If you’re a draft-eligible underclassman, like perhaps USC quarterback Caleb Williams, you can now play in college all-star games. In previous years, these games were reserved for players who had graduated.
In a memo sent by the NFL to all 32 clubs on Wednesday, the East-West Shrine Bowl, the HBCU Legacy Bowl and the Senior Bowl are now permitted to invite juniors who declare for the NFL Draft.
“If the NFL publicly announces that a player has been granted special eligibility, the East-West Shrine Bowl, the HBCU Legacy Bowl and the Senior Bowl may invite those players to participate in their respective game activities,” the memo said NFL. Only these three games may underclassmen be invited to participate.”
Accordingly, the 2024 vintage will be the direct beneficiary of the rule change NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. That means players like Williams, Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry and others will have the opportunity to compete against each other if they so choose.
All-Star Games offer college players the opportunity to work with the NFL coaching staff on the field for the first time, as well as the opportunity to speak and interview with top-level personnel.
The Shrine Bowl opens the slate of All-Star games on February 1st. The Senior Bowl follows on February 3rd and the HBCU Legacy Bowl concludes on February 19th.
Detroit will host the 2024 NFL Draft April 25-27, and eligible prospective students must register by January 15.