breakout 2017 season with team highs of 1,161 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, adding 281 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.
Greedy Williams – LSU, CB
Williams announced that he will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft following his redshirt-sophomore season at LSU. Considered by many to be the top defensive back prospect in this year's class, the 6'3", 185-pound corner was named a Thorpe Award semifinalist this season. Last year, he led the SEC with seven interceptions.
“I Have been blessed by God with a beautiful and supportive family. My blessings also include my LSU Tiger Family, both on and off the field. It is with those abundant blessings in mind that I have chosen to pursue to enter the 2019 NFL Draft” #BeGreedy pic.twitter.com/pAIq6T4vIN— Greedy Williams ™️ (@G_Will29) December 2, 2018
Nick Bosa – Ohio State, DE
Ohio State star defensive end Nick Bosa withdrew from the Buckeyes program in October after suffering an abdominal injury on Sept. 15 against TCU. Bosa was ruled out “indefinitely” after surgery before declaring his decision not to return to Ohio State and instead focus on preparing for the draft once he is cleared medically.
Ed Oliver – Houston, DT
Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, a likely top choice in the 2019 NFL draft, will sit out the Cougars' upcoming bowl game to focus on preparation for his professional career. Oliver announced his intention to depart from the program following his junior season last spring, but his decision to end his season early was announced on Friday, Nov. 30.
During his last game with the Cougars on Nov. 23, Houston suffered a 52-31 loss to Memphis and Oliver aggravated a previous knee injury in the defeat.
Rashan Gary – Michigan, DE
Rashan Gary released a video in which he thanked Michigan and announced his plans to declare for the NFL draft. He finishes his Wolverines career with 10.5 sacks and 134 tackles.
N'Keal Harry – Arizona State, WR
Harry plans to enter the NFL draft after a season in which he recorded 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns. He has reportedly signed with an agent and will sit out the Sun Devils' Las Vegas Bowl matchup against Fresno State in order to focus on prepartion for the NFL.
Will Grier – West Virginia, QB
Grier will not play in the Mountaineers' Camping World Bowl game against Syracuse to focus on preparing for the 2019 NFL draft. The senior quarterback threw for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns and added three scores on the ground in 2018 as a season-long Heisman contender.
Darrell Henderson – Memphis, RB
Henderson announced on Twitter that he plans to forego his senior year at Memphis to enter the 2019 NFL draft. He was the nation's second-leading rusher with 1,909 yards on 214 carries. Henderson also lead the FBS with 25 total touchdowns and averaged 8.9 yards per carry.
Noah Fant – Iowa, TE
Fant earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2018. He led all tight ends in yards per catch in 2017, registering 11 touchdowns.
Brian Burns – Florida State, DE
Burns, considered one of the 2019 NFL class' top edge prospects, declared for the draft following three seasons at Florida State. During his junior season, he tallied 10 sacks and 15.5 total tackles for loss.
Kelvin Harmon – N.C. State, WR
Harmon declared early after recording 1,000-yard seasons in back-to-back seasons to finish his career at N.C. State. He caught 75 passes for 1,119 yards and six touchdowns during his junior year. Harmon will skip the Wolfpack's Gator Bowl matchup against Texas A&M.
Dax Raymond – Utah State, TE
The Aggies junior will declare for the darft after catching 24 passes in nine games last season.
Justice Hill – Oklahoma State, RB
Hill was named an All-Big 12 First Teamer after rushing for 930 yards and nine touchdowns during his junior season in Stillwater. He announced he will sit out the Cowboys' Liberty Bowl matchup against Missouri in order to focus on preparation for the NFL draft.
Dre'Mont Jones – Ohio State, DL/DT
Jones will play in the Rose Bowl with the Buckeyes before heading to the NFL draft. The junior tallied 8.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss this season.
Welp! I wanted the moment to be more dramatic lol but yes I’m officially declaring for the NFL Draft. Thank you Buckeye Nation for everything that you’ve done for me and family. Love you guys❤️😘— Dre'Mont Jones (@TheOfficial_80) December 12, 2018
P.S: I’m playing in the Rose Bowl. I have to finish what my brothers and I started. https://t.co/nBOAjJkvR7
Caleb Wilson – UCLA, TE
The 6'5" tight end hauled in 60 passes for 965 yards in 2018. Wilson torched Arizona State on Nov. 10, snagging a career-high 11 catches for 164 yards.
Greg Little – Ole Miss, OT
The 6'6", 332-pound tackle was ranked as a five-star prospect and the best offensive lineman in the country in his recruiting class. Now, Little is projected as a first-round NFL pick.
Antoine Wesley – Texas Tech, WR
Wesley snagged 88 receptions for 1410 yards and nine touchdowns in his junior season, leading the Red Raiders in all three categories. The 6'6", 332-pound tackle was ranked as a five-star prospect and the best offensive lineman in the country in his recruiting class.
Alex Barnes – Kansas State, RB
Barnes led the Big 12 in rushing in 2018 with 1,355 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. The junior also ran for 12 touchdowns.
Benny Snell — Kentucky, RB
Snell was a third-team AP All-American after running for 1,305 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2018, including a four-score game against Mississippi State. The 5'11" running back ran for 100 yards six different times as a junior and totaled 99 in a seventh game.
This post will be updated as players make announcements.