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SEC players pondering a jump to NFL

It’s that time of year when college underclassmen begin to finalize their decisions on whether or not to turn pro.

A year ago, the SEC produced five of the top six selections in the NFL draft, and all five were underclassmen.

The top two prospects in the league this season are again underclassmen -- Alabama running back Trent Richardson and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

Both are projected as top 10 picks and are expected to give up their senior seasons to enter the 2012 NFL draft.

A couple of underclassmen, Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, have already said publicly that they plan to return to school.

Here’s a sampling of the SEC underclassmen pondering a jump to the NFL. Keep in mind that third-year sophomores are eligible:

ALABAMA

LB Dont’a Hightower

CB Dre Kirkpatrick

RB Trent Richardson

AUBURN

RB Onterio McCalebb

GEORGIA

TE Orson Charles

S Bacarri Rambo

LSU

DT Michael Brockers

CB Morris Claiborne

DE Sam Montgomery

WR Rueben Randle

MISSISSIPPI STATE

DT Fletcher Cox

SOUTH CAROLINA

CB Stephon Gilmore

WR Alshon Jeffery

S D.J. Swearinger