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Jeff Legwoldyellowcomic.com an elderly Writer
Close covered Broncos for nine years because that Denver Post and also Rocky hill News formerly covered Steelers, Bills and also Titans
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- No player in modern-day NFL history has made the leap native preps come pros. Players room ineligible to enter the NFL until 3 years after their high school course graduates. Yet if that door to be open, could it be done?
LSU running ago Leonard Fournette, who rushed because that 1,034 yards last season together a true freshman, has actually rushed because that 631 yards in three gamings this season, consisting of back-to-back 200-yard games. That is the recent player to placed the topic right into the national conversation. By league rules, Fournette will not be eligible for the NFL until the 2017 draft.
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Minnesota Vikings running earlier Adrian Peterson stated this week he could have made the leap come the NFL indigenous high school. As a an elderly in 2003 at Palestine (Texas) High School, Peterson rushed for 2,960 yards and 32 touchdowns and also was consensus national player that the year. After ~ his freshman year in ~ Oklahoma, in which he rushed because that 1,925 yards and scored 15 touchdowns, Peterson assumed he was much better than Cedric Benson, the player that was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Bears.
Hall of call running earlier Jerome Bettis, who played because that the Rams and also Steelers indigenous 1993-2005, trust he might have played fullback in the NFL right out of high school. "I was currently 240 pounds coming out of high school," the said. "I already had the size and speed to carry out it.”
In an informal survey the 10 organization scouts and also personnel executives this week, the place said to sell the ideal chance because that a player to do the prep-to-pro jump was to run back. Those soccer evaluators placed Peterson and Hall of Fame running backs Eric Dickerson and Walter Payton among the few players who might have made the leap. Additionally named were room of reputation tackles Anthony Munoz and also Bruce Matthews and also former Arizona Cardinals protective tackle Eric Swann. A two-time agree Bowl an option in his career, Swann did no play college football and also was the sixth pick the the 1991 draft, 4 months prior to his 21st birthday. After ~ attending wake up Technical ar College in phibìc Carolina, Swann played for a semi-pro team called the just State Titans.
Gary Kubiak to be Houston Texans head coach when the team do 19-year-old protective tackle Amobi Okoye the 10th pick of the 2007 draft. Okoye had moved indigenous Nigeria come Huntsville, Alabama, as a 12-year-old. After simply two main in middle school, together Okoye called the story in ~ the 2007 scouting combine, the tested into high school. He was a student at the university of Louisville at age 16, play 13 games as a true freshman. He was drafted right into the NFL less than 2 months prior to his 20th birthday and is thought to be the youngest player selected in the draft’s modern era.
"He to be a very mature young man, he had actually no problems socially v the team," stated Kubiak, currently Denver Broncos head coach. "That was no a problem. Together a matter of fact, that turned out to be a positive. Since he to be so young, people all around the team went out of their method to make sure he to be doing OK due to the fact that they knew he to be so young." No longer in the league, Okoye struggled through injuries and also other health problems during his career and was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April.
Kubiak didn’t say the run couldn’t it is in made indigenous high school, noting "it counts who the player is,” but said the was very problematic because of the physical needs of the league.
The dominating start come the season through LSU sophomore Leonard Fournette -- averaging over 200 yards a video game -- has actually some wonder if that would have actually been NFL-ready right out that high school.Mark Konezny/USA this particular day SportsBroncos running back Ronnie Hillman and also backup quarterback Brock Osweiler were about as close to entering the league as teenagers as players can be in the present environment. Hillman, now in his 4th season and also still 7 months younger than among the team’s rookies, to be selected in the 3rd round that the 2012 draft, five months prior to his 21st birthday. Osweiler, who has actually played sparingly as Peyton Manning"s backup, to be the Broncos’ second-round choose in that very same "12 draft, six months prior to his 21st birthday.
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Hillman moved up and down the depth graph in his 3 previous seasons, consisting of a stint as the team’s No. 1 back during the offseason workouts before the 2014 season. But he didn’t hang on come the job and also was No. 3 as soon as the continual season began. Previously this season, he claimed he believed he was all set to be much more reliable top top the field and also off.
Many NFL coaches and also general supervisors say that takes time because that players who have actually spent four or 5 years in college football’s strength programs to adjust to the physical needs of the league. In addition, that takes time because that players to manage life off the field as well. Asked if he had ever evaluated football player who could have made the jump straight from high institution to the advantages in his long career, Tom Luginbill, yellowcomic.com’s director of recruiting/scouting, stated simply: "None. Not a single one."
Longtime Oilers/Titans enlightenment C.O. Brocato, who died earlier this summer ~ battling cancer, frequently said Peterson was the just player he had seen who would have had a opportunity to make the shift because of his body type. Peterson stand 6-foot-2 and also was a chiseled 207 pounds in high school. However Brocato added years ago, "You never know about the remainder of it, simply being with a team of football player older 보다 you."