Steve Spurrier has repeatedly told his players that it’s not worth it to leave school early for the NFL unless you are going to be a first round draft pick. Repeatedly his players have decided not to take his advice. The latest player to do is sophomore wide receiver Tori Gurley, who sources indicate will enter the draft after the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
“They know how we feel,” Spurrier said. “If you’re not projected a first rounder, you shouldn’t go out. But some of our players in the past think ‘I am going to be a first or second rounder’, and then when they get drafted in the seventh round, like Clifton Geathers, I mean he should have come back. But he wanted to go, if they want to go, we can’t stop them.”
Geathers and Gurley are just two players on a long list of USC players that made the poor choice to leave school early. Ko Simpson, Stanley Doughty, Emmanuel Cook, Captain Munnerlyn and Sidney Rice are a few of the names of guys that should have played another season.
“I still say Sidney Rice cost himself,” Spurrier told SportsTalk. “Now he’s going to make a lot of money with his new contract because he is a great player and a wonderful guy. But if he would have played one more year he certainly would have been a first rounder and that’s four or five million extra dollars for him and his family. The facts are all there, if you are not a first round pick you should stay and play, but obviously players don’t listen to that.”
Gurley is a 23 year-old sophomore and apparently feels his NFL clock is ticking. He’s convinced himself that he can’t improve his stock playing second fiddle to Alshon Jeffery. At 6-5 and 230 pounds, Gurley has an NFL body and is certainly talented, but his chances of making an NFL roster, much less being drafted, appear to be slim.
The more likely scenario is Gurley becomes just another name to add to the list of players who ignored all the signs to chase an NFL dream that in all likelihood will never come to fruition. Like he’s done so many times the past few seasons, Spurrier will shake his head as another player walks out the door early, ignoring reality.
“He’s talked about wanting to go out,” Spurrier said. If that’s what he wants to do, that’s fine. We are all for him.”