Staying or Going: A Case for Each Player

By Jason Priestas on January 2, 2011 at 3:42p
59 Comments
Posey, Adams, Herron and Pryor say they will be backThey said they'd be back, but will they?

When Ohio State announced the suspension of six players -- four of them starters and key contributors -- for five games at the beginning of the 2011 season feelings quickly turned from shock and anger to wondering if any or all of the suspended players would just go pro early, rendering the suspensions meaningless. Don Tresseleone had a plan for that and announced it at his first media session at the Big Easy: each of the suspended players had given Tressel their word that they would return for their senior season as a condition for being able to travel to New Orleans and play in the Sugar Bowl.

While this sounded almost too good to be true, Tressel played his cards brilliantly, putting the suspended players in a position where they would either have to sack up and accept their punishment next season, or break their word, becoming pariahs in Columbus and Buckeye Nation at large (say goodbye to easy employment hookups and media appearances after your playing career is over, son). On Saturday, when Terrelle Pryor spoke with the media for the first time since the suspensions were announced, he reiterated his commitment to stay for his senior season, but when asked about the other players, he did hedge a little bit, essentially saying every situation is unique and guys may have to do what they have to do.

Forgetting for a minute how bad it would look, both in terms of NFL personnel guys and the Buckeye community at large, for the players to go back against their word and leave early, what follows is an argument for and against each of the four starters heading to the NFL after this season.

Terrelle Pryor

Why he should go: His Q score might be at an all-time low in Columbus right now after news of Tatgate, his comments directed at Herbstreit and the loaner car ordeal hit in rapid succession. He will have a tough time winning any national awards or earning hometown love after sitting for the first five games next year and there's a small chance his replacement could catch fire to start the season, creating a controversy when he steps back into the starting quarterback spot. His measurables (size, strength, speed) will blow away scouts in Indianapolis and if Maurice Clarett can become a 3rd round selection after being labeled as "Slow Mo" following his combine effort after being out of football for two years, surely some NFL GM will take a flyer on Terrelle. Finally, with a disabled father, his family could use the money.

Why he should stay: More than his mechanics or anything on the football field, his legacy needs him to return and eat some humble pie before having a fantastic senior season. He's not ready to be an NFL quarterback at this time and if he wants to play that position at the next level, Pryor will need the reps of a final year, even if it's for only 60% of the season, to elevate his game. More than anything else, he still has a long way to go on the maturity front. Can you imagine how he would respond if his NFL teammates gave him the Tebow Friar Tuck haircut as a rookie? Dez Bryant x 1,000 is how.

Boom Herron

Why he should go: After getting lost behind Brandon Saine a bit last season, Boom emerged as a tough runner this year, finishing with 1,068 yards and 15 touchdowns. That alone will get an Ohio State running back drafted somewhere in the first five rounds. He's become an incredibly rugged back, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of work between the tackles and he holds on to the football -- in over 400 career rushing attempts, he's yet to put the ball on the turf. Boom is also a 4th-year junior, so he's been in the program for a while and may be ready to move on to the next stage of his career. Before this saga started, he was believed to be the most likely candidate to head to the NFL early because he's put in the time and is probably ready for it. Finally, the talented young pups on the roster might be breathing down his neck a bit in the same way Beanie Wells did to Antonio Pittman.

Why he should stay: It's hard for me to sit here and tell a 4th-year junior to stick around for one more season after he just finished putting together a solid performance. Off the field, he's quiet and well-spoken, and outside of Tatgate, he's steered clear of trouble during his time in Columbus. The only reason he should return is to possibly improve his draft stock just a tad (though I don't know how much higher he can push his ceiling) and to keep his word to Tressel and the fans.

Mike Adams

Why he should go: After dealing with some maturity issues his first couple of years on campus, the former all-everything prep lineman won the starting job over Andy Miller and emerged as one of the Big Ten's best left tackles, earning all-conference accolades for his efforts. Adams was a key force behind the improvement in both the passing and run blocking this season and did an excellent job of protecting Pryor's blind side against a schedule that featured some of the best defensive ends in the nation (Watt, Kerrigan, Clayborn, etc.). He's sure to wow scouts at the combine with his good footwork and size (6-8/305) and could easily be a first day selection in April's draft.

Why he should stay: Adams showed signs of growing up on and off the field this season, but you can't help but wonder if another year of excellent work could move him into the first round and the larger payday that comes with that. As a senior, he would also be a leader on a line that will be breaking in at least two, possibly three new starters, depending on what Michael Brewster decides to do.

DeVier Posey

Why he should go: Heading into this season, Posey was thought to be the junior most ready for the NFL after a sophomore campaign in which he totaled 60 catches for 828 yards and 8 touchdowns. He's fluid and has the size (6-2/213), strength and speed to take his game to the next level and scouts will have no problem identifying that at the combine. Finally, his mother has spoken out about the financial hardship she faces helping to pay for his everyday needs in Columbus, so the money would no doubt be helpful to the Posey family.

Why he should stay: Posey was the only one of the four to declare his intent to return for his senior season at the "apology presser" so we have every reason to believe he will be back to improve his game after falling off a bit as a junior. He must work on his concentration and cutting down the drops (the one at Iowa would have haunted him for life had Ohio State lost the game) and with Dane leaving, he will be THE MAN next season. NFL drafts are always packed with elite receivers and this year is no different, so staying for one more year will not only improve his game, but should improve his standing in April of 2012.

In the end, I'll be surprised if anyone but Boom decides to leave early, but as Pryor alluded to yesterday, each player has their own unique situation and considerations and ultimately must do what is best for themselves and their family.

59 Comments

Comments

Ethan's picture

Regarding the 2011 O-Line, Brewster said via twitter that he'll be back next season

Jason Priestas's picture

Yeah, caught that, but never like to assume anything until after January 15th passes. Just for sanity's sake.

Type G's picture

Really enjoyed reading that article where Posey's mom speaks out and agree fully with her.

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"

KenK's picture

I'm not buying it. Please explain why the +100 other players on the haven't have not as far as we know) hawked their bling. Funny that I didn't see a nonscholarship player mentioned in tat-gate.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

OHIOinME's picture

Human Being 101:  Can't compare individual decisions to a non-specific group as a whole.  The only thing they all have alike is they play football for tOSU.  It is just too diverse of a group.  I'm not apologizing, just a wrong rationale. 

Bucksfan's picture

Great article about Posey's mom.  Great to hear such sentiment from the mouth of a parent.  Posey is a good kid, came out of a good high school, it's no doubt a good family who care about the well-being of their children first and foremost.  Pryor makes himself seem less as a victim just by opening his mouth and being a hardass, rightly or wrongly.  He may be a slightly different flavor of personality than what Tressel normally produces, but that's life.  You don't tattoo a block O on your arm if you don't give a shit, and you don't keep your grades up if you have no pride.  None of these kids did it for themselves.  They didn't get early pay from an agent, they didn't take hundreds or thousands of dollar handshakes from boosters (that we know of).  They're doing what they can to help out at home...Tressel always preaches family is the most important thing in your life (biggest reason he opposed lengthening the season by a week was that the kids couldn't go home for Thanksgiving)...it deserves some recognitition that these kids are actually acting out what they're learning from the Man.

I'll use myself as a comparison.  I got a full tuition academic scholarship at Ohio State, and my dad paid for housing, food and books.  But towards the end of my OSU career, my dad fell on harder times and I started having to pay for my own books, and a lot of my own food.  Coupled with the fact that I got one of the family cars senior year, I had to start paying for maintenance for that.  Well, the money I was able to make over the summers ultimately started to run dry, and I was forced to get a job during the school year.  But, I was able to do that just fine since college students really only need to be in class 15-20 hours a week.  I consider myself fairly privelaged amongst college students in all this regard, and there was still no way to make ends meet without getting a job or going into debt.

Football players basically have no time to get jobs when they're not in class.  Football is their job, even in the offseason, and it doesn't compensate them.  Everyone knows about "non-mandatory workouts" that are unspokenly mandatory.  If you're at a major program like OSU, where football supports everything and is a multi-million dollar business, you need to put the hours in to keep that reputation so the cash flow doesn't stop.  You need to meet your team over the summer and practice every day even when coaches aren't around...it's expected.

So, it's a real shame.  There's a legit gap between their current compensation and what their compensation should actually be.

Type G's picture

Well said. It shouldn't be hard to imagine that sometimes it can be virtually impossible for a college student, especially top recruited athletes, to hold jobs in addition to going to school. There is only 24 hours in a day.

I graduated from CCAD and the time that I was there it was indeed impossible to work a job and also go to school at the same time. If you received a scholarship, like I did, you also had to complete a certain amount of volunteer hours every semester, either on or off campus. Then on top of that there's obviously lots of school work. You'd be lucky to get enough sleep at night let alone accomplish all the other things on your schedule. So come summer time I wanted to just rest and actually have a "life". In that sense I can understand what some of these student athletes are going through.

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"

AJ's picture

theres a lot here i just read that made me want to punch my computer screen...

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -----------Woody Hayes

Bucksfan's picture

Feeling's mutual, I'm sure.

AJ's picture

haha you just aint got a clue

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -----------Woody Hayes

Bucksfan's picture

No, I've pretty much stayed up on everything you've said today.

AJ's picture

ohh well ya...then in that case...you may punch your computer screen

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -----------Woody Hayes

Matt's picture

JESUS CHRIST JASON, STARTER OR NOT I NEED ANALYSIS ON SOLOMON "I CAN'T GET OFF MY BLOCK" THOMAS'S ODDS OF GOING PRO EARLY, HOW CAN YOU KEEP ME HANGING LIKE THAT

PLEASE SOMEBODY GET JA ON THE PHONE SO I CAN MAKE SOME SENSE OF ALL THIS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo-ddYhXAZc

Olentangy's picture

thank you for making my night.

How firm thy friendship

Matthew's picture

Solomon Thomas - Why He Should Go: LOL WAT?

Class of 2010

Type G's picture

An informative article from the Dispatch about "full ride" scholarships, which kinda piggybacks that article about Posey's mom:

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2011/01/02/fullridei...

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"

KenK's picture

Nice write-up, Jason. Nice move by Tress to box in these players with committment. Having said that, it does seem that Herron has the most solid case to go pro. 

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

Jason Priestas's picture

Thanks. At this point I'd be surprised to see Boom back next year, but would love it if he did return.

OHIOinME's picture

Boom is the only one that has a reason to leave.  Maybe that's why he didn't speak at media day. JT may have giving him outlet.  He is a 4 year student, may be he graduates soon?  I wouldn't hold it agianst him.  I think he only sold his jersey or something anyway.

Ethan's picture

IMO, selling your jersey is a tougher sell to me (from an "I didn't know I couldn't do it" perspective, and NOT from a Buckeye-lore perspective) than the other memorabilia. Equipment is pretty clearly property of the school, and not your own property. Of all the guys, Boom seems the most guilty of breaking NCAA rules to me

BTwrestle04's picture

100% agree with this.

OHIOinME's picture

I'm sure the players get to keep their "worn out" uniforms or can get a hook up.  I'm sure keeping uniform parts and pieces is not uncommon, though selling it probably is.  If it was the school property, then why wouldn't the school know it?  Why wouldn't he be arrested for stealing and selling stolen property?  That's what you are saying.  He is selling school property and I'm pretty sure that illegal.  I'm pretty sure "illegal" is worse than NCAA regulations or "School Tradition".

buckeyedude's picture

So does that mean Boom is likely not to play in the Sugar Bowl and enter the draft?

 

 

shooodog's picture

The big 10 is a farce.....you all better be glad you didnt play BAMA, or you would be crying in your beer...AGAIN

Every year, osu is ranked at the top at the beginning of the season, you then have only one big game a year... that you never win...and when you do, its played at home with hometown refs, and even then you guys find a loss somewhere else in the schedule. Dont understand it...your the only legitimate team in the conference....RIGHT?  Finally somebody is holding big 10 feet to the fire and instituting a conf championship game...what are you all gonna do? Wont be played at home!

Every year i hear..."were going unbeaten",  "We'll be in the national championship game"

The only championship osu has had in awhile was giving to them...dont count conference championships, your the big east..remember.

Come-on tressel...kick another field goal! 

big10 is a farce

luckynewman13's picture

me likeum sec football, me go sec school and learn speak words good

Leanenaud's picture

Barclay could nail a field goal through yo' momma's missing teeth. Well water is a bitch.

RedQueenRace's picture

"RIGHT?  Finally somebody is holding big 10 feet to the fire and instituting a conf championship game...what are you all gonna do? Wont be played at home!"

I've never understood this argument.  While this year was different as we did not play MSU it isn't as if we have missed the top teams in the conference during recent regular seasons.  What the hell does a championship game change?  You can just as easily wind up with the farce that was the 2008 B12 "championship" game.

BTW, nobody is holding anyone's feet to the fire.  The Big 10 could not hold a CCG with 11 teams.

shooodog's picture

The problem is other conferences have to play one..

and if big 10 had one this year, you dont have to see where one is ranked to figure out who go's to the rose bowl. Its open and shut!

And michigan state gets revealed for the frauds they are.

The problem is they end the season sharing a conf championship with osu and wis.

big10 is a farce

RedQueenRace's picture

It didn't help the B12 when they had to use rankings to figure out who goes to the CCG.  Same problem. Just intra-division instead of intra-conference.

shooodog's picture

I know what you mean...

But more then often the ccg pretty much settles it dont you think?

big10 is a farce

RedQueenRace's picture

It's hard to say as I don't follow each conference outside the Big 10  that closely.

This year the SEC West was so much better than the SEC East that I would say South Carolina was not the appropriate SEC championship game opponent for Auburn, so it definitely doesn't always do it.   If South Carolina had upset Auburn would they be the SEC's best because they won a game labeled as a championship game?

shooodog's picture

yeah..me neither

But sc won there division..

and auburn really played the best team in the conf when they came back from 24 points to beat bama. Bama was probably the best team in the sec...but you got to win your games. And auburn did.

big10 is a farce

shooodog's picture

I dont think auburn is the best team in the country...

But on the days they had to make it count, they won

big10 is a farce

RedQueenRace's picture

Well that more or less makes my point for me.  Auburn had already beaten South Carolina.  They had also beaten a team (Arkansas) that beat South Carolina soundly.  Auburn had already proven that they were the best team in the SEC and a CG was not really necessary.

CCGs can settle uncertainty when the teams did not meet in the regular season or if a team improves significantly from the first meeting.  But they aren't the be-all or end-all of selecting a champion.  I would feel the same way about a playoff if we ever got one.  I'd like to see a playoff happen, but more for the match-ups than the belief that it would decisively select the best team every year.

shooodog's picture

I understand what your saying..

But if the yankees beat tampa 8 outta 10 times, but tampa wins their division and the yankees win theirs, they probably are gonna have to play the best outta 7 if they make it far enough in the playoffs.

big10 is a farce

RedQueenRace's picture

Ok.  But to get this back to the B10, even with the 3-way tie I think the B10 co-champs got sent to the proper bowls.

The team that didn't was Alabama.

shooodog's picture

Have to agree with you..

Nice talking with you red!

big10 is a farce

RedQueenRace's picture

You also failed to understand that the Big 10 could not play a CCG with only 11 teams.  Those are the rules and the Big 10 didn't make them.

shooodog's picture

granted...

but even 6 in one division and 5 in the other would have been better>

big10 is a farce

RedQueenRace's picture

How so?  All you would have is 2 different groupings.  The same schedules would be played and there would still be no CCG.

Pam's picture

The problem is the other conferences have not HAD it play one.   A CCG is optional.  A conference with less than 12 teams does not thave that option.  The Pac-10 and BE haven't had one, and the Big 12 will not have one until they get 12 teams. 

luckynewman13's picture

I have a weird feeling that Pryor is gone...

shooodog's picture

Actually...the 2nd tier teams in sec got problems too...

ask georgia

big10 is a farce

BuckeyeChief's picture

http://bucknuts.com/index.php/Football-Article/ramzy-the-worst-officiating-in-history/menu-id-1346.html 

 

Q: If the SEC is so good 100% of the time, why don't you guys SECed and move to the NFL?

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

Bucksfan's picture

Looks like we have a puppy who lost his way...

shooodog's picture

Not an sec guy..

you have to admit though, they have been dominant

big10 is a farce

Bucksfan's picture

Oh you're just an SEC coattailer...that's the same thing 'round these parts.

Leanenaud's picture

Dominant is an understatement. Even though the league was 0-5 yesterday, the games were fairly respectble sans the schools from the mitten state. I think all questions about Michigan State's luck throughout the regular season were answered. And we all knew Michigan was gonna suck balls.

shooodog's picture

"round these parts"

Hey..im from the midwest

Just tired of the constant osu tribble, every year its there for the taking but they never take it. I just want something more then another Big 10 title... ( Shared of Course )

big10 is a farce

Bucksfan's picture

"The only championship osu has had in awhile was giving to them...dont count conference championships, your the big east..remember."

Git you're self some eng'ish lessons, boy.

Leanenaud's picture

I just don't get the conference pride thing. Pick a damn team.

shooodog's picture

I understand it.

If everybody wins their bowl games...

OSU looks even better!

When they dont, it just shows what a weak conf it is

Just like when you all make fun of the big east conf champion.

big10 is a farce

shooodog's picture

"Git you're self some eng'ish lessons, boy"

Man..i sure will try

Sorry...just not a tressel guy

 

big10 is a farce

Bucksfan's picture

K, what do you want a medal or something? You want validation? You have enough of an opinion as it is, you're not about to get your ass kissed by any Buckeye fan here.

JakeBuckeye's picture

America is a land of the free. You're free to have your opinion. Doesn't mean we have to care or that your opinion matters.

iball's picture

I think its BS these guys have to come back and sit 5 games this year.

Let me say that if Herron, Adams and Pryor are actually needed by game 6, then we got big problems.

A) we definitely don't NEED Herron

B) Adams was a potential leave early guy coming in and Tress had to recruit for that occasion.

C) Pryor was also a potential 3 year guy, thats why getting Miller was huge. At this point I cant possibly see Pryor being ready for the NFL until 2 or 3 years from NOW. His throwing mechanics are god awful.

Lets hope were 5-0 and dont NEED anyone of them.

If going pro is the best move for any of these young men, then that move should be supported. Does Evan Turner ever have to worry about a job, no. Why is football different?

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Type G's picture

I think we have a troll in here.

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"