MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Southeastern Conference has become the most popular jumping-off point for underclassmen looking for a head start on NFL careers.
The trend creates more spots to fill around the league with preseason camps approaching, but also helps entice blue-chip prospects to play in the SEC.
No league has had nearly as many players leaving early to pursue NFL careers over the past eight years, and LSU has had the most of any program two years running. Tigers coach Les Miles says they "do lead college football in three-and-outs."
Since the league's seven-year national title run started in 2007, the SEC has had 109 early departures drafted. The next two leagues -- the Pacific-12 and Atlantic Coast Conference -- have combined for 111, according to research by STATs, Inc.