Dienhart: Early NFL entrants may be few

The Big Ten already has seen two top underclassmen officially declare for the draft: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and Iowa OT Riley Reiff. And one report has Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy bolting (read the report), while many speculate that Wisconsin RB Montee Ball will opt for the NFL, too.

The deadline for players to make their intention is Jan. 15.

I surveyed media at the Big Ten schools, and aside from the aforementioned four players, I don’t see any other players that look to be obvious choices to turn pro. Then again, we may get some surprises.

Tom Dienhart is a senior writer for BTN.com. Find all of his work at www.btn.com/tomdienhart, follow Dienhart on Twitter at @BTNTomDienhart, send a question to his weekly mailbag here, and click here to subscribe to his RSS feed.

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