“The information is power.”

Some of y’all have mentioned Trent Thompson leaving school early for the NFL draft, only to go undrafted.  For us, he’s the face of this statistic:

Thompson was one of 37 of a record 106 underclassmen who declared to go undrafted, according to NFL.com.

So if you’re a kid who leaves early, you’ve got roughly a one-in-three chance of not being drafted.  With that kind of percentage, someone needs to explain why it’s a bad thing for kids like Thompson — and note that he has signed a pro contract post-draft — not to have the option of returning to school if his dreams aren’t met.

Would it lead to some potentially messy roster management issues?  Perhaps.  But I’m guessing if Kirby has his druthers, he’s rather have that problem than losing a talented, experienced kid for good.


Filed under The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

37 responses to ““The information is power.”

  1. Any early entrant who doesn’t get drafted should be able to return to school as long as that player would be academically eligible.

    Any early entrant who doesn’t receive a round 2 grade from the NFL should return to school regardless if he is academically eligible.

    Trent got bad advice and/or has a family that needs the money. I think the mystery of why he left school last spring and his injury history burned him. Good luck to him.


    • DoubleDawg1318

      Definitely agree with returning to school if you get less than a round 2 grade. It’s really a lose lose for everyone. Georgia loses their most talented interior defender at a position that desperately needs more depth, and Trent loses because his playing days may be over prematurely. Hopefully he can get his degree and make the transition to the working world, but it doesn’t sound like his family support system is particularly strong.


    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      “I think the mystery of why he left school last spring and his injury history burned him”

      HIPAA may keep us from knowing about his injury (injuries?) and as a result it may be a ‘mystery’ to us, but the NFL gets to solve the mystery before it pays folks. Trenton surely knew this would be screened so I am not sure how much bad advice he got, because he may well have decided to get something before he played another year in college and got injured even further. He has had a lot of bad breaks – some may have been his own doing – and I do wish him well. I kind of doubt he would be coming back to school even if he had the option.


      • Keese

        Trent really did have a bad reaction to some of the pain meds he was given from his shoulder surgery. His blood pressure went through the roof as a side effect…which is what happened the night he was questioned. Rocker leaving he was also devastated. He was like a father figure. This is what I was told by a teammate


  2. Biggen

    Roster management would be a nightmare. Wouldn’t you have to “hold” a scholarship for all the players that declare but might not get drafted and decide to come back? If the draft was held before NSD then it may not be of big as an issue.

    But for schools that sign the max number of recruits per cycle, there will be some disappointing recruits that get their scholarships pulled because a returning upperclassmen didn’t get drafted. I don’t know. I think if you decide to roll the dice and take your chances with the draft, it should be a one way street.


    • Jack Klompus

      Is this about the kids or the rosters? I think folks need to lay off Big Jolly and his decision. Not sure this decision was his.


      • Biggen

        What about the incoming kids you told you had a school waiting for them only to be told it was pulled because a guy didnt get drafted? See Toneil Carter but on a much larger scale.


      • Skeptic Dawg

        Jack, I have heard from multiple sources that Trent’s mom is a…to be polite let’s say a bit of a wild woman in Albany. She allegedly forced this decision upon him in hopes of a rather large financial gain.


    • 1smartdude

      “Roster management would be a nightmare”
      Maybe not. Reading this article https://www.dawgnation.com/football/recruiting/georgia-signee-will-take-a-gray-shirt-enroll-in-2019 Kirby looks to have a way around those things. I remember a time when Saban was shit for these type of moves, I guess it’s all a part of the process here now.


      • Bulldog Joe

        Two Defensive Stat Lines for 2017:

        Solo 20, Ast 18, TFL 3.5 -7 yds, Sacks 0, QBH 1, FumRec 0, Saf 0

        Solo 13, Ast 14, TFL 3.5 -9 yds, Sacks 1, QBH 4, FumRec 1, Saf 1

        DL#1 = Trent Thompson, DL#2 = Jay Hayes.

        Similar stat lines and experience, except Hayes will play for us in 2018. Player leaves early and there is no drop off (weakness). In 2018, if you are committed to competing for a championship, it’s what you do. No more ‘throwaway’ seasons.


  3. DoubleDawg1318

    I think you’d almost certainly have to change the date of the NFL draft if you want the undrafted guys to be able to come back to school. It could get really messy in a hurry, trying to get these guys back while not screwing over an incoming freshman.



    TT78 made his choices, for whatever reason…I wish him well.


  5. Bright Idea

    Are we sure his leaving early wasn’t roster management?


  6. Arhondawg

    I have always felt like we have been in the dark on Trenton. From the bizarre incident last year to him getting demoted to second/third string during the season, it has always seemed like a big part of the story was missing. Something has been up with Trenton for awhile that nobody will talk about. I wish him well.


  7. Derek

    I would agree that there should be that option for guys who don’t sign with an agent and then see what happens. As far as roster management, the coach can tell the kid if there’ll be a place waiting for him or not before he declares and then that can be part of the decision making process.

    If Trent’s issues with NFL front offices are due to off the field issues chances are that coming back wouldn’t have helped. He probably be backing up Tyler Clark anyway.

    As far as money is concerned what is the gap between a free agent signee and a 6th and 7th rounder? I wouldn’t think a lot but maybe I’m wrong.


    • Reipar

      It is a huge difference. Even a seventh round pick will get 2-3 million on a four year contract with at least some of it guaranteed. Undefeated free agent make the league minimum if they make the final roster cut. That is only about $480,000 on a one year deal.


  8. Bulldog Joe

    Onward and upward. It’s all about what he does now.

    Isaiah Crowell exceeded expectations as an undrafted free agent with Cleveland and recently signed a $12M contract with the Jets. Trent has the talent to do the same.

    Having Nick Chubb there will be a good thing for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. doofusdawg

    Probably a great idea. If his dreams aren’t met but he cashes the check and comes back to school then his agents can lawyer up and have his stipend garnished.

    Guess we will have to wait for the first complaint against the school and the ncaa because they are depriving him of his rights to get an education… wait.


  10. Former Fan

    It would be nice if the NFL didn’t require you to “declare” for the draft. Then they could draft anyone they wanted that was a junior or senior. Let the draft pick stand for a minimum of 2 or 3 years to protect the team in case a player decided to stay in school after being drafted by a team he didn’t like.


    • 92 grad

      This is the basic free market solution. A job offer is a job offer whether you’re a teacher, businessperson, or an athlete. If an nfl team wants to offer a job to somebody then offer it. They could still keep the picking order to satisfy their pick (peck?) positioning, or whatever they do.


  11. HR

    Very surprised to see Atkins, Bellamy, Sanders and Thompson undrafted.


    • Not surprised about Sanders … a safety who isn’t a solid tackler and hasn’t been a special teamer isn’t going to get selected. More surprised Atkins didn’t get someone to take a late round flier on a space eating DT/NT … same with Bellamy and Thompson.


  12. I would be curious to see what the statistic says for those who graded Round 3 or lower. That probably looks more like a 1 in 2 chance of not being drafted. As a couple folks said above, anybody with less than a Round 2 grade, it’s hard to say there’s many good reasons to leave school early.


  13. I said it then and it proved true. It was very unwise for Thompson not to return for his senior season. It probably cost him several million dollars at the very least. I’m fairly certain he was advised to stay in school. Unfortunately to many see dollar signs now rather than listening to good counsel.
    To your question: on why ” not to have the option of returning to school if his dreams aren’t met”. He has an NFL contract so if that was his dream he’s there. He made a foolish decision so now he has to live with the consequences. To do otherwise would open a lot of other people up to much uncertainty.


  14. I thought players could return so long as they don’t sign with agent?


  15. Debby Balcer

    Amen. Great points.


  16. 3rdandGrantham

    As I mentioned yesterday, TT had no choice but to leave, and he will go down as the first ever #1 HS recruit to go undrafted in the NFL.


  17. Q

    Why does the percentage matter? Seems like a good idea to let them come back regardless of the number declaring. Surely many more eligible guys would throw a hat in the ring for the hell of it.


  18. John Denver is full of shit...

    I prefer you let players speak with agents with coaches or assistant coaches present at specific dates determined before the season begins and all participating ncaa scholarship players have an opportunity on same dates at all schools 1,2,3,or 4 opportunities to get feedback on their projected career.

    Amazing how a biochem major can be wined n dined n private jetted, but a football or basketball player can’t.


  19. ApalachDawg

    TT will play in the new football league. His playing days aren’t over.


  20. CB

    Always the gray shirt route. That’s clearly in play now for CKS.