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D.J. Fluker, Justin Pugh cleared for Senior Bowl and NFL draft

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When I posted the list of 73 early entrants in the NFL draft, I heard from a couple readers who wanted to know why Alabama’s D.J. Fluker and Syracuse’s Justin Pugh weren’t on it. The reason, according to the NFL, is that Fluker and Pugh are in a separate category of players in the draft, having notified the NFL that they have graduated.

Although Fluker and Pugh both redshirted a year and could have chosen to return to school and played their final seasons of NCAA eligibility in 2013, they have also been cleared to play in the Senior Bowl, which was previously limited only to players who had completed their NCAA eligibility. Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said he thinks allowing such players will make the Senior Bowl a better game.

β€œThis is a breakthrough moment for the Senior Bowl game because the league allowed us to bring in these two players who graduated in December and were on campus for four years and their coach supported their candidacy for the Senior Bowl,” Savage said. β€œThe reason we wanted to do this was because in the past there have been a number of fourth-year juniors who had graduated who were not allowed to play in the Senior Bowl.”

Fluker won’t play in the Senior Bowl becasue of a calf injury, but Pugh will play. Both are considered potential first-round picks.

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6 Responses to “D.J. Fluker, Justin Pugh cleared for Senior Bowl and NFL draft”
  1. mooser80 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:41 AM

    Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage? Kind of surprised to see that. From NFL GM to working for a college all star game. Pretty big fall.

  2. freemantowilliams says: Jan 20, 2013 9:17 AM

    Guess what Phil savage probably still makes at least double what we make

  3. straightcashhomey1 says: Jan 20, 2013 9:42 AM

    Phil Savage is the color guy on the bama radio network and DJ Fluker finds the rules changed magically? Senior Bowl has always been in the bama boosters pockets

  4. FinFan68 says: Jan 20, 2013 9:49 AM

    Shouldn’t the academic level determine things like junior or senior? Redshirt status is athletic. If they passed enough classes over 3 years then they would be a senior next year regardless of athletic eligibility. These guys were seniors this year and already graduated. Why wouldn’t they be allowed to play in the senior bowl?

  5. bucforever says: Jan 20, 2013 10:01 AM

    Pugh would be a great pick for the Bucs. Hope he hangs around.

  6. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 20, 2013 9:17 PM

    Pugh looks like a very good OT prospect to me. Intelligent and a guy of character. Like to see Dallas get this guy in the 2nd round to replace Free.

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