DeShone Kizer; College Players Moving On To The NFL.
(ThyBlackMan.com) The 2016 college football season is nearly concluded with only bowl games and the highly anticipated College Football Playoff coming later this month. There is still significant college football news prior to the college football bowl games as head coaches are still being hired in places with openings and some college football players themselves having to make one of the toughest decisions of their lives in deciding whether to leave college for the NFL Draft. Earlier this week, Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer declared for the NFL Draft, leaving two years of playing eligibility at Notre Dame. As soon as Kizer hires his agent to represent him, he will be ineligible to return to play football at Notre Dame. There are some prominent voices who say that Kizer is making a mistake by leaving college early for the opportunity to play football professionally but those voices need to realize that there are numerous factors as to why it is okay for college football players to leave college early to pursue their NFL dreams.
DeShone Kizer is leaving Notre Dame at 20 years old for the 2017 NFL Draft, where he could be drafted potentially as a first round draft pick. The last pick of the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Germain Ifedi, signed a four year contract worth $6.69 million in guarantees including a signing bonus of slightly over $4 million. Few 21 year old college graduates in America will make $4 million in their lifetimes, let alone right out of college like Kizer has the opportunity to do. Kizer is currently projected as first round pick and a top five quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft so he appears to be making the right decision. However, NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have issues with Kizer’s decision. Kiper recently wrote that Kizer “has to go back to school,” with McShay adding: “Mel is right, Kizer needs another year.”
Whether Kiper and McShay believes Kizer needed to stay in school because he needs more development as a quarterback or as an individual or a leader, they both forget that the physical nature of football makes every game and practice an injury risk waiting to happen. There are no guarantees that Kizer or any college athlete who leaves early to play football professionally will be drafted higher a year later. It is sensible to leave college under those circumstances.
People are aware that college football players do not get paid and it is worth debating whether they should. While getting a college education is very important, some high school football players go to college specifically to prepare to play professional football. It is unusual to criticize college football players leaving school early who are ready to be paid for such a physically demanding sport. There is more information than ever about the devastating effects of playing years of football and it makes sense that college football players would want to cash in as soon as possible. Even if DeShone Kizer never has the long career that his football “potential” says he could have, it makes sense to him and his family to pursue the opportunity to make millions of dollars while he physically can.
Staff Writer; Mark Hines