The rules governing which players are eligible to play in postseason all-star and draft showcase games are changing. For the first time, underclassmen will be eligible to play in games like the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl.
The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams advising that underclassmen will be able to play in those games. The director of the Shrine Bowl, Eric Galko, confirmed the memo and news in a social media post,
BIG NEWS: Memo sent out to teams and agents on final process for Underclassmen to be allowed to participate in all-star games!
This is something I’ve wanted to be available to juniors since I started at the @ShrineBowl two years ago.
Fired up that it’s happening this year! pic.twitter.com/fg4rRV6790
— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) November 8, 2023
It’s a major shift by the NFL and the bowl games themselves. The games have historically been showcases for players who have either exhausted their college eligibility or who graduated early and wish to move on from the college game. As Galko notes, it’s something that several of the postseason exhibitions have been trying to get for years.
No word yet on whether the underclassmen will be allowed to return to school if they participate in the exhibition and then change their minds in regards to heading to the NFL.