STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Free safety Ed Reynolds and right tackle Cameron Fleming are the latest Stanford players to announce they are forgoing their final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
Both announced their decisions through the school Tuesday. They had until Wednesday’s deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.
Reynolds ranked third at Stanford with 87 tackles and also had one interception last season to earn Pac-12 first-team honors for the second straight year. Quarterbacks often threw away from Reynolds after he led the Cardinal with six interceptions in 2012.
“After much thought and discussion with my family and mentors, I have decided to enter the NFL Draft,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Stanford football family for putting me in this position and preparing me for the next level. A very special thanks to our coaching staff, support staff and my teammates for making the memories of these past four years last a lifetime.”
Reynolds said he will re-enroll at Stanford for the spring quarter and return again in the offseason to complete his bachelor’s degree in political science. He missed all of the 2011 season because of a knee injury suffered in spring practice, so he could’ve returned as a fifth-year senior.
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound Fleming started on the right side of Stanford’s stout offensive line the past three seasons after redshirting his freshman year. He’s graduating with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics this spring.
Reynolds and Fleming were among five Stanford players weighing whether to enter the draft or return for one more season.
All-American left guard David Yankey declared for the draft Monday. Last week, linebacker A.J. Tarpley and defensive end Henry Anderson announced they would remain at Stanford.
Reynolds is the fifth starter Stanford will lose from its defense. Fifth-year senior linebackers Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov, and defensive ends Ben Gardner and Josh Mauro are all entering the draft.
Left tackle Andrus Peat will be the only returning starter on Stanford’s offensive line, though the unit is so deep and talented there shouldn’t be much — if any — drop off. Left guard Joshua Garnett, right guard Graham Shuler, center Johnny Caspers and right tackle Kyle Murphy — all members of the Cardinal’s highly touted 2012 recruiting class — are projected starters.