Which way?

I know on one level, this is coachspeak.  I also know that Kirby Smart has a certain vested interest in players staying in Athens.  Still, I do think there’s an interesting point to be made that this isn’t a normal year to decide to leave early for the NFL draft.

On the conversations with underclassmen regarding the NFL Draft…

“We gather information on these guys based on how they play, what’s going on, how big the pool is at their position. We try to be very honest with them, don’t get emotional about it. We’re not recruiting them like people say. That’s a decision that they have to make. What we want is to arm them with information, and I say the same thing every year, ‘We’re going to give you the information to make the best decision possible.’ Ultimately, you have to make the best decision possible. What value do you put on a degree? What value do you put on preparation, because 100 percent, the higher you get drafted, the longer you’re able to stay. So, ultimately, we want these kids to get drafted as high as possible. There’s value in coming back because they cannot develop in that league. There are no practice reps, there is possibly no Combine, there is no coming to OTAs and getting you better. You’re there, and you’re going to be good enough or you’re not. We can still develop players, and every general manager, scout you talk to says, ‘If you’re going to have someone grow and get better, they’re much better doing it in your organization than ours’ because they don’t have the freedom to get them better. We don’t have a lot of those conversations right now. We’ve had a few, but we don’t have those conversations because we want the kids to focus on being student-athletes and finishing out the season.”  [Emphasis added.]

Evaluations are going to be a challenge, that’s for sure.  Add to that every college player gets a mulligan for this season (hell, Demetris Robertson hasn’t ruled out coming back for another year), along with the possibility that it becomes possible in 2021 for college athletes to monetize their NIL rights and you hope these kids choose wisely, whichever way they go.


Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

16 responses to “Which way?

  1. Couldn’t agree more. What Kirby is saying here makes a lot of sense.


  2. armydawg

    Daniels needs to stay. His sample size against average teams won’t do him any favors. Have a strong campaign in 2021 and he definitely goes first round.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Granthams Replacement

    D Rob could decide to “go pro” due to family reasons. If he does I hope he has his degree to find a job.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this is a year where you almost have to make the decision based on what kind of season you’ve had. You can’t assume you can work your way into a better draft position at the combine or a pro day. If you’re a senior and know you have a good draft position (LeCounte), you leave and start working toward contract #2. If not, you have to weigh the value of getting the degree and one more year of development against the risk of not making a team (in many cases, that may mean stay). If you’re an underclassman, leaving makes no sense unless you are a day 2 or better selection.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. classiccitycanine

    The NCAA has created an untenable situation by extending more eligibility for everyone without raising the scholarship cap. I think very few players should leave early for the pros and I would love to see a guy like D-Rob return, but would Kirby prefer to hang onto an upperclassman reservist or replace him with the next blue chip recruit?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      Yeah, I’ve wondered about this for a while but I guess the NCAA is going to ignore it and just act like it’s no issue. How are coaches supposed to manage recruiting and scholarship limits? It could get ugly.

      Liked by 2 people

      • PTC DAWG

        Agree, the numbers just don’t work if many kids decide to come back for a 5th year.


      • classiccitycanine

        It’s set up to create a lot of cutthroat “processing” of current players and a lot of greyshirting and broken promises to recruits who no longer have a spot. It might be worse than the problem they were trying solve, especially since we actually played a season this year (unlike the spring sports).


  6. Jack Klompus

    Is he laying the ground work for the return of Jamie Newman?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bigjohnson1992

    Agreed. Unless your a real dog, you come back next year. Hell, or transfer to the school of your choice to showcase your stuff if your good enough. Ask Holyfield and many others, even in a normal year, you really are rolling the dice. This year, even more so.


  8. CB

    Robertson would be crazy not to come back or at least grad transfer to a place where they sling it around the field. We’re going to have a crowded receiver room if things go as expected next year. Might be hard to find the field.