For the past few years, we have seen the likes of college football quarterbacks who have passed up millions after a stellar season only to return to school the next year, to name a few, Jason White, Tim Tebow and Matt Leinart.
White and Leinart were coming back from a Heisman Trophy season while Tebow decided to return after accomplishing his second National Title, something achieved by Leinart as well.
Even though Leinart was the only "can't miss" prospect considered big money in the pros out of the three, White and Tebow didn't get the hardware they wanted, as they missed out on a lot of market value the next season. White went un-drafted and Tebow, although and first rounder, was only picked because of his marketability.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, the 6'4, 235 pounds with an arm you can't miss, threw for more than 3000 yards while accumulating 32 touchdowns at a 71 percent completion clip, while only throwing eight INT's. Sounds like a No.1 draft pick right?
It does to me, but you will actually see him again for his senior season at Stanford. Luck passed up being a number one overall draft pick to return to Stanford for his senior year to try to win a Heisman Trophy and compete for a National Title.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with returning to school to achieve your degree. The problem sets in when once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be first overall is bypassed to return to school. What if Luck doesn't complete what is on his to-do list this coming season?
No Heisman, Pac-10 or National Title, and has a mediocre season? Former Washington Huskies Quarterback Jake Locker passed up potential millions he could have earned more in 2010 by returning to Washington to only to have an average season while posting sub-par games.
You have to also factor in what if Luck gets hurt? His worth will immediately be washed away. Obviously no team wants a diminished product.
Maybe Luck will surprise us all and have a stellar, story-like senior season, winning the Heisman, Pac-10 and National title and making all of the doubters eat their words. But sometimes big-time dreams can carry big time risks. Especially if No.1 draft pick money is presented on your table.
Sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry.