DaVaris Daniels

Nearly 30 percent of early entries weren’t selected in NFL draft

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Not surprisingly, some of the players who left eligibility on the table for an early shot at the pros were left without a chair when the draft music stopped Saturday.

By the deadline in mid-January, a total of 84 players with eligibility remaining filled out their paperwork to make themselves available for the 2015 NFL draft.  As noted by Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com, 24 of those 84 players went undrafted as the seven-round event concluded yesterday evening.

While that’s 28.6 percent, it’s actually a better rate than a year ago.  In 2014, 36.7 percent (36 of 98) of the early entrants went undrafted.  That total of 98 last year was a record number of draft-eligible players who left with eligibility remaining, which prompted the NFL to change its protocol in an attempt to roll back the number of players leaving early.

Getting back to this year, 16 of the 24 who weren’t selected came from Power Five football programs.  TCU was the only school with two early entrants who weren’t picked (running back B.J. Catalon, safety Chris Hackett), while two of the players came from non-FCS levels.

It should be noted that most if not all of the players in this group will sign as an undrafted free agent.

Below is the complete list of those who went undrafted.

SS Durell Eskridge, Syracuse
CB Jacoby Glenn, UCF
FS Chris Hackett, TCU
WR DaVaris Daniels, Notre Dame
RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M
DE Deion Barnes, Penn State
TE Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
DT David Irving, Iowa State
WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston
DT Ellis McCarthy, UCLA
RB B.J. Catalon, TCU
WR Chris Harper, California
LB Max Flores, Northern Colorado
RB Dee Hart, Colorado State
RB Braylon Heard, Kentucky
WR George Farmer, USC
WR Nigel King, Kansas
OT Patrick Miller, Auburn
WR Zach D’Orazio, Akron
WR Tacoi Sumler, Appalachian State
OG Tyler Moore, Florida
WR Jaquel Pitts, Trinity International
LS Easton Wahlstrom, Arizona State
OLB Darien Rankin, North Carolina

Former Notre Dame WR DaVaris Daniels enters NFL Draft

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He was already believed to be done at Notre Dame, but wide receiver DaVaris Daniels is now moving his eye toward the NFL. Daniels was among the 74 players declaring early for the NFL Draft, bringing an end to his collegiate career.

Daniels had one final year of eligibility remaining, but it was uncertain if he would be allowed to return to Notre Dame for the 2015 season following a suspension in 2014 related to academic violations. Once a ruling was made involving the eligibility for Daniels, it looked as though he was heading to the NFL as early as October. However, nothing was official until recently with the NFL deadline for players to declare for the NFL Draft early.

As noted by College Football Talk contributor JJ Stankevitz on CSN Chicago, Daniels may have had a difficult time getting on the field in 2015 in South Bend considering the depth of talent at wide receiver. And that is assuming Notre Dame would have welcomed Daniels back following the academic issue in 2014.

Daniels is expected to be a mid-round talent but could go in the later rounds as the draft becomes less predictable each round.

Notre Dame safety Eilar Hardy cleared by NCAA

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Notre Dame received some good news regarding one of the handful of players previously suspended during an academic investigation. Safety Eilar Hardy has been cleared by the NCAA and is now eligible to participate on the field for the Fighting Irish.

Last week we learned Hardy was going to be allowed to return to practice in late October. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said in mid-October there was still some work to be done by Hardy before he can return to play a role on the football field, but allowing him to return to practices seemed like an optimistic direction to be heading with regard to his eligibility. Hardy is the only player out of the five suspended players to be eligible to play this season.

There is no word on whether or not Hardy will be back on the field for this weekend’s game at Arizona State. However, if he has been practicing with the team the last few weeks, one might assume he is ready to take the field now if needed. If he does play, it might be in a limited capacity at the most. He has not been added to the two-deep depth chart just yet.

KeiVarae Russell plans to return to the Irish in 2015. Ishaq Williams is hoping to do the same. Barring any unforeseen changes, DaVaris Daniels and Kendall Moore will no longer be a part of the Notre Dame program.

One of Irish’s ‘Frozen Five’ could return to team this season

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Five members of the Notre Dame football team had been sidelined for over a month as the university conducted an investigation into alleged academic fraud.  The fates of four of the five had been determined in the last week or so, leaving Eilar Hardy as the only one whose future at the school, good or bad, wasn’t known.

That changed Thursday when head coach Brian Kelly revealed that the seldom-used Hardy could return to practice at the end of this month. Kelly said that the player has some cleaning up of his academic house to complete before he can return to the team.

“We have some work to do in terms of his academic work he’s working on right now in terms of trying to get that organized, but if we’re able to get some of those things organized, we’re going to bring him back to practice after we get back from the bye,” said Kelly. “We have some things to work on — he’s working on right now, some of his classes, things of that nature — but I’ve invited him back on the roster to practice and then we’ll take it from there.”

Following this weekend’s huge game against fellow unbeaten Florida State, the Irish go on a bye the weekend prior to their annual game against Navy.

Should Hardy, who’s played in 10 games the past three seasons, return, he’d be the only one of the five to do so this season. And one of the three planning on returning to the team at some point in the future.

Late last week, it was reported that KeiVarae Russell would sit out the remainder of the 2014 season but would return to the Irish football team in 2015.  Kelly confirmed the same tack for defensive end Ishaq Williams a few days later.

The father of wide receiver DaVaris Daniels tweeted earlier this week that his son “is done at Notre Dame,” while linebacker Kendall Moore took to social media the same day to confirm his time in South Bend had come to an end.

Notre Dame LB Kendall Moore says he is done

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Notre Dame linebacker Kendall Moore has made his fate public. In an Instagram post Tuesday evening Moore announced he is leaving Notre Dame following the ruling from his hearing having an unfortunate outcome.

Moore already has a degree from Notre Dame and was hoping to play with one final year of eligibility this season. That will no longer be the case, and Moore will now move on from football it would seem.

Moore is the third player among Notre Dame’s so-called Frozen Five to confirm his fate. Defensive end Ishaq Williams and defensive back KeiVarae Russell each informed Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly of their hearing outcomes. Russell intends to return to Notre Dame in 2015. Another of the suspended players, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, is reportedly moving on from Notre Dame as well, although it is unknown if he will look to play football elsewhere. Kelly was unaware of Daniels’ decision earlier on Tuesday.

It is unknown at this time what the story is for the fifth player suspended while the academic investigation was ongoing at Notre Dame. Defensive back Eilar Hardy was the fifth player suspended.

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Notre Dame has rendered its decision. While it is disappointing, I will respectfully leave my alma mater as a proud May 2014 graduate of the institution that I have respectfully loved and given my best efforts during my college career. Regardless of this announced outcome, my personal and ethical integrity remain intact and I have honored my collegiate journey from the beginning straight through to this end and I will take on the next chapters in my life with the same progressive commitment to excellence, hard work and relentless determination toward unlimited success. I was raised to excel on every level and I want to thank my parents for their unwavering support and belief in me; their powerful words of love, encouragement and faith helped to sustain me through this process. I thank my family, friends and fans for the support. I want to thank Notre Dame for the opportunity and I wish my teammates and this program all of the success in the world.

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