Ever hear of the NCAA’s Elite Football Symposium? Me, neither, but it sounds interesting.
Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.
Non-snarky question: does anyone buy this ($$)?
Four-star cornerback Henry Gray feels as if he’s next on the Cook plan. Maybe he’ll get a house like the one on his coach’s wall one day, too. But as he walked outside of Smith’s office and turned the corner for an interview this week, he gave an odd guarantee you wouldn’t otherwise hear from a four-star cornerback who is one of the top five players at his position and a national top-60 prospect overall.
“I’m going to college for all four years, no matter what happens,” Gray told The Athletic.
Is that a guarantee?
“That’s a guarantee,” he said.
What if you’re a first-round pick?
“No matter what,” he said. “Even if I’m a first-rounder, I am staying all four years.”
“My mom. She is really big on school and she is really emphasizing to me that anything can happen in football, so she really ingrained in me that I need to get my education,” he said. “But I am staying all four years.”
Skip the obvious “he’s a seventeen-year old kid” take here — anything can indeed happen, so if you’re a first-rounder after your junior year, why would you risk losing a big pay day by getting injured in your last season in college? You can always come back later to get that degree.
The author presents this as making Gray more valuable to the colleges recruiting him. I can’t imagine many coaches factoring that into the equation, but maybe that’s just me.
Kirbs lays the BS on a little thick with this:
“I wasn’t surprised as high as he went. I thought it would be interesting to see (Michel) went versus (Nick Chubb) because their styles are so different. But in the case where so many kids don’t want to play their last game because they are worried about injury, I really think Sony jumped 20 or 30 picks in his last two games.
“You can say ‘I might get hurt’ or ‘I might go back in the draft’ … well, here’s a guy who was probably going into the playoffs a second-round or maybe third-round pick. And he jumped all the way to the first, which we all know is a large margin.”
Get back to me when one of your kids skips a playoff game, man.
Another recruiting pitch for Kirby:
Blue-chip football prospects weigh a variety of factors when choosing where to spend their college careers.
The opportunity to win championships. Distance from home. Academic degree programs. Family ties. Positional needs. All of these are common considerations for the athletes and points of emphasis for the coaches vying for their services.
However, one factor may stand out above all the rest – and it helps explain how Alabama seems to maintain its spot atop the recruiting rankings on a near-annual basis.
Almost to a man, football prospects want to someday cash NFL paychecks…
In one very important way, Georgia’s sales pitch to the absolute top talent can be more compelling than anybody’s – even Alabama’s. No school is better represented among the NFL’s highest earners than UGA, with the Bulldogs producing four of the league’s top 50 salaries in 2018: No. 2 Matthew Stafford (his $26.5 million payday trails only that of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s $37 million among the biggest cap hits this season); No. 15 Justin Houston, the highest-paid non-quarterback on the list ($20.6 million); No. 33 Geno Atkins ($15.1 million); and No. 45 A.J. Green ($13.75 million).
He just needs to play that back to back with Belichick’s praise. Five minutes tops and he’s on to the next five-star.
… but this is pretty cool.
Y’all think that might come in handy on the recruiting trail?
… maybe this will add sufficiently to your angst.
I can hear the recruiting trail chatter now… along with Jimmy Sexton’s chuckles.
There is something highly amusing about UCF defensive coordinator Randy Shannon’s argument that college players who are deciding to skip bowl games to prepare for the NFL draft will one day decide to not suit up for certain games in the professional ranks.
“If a team is 6-9, no chance of them making the playoffs, are they going to play or are they going to tank it?” Shannon said. “Especially if you’re on the last year of your contract, option year.”
Tanking? Seriously? Has this guy not paid attention to the number of pro franchises that use tanking as a deliberate strategy to improve their drafting positions? Has he missed the NFL teams that, having clinched a playoff spot with nothing more to play for in the regular season, sit their starters?
“The fact that [Shannon] thinks that [spit] matters to people at this level shows just how out of touch he really is,” a longtime NFL scout told CFT in an email that alerted us to the coordinator’s quotes, adding, “It’s embarrassing.”
This is a league that hired Bobby Petrino, after all. Skipping out isn’t considered a character flaw. Making an irrelevantly big deal about it, though…
By making his private thoughts public, about the only thing that the old-school Shannon has accomplished is to make his — and his football program’s — job on the recruiting trail that much harder. There’s little doubt his words will be used against him by those competing for the very same recruits who could be in a position to make that very same business decision X number of years from now — and know they won’t have Shannon’s support if he maintains his archaic stance.