Underclassmen should have returned to UO.
This is a sad story that happens over and over and over again. Most players not only would benefit from staying in school to improve their draft prospects, but also to complete their educations. You have to be an exceptional college player just to make an NFL camp. Most major college players don't seem to grasp the quantum difference between the two levels. And even if a player makes a roster, the average career is over almost before it starts. JC blames unprincipled agents, and they do deserve blame. I also blame college recruiters who sell their programs as stepping stones to NFL stardom.
Sad for those young men but a hard lesson learned. Hopefully younger ones coming up will watch, read and digest what went on before them.
Interesting read, hopefully the players could give you the interview and insight to their story for taking the risk of their decision. If they all graduated with a degree, then the fall back isn't to far from the dream.
If you don't dominate at a level, getting to the next one is a dicey fantasy. These young men have a powerful dream and are eager for encouragement. Unscrupulous agents know exactly what to say.
College football has gotten to big to care about the kids any more. At least there is the USFL for now.
Just like the rest of us poor saps, get a job and move on.
The ncaa should allow players that are not drafted to come back and play.
Spot on, John.
All true John. One factor that fans often forget is school itself. I've had several players in classes who opted to go to the pro ranks who honestly were not cutting it in the classroom. Not football players but other sports. They honesty didn't have much choice but to try to make the jump. Agents got to them and they stopped coming to classes, might not have been eligible moving forward anyway. It's a factor for some. Verdell has had so much wear and tear on his body and backs only have so many carries in them, period. LaMike is an example of that. See LaMike v. Kenyon who was a lot fresher when he got to the league. Wiliams has a family he's feeling the need to try to take care of. Rightly or wrongly that seems to be a driver. But Wright and McKinley are both head scratchers. They come back and dominate, they get taken. Verone is undersized to play NFL safety as it is and doesn't run like the wind. He also doesn't have the wingspan of his teammate in Miami. All things that drop him down, or out of the draft. Can the NFL modify its rules a little, give guys a chance to get evals before they have to make the final leap? Seems that might be best for both sides. Maybe they do and I'm just not aware.
Don't forget that these young men have been told by family and coaches for years that they're going to "the league." You can also bet they were told during recruiting that choosing the Ducks gave them the best chance at the NFL. Add in the fact they wanted to believe all of it! Not exactly a tough sell for any agent...
Might make more in college: Heard the discussion on talk sports radio today: (3/29) Tennessee football made a big statement last week when the program landed the commitment of 5-star quarterback recruit Nico Iamaleava for a rumored $8 million NIL contract.
Anothering sobering factor: "The average NFL career for an offensive lineman is about three-and-a-half years. The average NFL career for a wide receiver is a little more than two years."
USFL pays $4500/game for roster players..
I agree - very sad - and our Ducks athlete department shares some responsibility. The university need to give MORE help to student athletes during times of transition! 🦆🦆🦆
Jon, you left out the benefit of getting a college education. I realize that a UO degree isn’t as prestigious as a UW degree, but it’s something.
Each young man is an individual, not a 'set' to be lumped together as the same to try to prove a point, even if the point is obviously sometimes true
CJ couldnt stay uninjured. Yet another injury plagued college season was not apt to get an ex 3 star recruit already high mileage small running back drafted. I dont think another year would have made any difference.
McKinley was an all american who lead the nation in interceptions. His measurables of smal size and lack of speed kept him from getting drafted. The chance of getting bigger or faster after 4 years of college is remote. How do you improve on an all american season? Maybe knowing Lanning would hire a dedicated speed coach, he should have stayed, as .2 off his 40 at the combine would have gotten him drafted, but at the time of his decision the speed coach had not yet been hired and most all americans get drafted as one of the supposedly top 22 players in the country, so easy to understand his decision to strike when he thought the iron was hot.
Williams obviously should have stayed and been a focal point of a more pass happy Dillingham offense. My guess here is a lack of desire to be in the classroom. The problem is that most teams are not willing to risk their draft picks on a player who doesnt have the ultimate motivation in college to suddenly capture that after getting paid.
Wright is the sad story here. He had a 'down' year in 2021 as it was. Why in the world would you leave after your worst year and not come back with a vengeance to improve within a Dan Lanning led defense?... Wright could have been a star in the coming 2022 season, as well as improve his rather pedestrian 40 time.
In some cases going "free agent" (glorified walk-on" is a God send. Take me for instance. I had a horrible senior year at Oregon. I had a mediocre four years. However, I signed free agent with Seahawks in '84. I would've been a fool to pass that up.
Not so for the four gentlemen we are talking about. I'm sure another year with Lanning would've proved fruitful for all of them. CJ Verdell in particular. With Lanning's offense the running game will blossom. No more "stacking the box" for defenders vs. that horrible "pistol" offense. Verdell would've went in the second easily had he stayed. I'm sure the others would've faired well also in the draft.
Hopefully they will all make their teams playing roster. The fact is, any time you are invited into a pro camp whether you are number on pick of last free agent its a ligetimate shot. They don't just invite anyone to camp. Some low draft choices and free agents have not only made their squad but had great careers. I wish my fellow Ducks well. Go Ducks!!
These guys live in a dream world…the biggest challenge they need to overcome is an unrealistic self evaluation…they think because they’re treated like celebrities that they’re actually something really that special…very few of them got into college for any other reason than their athletic talent…and very few have any aspirations other than the NFL….they’re easy prey for those who blow smoke up their butts…none of them will be playing football by the time they reach 25 yrs old…and they’re probably totally unprepared for the real world that lies ahead.