THE THREAD: C&F ISN'T GOING PRO YET
Well, it doesn't look there's going to be much suspense when it comes to whether Darren McFadden will go pro after this season.
Over the weekend, his mother said flat-out that the Arkansas RB/QB/WR/last hope will be headed for the NFL and the
"He told me [Friday], 'Mom, I'll be through in December,'" Mini Muhammed said. "I said, 'What you mean?' He said, 'I'll be through.' That's what he told me."
Asked if that meant her son would be entering the draft and joining the NFL, Muhammed said, "Yeah. He'll be making big money." ...
In Fayetteville on Wednesday, McFadden told ESPN.com that he did not anticipate making a decision on his future until after the season was over.
"A lot will have to do with how I perform this season, McFadden said.
Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said much the same thing Wednesday when asked about McFadden's pro future.
"We'll make the right decision," Nutt said, noting that the Razorbacks have been through this several times in recent years with underclassmen leaving early for the draft.
Arkansas football spokesman Kevin Trainor said Friday night that the school had no response to Muhammed's statements. Trainor did reiterate that McFadden and Nutt stand by their Wednesday comments that there will be no decision on McFadden's future until after this season.
After his comments, Nutt quietly wept for five minutes.
First of all, C&F trusts what McFadden told mama over what he told ESPN.com. And McFadden's mother is right -- the man with no seeming limit on what he can do (save perhaps place-kicking) will make "big money." (Btw, December? Is he already putting Arkansas in the Peach Bowl? Music City Bowl? No bowl at all?)
The problem C&F has with early leavers is that they often don't know what they're getting into. Did Sidney Rice talk to anybody about the difference in guaranteed money -- most NFL contracts are written in promises, dreams and mirages -- between being a Top 10 pick and a Top 50 pick? Maybe he did, but C&F bets that a lot of these young men -- and let's not forget they are young men -- don't.
They talk to agents and experts and listen to the Mel Kipers of the world and think they can make money NOW. Why waste another year in school? Why risk injury?
What they don't understand -- or tend to forget as agents mentioned number these guys have never dreamed of -- is that the extra year can make the difference between huge money and playing time and spending four years on several pro teams' practice squads before quitting in frustration.
On the other hand, C&F also loves what Houston Nutt said: "We'll make the right decision." C&F imagines McFadden's first reaction was, "Who is this 'we' of which you speak?"
McFadden has apparently already made a decision, and it looks to be the right one. The question is how many players will make the wrong one when January rolls around.
Elsewhere this weekend:
--For those who don't read over the weekend, the previews that have posted since Friday afternoon include: South Carolina vs. Georgia, South Carolina vs. S.C. State, Week 4, South Carolina vs. LSU, Week 5, South Carolina vs. Mississippi State.
--Sorensen supports Spurrier. After the board of trustees supports Spurrier. And Spurrier had these problems all along. The question is, who exactly is making decisions up in Columbia and why are we still wrestling with issues that everybody says should have been taken care of. "Clearly, the lateness in the summer in making that final decision is undesirable." You might think that's a mealy-mouthed quote, but that's about as strong as things get coming from the Midwesterner. But the university brass still seems to be convinced that the solution to APR is getting rid of students who need help to graduate instead of giving them the support needed to graduate. It's easy to leave people behind when you've already gotten the benefits of a degree, right?
--A good piece in The State summarizes the issues surrounding redshirting and what it might mean for Garcia and Smelley. Some people have already made up their minds on Garcia. (Shocker, I know.) Spurrier says Garcia needs more time (shocker, I know), and the two phenoms are still knotted for No. 2.
--Got milk? And Gatorade? Hey, it it works, you can call it Husky-ade and get Keith Jackson to narrate your commercials. No, really, you don't have to thank me.
--Georgia Tech's quarterback can beat up your quarterback. And maybe even your defensive end. AJC scribe Matt Winkeljohn -- who already has one of the best names in newspapers -- really deserves a raise for essentially getting out of the way of an amusing story.