Can a player join the National Football League (NFL) straight from high school? That’s a question that most young players ask a lot. NFL considers education just as important as physical attributes and the ability to play the game. It is just as important as hitting the practice field and going to the gym to keep yourself in prime condition to play. One has to satisfy a few collegiate regulations to be considered worthy of an NFL contract.
NFL only signs players from colleges.
They will take notice of you if you are in high school and show signs of being a highly talented player. However, no NFL club will approach you with a contract at that stage of your education. The clubs will only show interest and make the initial contact with you the moment you join college. In this regard, it differs from two of the major professional sports in the United States; namely, ice hockey and baseball.
Top ice hockey and baseball teams will sign you straight from high school.
With NFL, being in college isn’t enough. You have to satisfy other conditions as well to qualify to play for any NFL team. One, you have to play for your college football team for not less than three seasons. College football is quite competitive. It offers the closest standards to what you can get at NFL. Two, the only time the NFL teams can sign you if you haven’t been to college yet is when you graduated from high school more than three years.
Why does NFL use education as a factor of determining whether to sign a player?
Typically, a career in NFL will last an average of 3.5 years. Such players often have to contend with the likelihood of experiencing a major injury that could kill their careers. When this happens, the injured player will most probably fall into a financial mess. Without a different career option to fall back to, the injured player will face a bleak future. College education offers the players the different career option they need in case a major injury derails their NFL career.
NFL players do not make as much money as their colleagues in NBA, MLB, and NHL. On average, NBA players earn the most. They make $5.15 million a year. MLB players earn $3.2 million per year. NHL players earn $2.4 million per year. For their part, NFL players earn an average of $1.9 million each year. They earn less yet face the biggest risk of suffering an injury. Obviously, the best players will make more than these average rates.
Therefore, anybody interested in playing NFL should take college education seriously.