A record 98 underclassmen declared for the 2014 NFL. 36 of them were not drafted. 2 others had eligibility left (**), but chose to give it up and leave for the NFL and were not taken.
The list includes many recognizable names. RB George Atkinson – Notre Dame , RB Brendan Bigelow – California, WR Chris Boyd – Vanderbilt, RB Isaiah Crowell – Alabama State, DT Carlos Gray – North Carolina State, TE Xavier Grimble – USC , CB Vic Hampton – South Carolina , **LB Adrian Hubbard – Alabama, **S Dion Bailey – USC, CB Kameron Jackson – California, DT Anthony Johnson – LSU, RB Henry Josey – Missouri, TE A.C. Leonard – Tennessee State, DB Albert Louis-Jean – Boston College, TE Colt Lyerla – Oregon, CB Loucheiz Purifoy – Florida, DL Kelcy Quarles – South Carolina, OL Antonio Richardson – Tennessee, CB Marcus Roberson – Florida, and RB James Wilder Jr. – Florida State
This news is troublesome for many people.
I’m not going to tell you it makes me happy. It does not. I’d like to see everyone drafted. It doesn’t work like that though. In life people fail. People don’t live the dream. You have to find other things do in life. There are a ton of seniors who didn’t get drafted either. Many of them will never play football again. With or without a degree they have to find a job.
To see so many underclassmen go undrafted to me is not troublesome at all. I’d argue most of them would not have been drafted even they had gone back to school for one more year.
It’s also worth noting that being drafted doesn’t mean you have a career. It doesn’t even guarantee you a spot on the team. Some pundits argue you are better off being undrafted than picked in the 7th round because you can choose your own team and even find out how many teams are interested in you. The kids above may actually still have football careers. They didn’t have their dreams crushed just yet.
Why am I not bothered like many over this???
Well, these kids we call kids are actually adults. They are plenty old enough to make adult decisions. Who am I to say they made a bad decision? I don’t have all the facts.
Maybe they don’t care about getting a degree.
Maybe they were about to flunk out.
Maybe they were never in school for a degree to begin with.
Maybe they hated school.
Maybe they left because they knew staying in college another year wouldn’t help their pro prospects.
Maybe they were going to lose their starting spot on the football team.
Maybe they didn’t like their coaches, teammates, or the city they lived in.
Maybe they left for family reasons.
Maybe they needed the money.
Maybe they left for health reasons.
Maybe they left because they wanted to be a pro football player now.
Maybe some of them got bad advice.
That last one is what most people say and/or assume. That could be the case for a few of them. The majority of them? No way.
These players all get evaluations and have an idea where they might be picked. And I don’t mean some mock prediction from a year ago. They get real up-to-date info from the NFL. They make a decision with that knowledge. Most of these kids made that decision in spite of being told they might be drafted late or not at all. Everyone of them probably had their reasons.
If they can live with that, why can’t I? Why can’t you?
Tuck: No Tears For Underclassmen Not Drafted by Mike Tuck