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Brandt cited Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as an example.

“He stayed for his full time at Nebraska,” Brandt said. “Had he come out a year early, he would have probably been drafted the lower part of the first round. He stayed in school and wound up being the second pick in the draft.

“It was probably worth $15 million to him at that time.”

Suh signed a 5-year deal worth $40 million guaranteed and up to $68 million.

Quarterbacks Jones and Barkley aren’t the only stars who are staying put. Claiborne’s fellow All-America cornerback and Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu is just a sophomore while Wisconsin running back Montee Ball _ fourth in the Heisman voting _ is coming back for his senior season.

So is Alabama’s Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones.

Tide teammates Richardson and Kirkpatrick had young children as impetus in their decisions.

“You have to have some kind of background for playing this game,” Kirkpatrick, who has a 5-year-old son, said after announcing his decision. “This is not a game that you just wake up and play. It has to mean something. You have to have something that’s going to drive you and make you play 100 percent.

“I feel like my son is the anchor of all that.”