Top college pass rusher loses NCAA eligibility, will head to NFL

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One of the top pass rushers in college football will be heading to the NFL a year earlier than he had hoped.

East Carolina defensive end Nate Harvey, who had 14.5 sacks last season and is the reigning American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, has lost an eligibility appeal with the NCAA. East Carolina coach Mike Houston said they were hoping the NCAA would not count the brief playing time Harvey got as a freshman at Georgia Military College as a year of college football, but the NCAA did count it and therefore Harvey does not have any NCAA eligibility remaining.

“Our appeal was denied by the NCAA,″ Houston told the Fayetteville Observer. “We respect the decision of the NCAA, but at the same time we are disappointed. . . . We’ve had some long discussions this morning about how we’re going to support Nate in this transition from right now becoming a student-athlete at East Carolina University to pursuing a professional career. We will alert the NFL this afternoon that he will be eligible for the draft.″

It is unclear whether the NFL will make Harvey eligible for the regular draft or whether he will have to wait for the supplemental draft. He is likely a late-round pick.