New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - An unusually high number of nine FCS players are among the record 98 underclassmen who have applied for the NFL Draft.
The NFL announced its complete list Sunday, and the number surpassed the previous record of 73 underclassmen last year.
All players met the NFL's three-year eligibility rule and submitted a written application to the league by last Wednesday, renouncing remaining college football eligibility.
Four other graduates who had eligibility remaining also gained early entry to the draft.
The late additions included Bethune-Cookman offensive tackle Terrance Hackney, McNeese State tight end Nic Jacobs, Alabama State wide receiver Jamel Johnson and Brown running back John Spooney.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Hackney did not play this past season because of academic issues. In 2012, he earned third-team All-American honors from The Sports Network.
Jacobs (6-5, 260) was a LSU transfer who played only one season at McNeese State, catching 32 passes and four touchdowns for 453 yards while earning All- Southland Conference first-team honors in 2013.
Johnson (6-2, 230) began his career at Troy before transferring to Alabama State, where he caught 28 receptions and five touchdowns for 355 yards this past season.
Spooney (5-11, 185), a senior academically, had one season of eligibility remaining at Brown because he took off the 2012 season to concentrate on running track. An Ivy League sprint champion, he led the league in rushing yards (1,170) and rushing yards per game (130) this past season. He rushed for touchdowns of 93 and 94 yards in the same game against Penn, finishing the season with 10 scores on the ground.
Towson running back Terrance West headlined the FCS group after the 5-11, 223- pound junior set the division's single-season records for rushing yards (2,509), rushing touchdowns (41) and total touchdowns (42). He led the Tigers to a national runner-up finish.
Also applying after their junior seasons were Alabama State running back Isaiah Crowell (5-11, 190), Tennessee State tight end A.C. Leonard (6-4, 245), Jacksonville State free safety Pierre Warren (6-2, 200) and Bethune-Cookman safety Nick Addison (6-2, 180).