With lockout looming, several star players return to school
The number of underclassmen leaving for the NFL this year appears to be about the same as usual. At first glance, the impending lockout didn't seem to have an effect one way or the other. Guys who wanted to turn pro, turned pro.
However, the number of All-America-caliber players who elected to put off the pros for another year is truly astounding. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma counterpart Ryan Broyles -- all would seemingly have little left to prove in the college game -- but we warmly welcome them back. All told, five of the top six Heisman vote-getters from 2010 are returning (Luck, Oregon running back LaMichael James, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, Blackmon and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, a second-year player), which certainly raises the star power for 2011.
Some obvious candidates (Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett) cashed in, while several projected mid-round picks made puzzling decisions. Some teams made out like bandits. Others weren't so fortunate.