Brett Hundley among NFL draft early entries leaving with degree

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley poses for photos during Pac-12 Football Media Day at the Paramount Theater on July 24, 2014. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley poses for photos during Pac-12 Football Media Day at the Paramount Theater on July 24, 2014. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

In addition to his many spots in the UCLA record books, quarterback Brett Hundley has joined another small club.

The NFL draft early entry deadline passed last Thursday, and 84 players were declared eligible for selection. Of those, 10 — including Hundley, who majored in sociology — notified the league that they had already graduated.

The others are: Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes, Auburn receiver Sammie Coates, Akron receiver Zach D’Orazio, Louisville defensive back Charles Gaines, Colorado State running back Dee Hart, Kansas receiver Nigel King, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Penn State offensive tackle Donovan Smith, and Appalachian State receiver Tacoi Sumler.

The NFL granted the remaining 74 players special eligibility because they had been out of high school for at least three years. The Pac-12 accounted for 16 of those athletes, a tally that dipped from the 98 that left school early in 2014.

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NFL roundup: Anthony Barr signs for guaranteed $12.7 million over four years

» After being picked ninth overall in the NFL draft, linebacker Anthony Barr officially signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, inking a fully guaranteed contract worth $12,743,596 over four years. He will get a signing bonus of $7,588,072, and the team can exercise a fifth-year option.

He and other former UCLA players must return to campus through spring quarter, however, since NFL rules dictate that anyone who hasn’t graduated cannot stay their teams until their school sessions end.

» Houston Texans sideline reporter John Harris said Xavier Su’a-Filo will become the starting left guard by Week 1, and be a “key figure” in the run game for at least the next five to seven years. Continue reading

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Brett Hundley to return for redshirt junior season

UCLA has announced a 9 a.m. Monday press conference for Brett Hundley’s “major announcement.”

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UCLA’s potential run at a Rose Bowl or national title is still alive.

Quarterback Brett Hundley will return to UCLA for his redshirt junior season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, turning down what could have been a first-round selection in the NFL draft. The star quarterback had said after the Bruins’ 42-12 Sun Bowl win over Virginia Tech last week that he had “no idea” what his decision will be.

Hundley rushed for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns against the Hokies while throwing for 226 yards and two more scores — breaking Cade McNown’s UCLA bowl game record for total offensive yards. The redshirt sophomore has struggled with decision-making throughout the season, but his talent and upside make him a tantalizing pro prospect.

When he declares, Hundley will be the first Bruin quarterback drafted since McNown went 12th overall to the Chicago Bears in 1999. McNown took UCLA to its last Rose Bowl berth four months earlier.

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ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay evaluates Bruins

The notebook that ran in today’s edition of the Daily News covers some of Cassius Marsh’s value as an NFL prospect, whether it be at defensive end, linebacker or even tight end. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay gave the UCLA senior a fourth- or fifth-round draft grade. Here’s what he said about some other Bruins:

Linebacker Anthony Barr

“He’s not as talented as (South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon) Clowney. He’s not as big, and he’s probably just a notch below in terms of the explosive athleticism. But I think Barr is still a very, very talented player who’s only played the defensive side for two years. Who continues to get better and better in terms of his play, how he’s using his hands, how he’s getting off blocks. I think when it’s all said and done, he’s going to wind up being a top-five pick. Continue reading

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Shaq Evans talks NFL draft, Senior Bowl invite


Shaq Evans is trying to become the first UCLA receiver drafted since 2010, when Washington took Terrence Austin in the seventh round. His biggest chance to boost his stock may be the Senior Bowl, held in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 25.

“That game is huge for me,” said Evans, who received his invitation last week. “I didn’t really have the numbers I expected to have this year. I feel like I still played well, but I know that I’m still under the radar a little bit.” Continue reading

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