To Leave or Not To Leave…That is the Andrew Luck Question
Decision-making is what differentiates a college player from a college elite. It also propels a college elite into the NFL. Whether it’s a tailback finding the most efficient hole to dart through, instead of burying his head and falling forward, or a quarterback choosing the open receiver at the first down marker, instead of taking an endzone shot in double coverage, the art of decision-making will make or break a college player.
These choices and decisions happen hundreds of times a game; every game, but the most important decision happens off the field – the decision to leave school early or stay until one’s senior year is the toughest one.
Joe Montana stayed and is in the Hall of Fame while Jamarcus Russell did not and is currently unemployed. Sam Bradford stayed and injured himself in his senior year while Matt Leinart returned for his senior campaign, lost the National Championship game, the Heisman (which he won both the year before) and watched his once #1 overall pick drop to #10.
Hall of Famer Michael Irvin skipped his senior year, as did Lawrence Philips, but the latter spent time in an out of both the NFL and prison.
So much on the line, so many factors to consider. What’s a player to choose? What goes through his mind?
Let’s take a look at the factors that will influence the decisions of one of FBS’ elite: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
• He will undoubtedly be #1 overall pick – Even though the new CBA will definitely include a new rookie pay scale, with a great agent, he may be the last #1 to extort a ton of money from his team.
• He will go to Carolina – a.k.a “Where Careers Go to Die”. An awful place to play; a demoralized team that has embraced the Culture of Losing. He’ll join Jimmy Clausen (Rookie), Brian St. Pierre (185 career yards) and Keith Null (2 years experience) – how will he grow as a QB with no one to learn from? Could Harbaugh have taught him that much?
• He will leave Jim Harbaugh – From the Penthouse to the Outhouse. Harbaugh took non-elite athletes (as Stanford’s high academic requirements eliminates at lease 85% of the nations top recruits) and turn them and the system into winners. The coaching staff in Carolina is deplorable and they gave away former Pro Bowler Julius Peppers, made invisible another one in Steve Smith and could not get anything out of a running game that boasted two1,000 yard rushers a year ago.
STAY FOR SENIOR YEAR
• He will win – He will be the front runner for the Heisman and the Pac 10 is all his, as the 6 starters he’ll lose from the offense, only C Chase Beeler and FB Owen Marecic are solid contributors .
• He has 1 more year to grow – The only thing better than practice, is more practice. Many have him at being almost flawless, he can work on his deep ball and get a better tendency to set his feet when rushed. He’ll be able to work with 2 speedy WRs in Corey Greenwood and Drew Terell (both clocked at low 4.4s)
• He will finish school – This is obviously a major factor as he has mentioned it whenever asked of his decision. His family is very “Education First” orientated.
Andrew Luck seems like a good standup kid, but has time to reneg on his already announced decision to return to Stanford. Maybe he will change his mind, now that his coach and mentor Jim Harbaugh will be on the 49ers’ sidelines instead of the Cardinals.
Decision Day is January 15th.