Every year at South Carolina, it seems as though some of our better underclassmen players take the potential for NFL money and run.
Last year, it was Clifton Geathers.
The year before that? Captain Munnerlyn, Emmanuel Cook and Jared Cook.
The year before that? Sidney Rice.
Could it be Tori Gurley this year? Please say it ain't so!
There are many reasons why this would be a terrible idea for him, and I am truly hoping this is just a rumor.
Take a look at the list above. How many of those names do you actually know if you are not a South Carolina fan?
Probably just one: Sidney Rice, who is a bonafied NFL star.
Some of you may know of Captain Munnerlyn, who left his junior season and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 7th round. He has played pretty well as of late, intercepting passes and becoming a dangerous threat as a punt returner.
However, was giving up his senior season, where he would have most certainly been an All-SEC candidate cover corner, really worth a 7th round draft status, a small contract and a tough road?
Clifton Geathers, who had an OK junior season, bolted and got drafted in the seventh round this year by the Cleveland Browns. He is now on his fourth team. He appeared in one Miami Dolphins home game before being banished to the practice squad.
Are you telling me that he wouldn't have benefited from South Carolina's superb season this year? He would have been a sack artist on an already tremendous defensive front.
Emmanuel Cook? He had all the talent in the world at safety. Potentially an All-American candidate for his senior year, Cook saw flashes of money his junior year and shut it down midseason. Character issues and lack of polish led him to be undrafted.
Waste of a year. He did make a practice squad for the New York Jets, but seriously? Why give up your senior year for that?
Jared Cook still has potential. Drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft by the Tennessee Titans, he has been buried in the depth chart. He has yet to make an impact. He was graded as a potential early second-rounder.
If he stayed one more year, he would have easily been a first round draft pick.
Now, we come to the rumors of Tori Gurley going pro early.
In the words of Keyshawn Johnson, "COME ON, MAN!"
Beyond the fact that you have historical evidence that these sorts of moves don't really work out for the better, he is only a redshirt Sophomore.
You have to be a total phenom to be drafted as a redshirt sophomore. Sidney Rice did it; he was drafted in the second round.
Tori Gurley's numbers for this season are 42 catches for 416 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers will not wow NFL scouts by any means. He is still learning the wide receiver position, as he was really a basketball player before playing for the Gamecocks.
People may be attracted to his 6' 6" and 230 pound frame. Great—just ask Clifton Geathers what a big body can get you.
Please, Tori...stay another year. Develop your craft.
You have the chance to be an Antonio Gates type prospect down the road. We all know Alshon Jeffery steals your thunder, but you are the perfect compliment.
Get bigger. Stronger. Faster. Take some of HIS catches.
If you stick around for your senior year, there is the potential that Alshon ducks out early for the NFL. Then you would be able to establish yourself as a superstar, maybe even worthy of a top three rounds pick.
Wouldn't that be nice?
Stick around. South Carolina is about to go on an unprecedented streak of success. Stay and be a part of it.
Your draft status will improve, as will the "cheddah" you will receive.