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Starting the College Football Career Early

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that many college football freshmen are enrolling in college before they
have graduated from high school:

Graham Pocic will graduate from high school in three months, so you would expect him to be at home in Lemont, Ill., enjoying his final semester with a light academic load and leisurely workouts with friends. Maybe even preparing for the prom.

Instead, the 17-year-old chose a path that an increasing number of college football recruits have pursued in recent years.

Having met graduation requirements, Pocic enrolled for the spring semester at Illinois to get a jump on his academic and football careers. He is one of seven players who signed this month to enroll early at Illinois.

..."It has to be the right guy who's good academically and who's fairly mature," recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell said. "The good thing for us is we get them for spring practice. The good thing for them is they've got 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 years on scholarship."

USA Today, which has tracked the number of freshmen who enroll early in recent years, reported that 69 football recruits entered college a semester before their high school graduation in 2007. That was nearly a 100 percent increase over 2004.

I'll take Mitchell's word that they actually get 4.5-5.5 years on scholarship per-se, but they still only get 4 - 5 seasons to play football. The difference is that they can come in and begin working their butts off and learning the ropes in January rather than in August.

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