For David Klingler, there are more reasons to stay in college than play in the NFL. But for Todd Marionvich, the pros might outweigh the cons.
Underclassmen had until today to declare themselves eligible for April's draft. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league won't reveal this year's final list until Monday.Rocket Ismail of Notre Dame and Herman Moore of Virginia are among the 22 players who have already announced their intention to turn pro; last year 38 left school early.
The National reported in Friday's editions that Marinovich, Southern Cal's troubled quarterback, and Pittsburgh running back Curvin Richards formally petitioned the NFL on Thursday for entry in the draft. Neither player made an official announcement Thursday.
Klingler, who set or tied 33 NCAA record as Houston's quarterback last year, said he came up with 23 reasons to return for his senior season and only three for leaving.
"I'll be back," Klingler said Thursday. "Most of the reasons (for leaving) were money. But what was most important was taking care of my teammates and taking care of my coach.
"You're talking about never having to work again, your parents' retirement, that's easy to imagine," Klingler said. "Even with all that money, I'd be bored if I couldn't do what I wanted to do, whether I had 10 cents or $10 million."
Marinovich, meanwhile, appeared likely to skip his final two years of eligibility and go pro.
Marinovich was suspended indefinitely from the Southern Cal team on Jan. 11 after failing to register for classes and missing a mandatory team meeting. Nine days later, he was arrested and charged with cocaine possession.
During the season, Marinovich performed erratically, was suspended for one week for cutting classes and argued with coach Larry Smith on the sideline after being benched in the fourth quarter of Southern Cal's 17-16 loss to Michigan State in the Hancock Bowl.
Because of his problems on and off the field, Marinovich probably won't be picked in the first two rounds if he decides to enter the draft.
"His problems are well chronicled," draft expert Mel Kiper said. "He's a real question mark."
Richards is second on Pitt's all-time rushing list, trailing only Tony Dorsett. Richards, a junior, was suspended last week by coach Paul Hackett for missing study hall and team meetings. According to the National, Richards left without telling Hackett or the coaching staff that he was going to be with his sister, who was in a coma and eventually died from a brain tumor.
Kiper expects seven or eight underclassmen to go in the first round. Among the potential first-rounders are Ismail, Moore, running back Robert Wilson of Texas A&M, wide receiver Rob Carpenter of Syracuse, offensive guard Ed King of Auburn and defensive backs Jesse Campbell of North Carolina State and Dexter Davis of Clemson.