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December 27, 2010

College Football Report - Four Suspended Ohio State Players Need to Take the Money:

Terrelle Pryor isn’t ready for the NFL. He’s not ready for the mental training or the physical pounding he’ll experience week-after-week in a 16 game (maybe more) NFL season. What Pryor also won’t be prepared for: A five game suspension to begin his senior season. The same senior season that was suppose to get him ready for the mental and physical hardships of the NFL.

As it’s already known, and argued, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor (left) will miss the first five games of the 2011 season for selling his own bowl rings, game paraphernalia and as ironic as it sounds, his Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award.

Pryor won’t be alone though; he’ll be joined by running back Dan “Boom” Herron, wideout DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, who received money and free benefits, including tattoos for their autographs and game worn products. A sixth player, linebacker Jordan Whiting, will have to sit just the first game of the 2011 season.

The amazing part about all of the suspensions is that they don’t take place until the 2011 season, skipping the teams Sugar Bowl appearance against Arkansas. It’s a whole different article dipping into the fact that the NCAA skipped the Sugar Bowl all-together, though. It’s also a whole other article dipping into how much money the five make for OSU.

The OSU five are now faced with a decision. All are junior’s who are eligible to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft in April. So do they declare, or do they stay?

It’s a tough decision to make for any underclassmen to forgo their senior season; it’s an even tougher one to make when your draft projection says stay in school. But staying in school may not help, having to sit nearly half the season, in some of your teams’ biggest games.

If the players stay, they’ll miss games against Akron and Toledo to begin the season (two stat-padding games to get them into grove), then they’ll miss a trip to Miami (FL) and Colorado and Michigan State at home .Three pivotal games to the Ohio State season and themselves moving forward as football players. The return game would come against Nebraska, not an easy game to start the year or to make a first impression on NFL scouts.

If they leave, four of the five will get drafted, but not where they would have or potentially should be. Thomas sits with the most to lose if he declares. The other four would get drafted, though. But that’s if there even is a draft. The NFL labor agreements are yet to pass through with owner’s signatures and a 2011 NFL season isn’t guaranteed. The owners have until March 4 to get the labor issue resolved, but players must declare for the NFL Draft far before then, with a deadline of January 18.

Although OSU fans would hate to see four of their best skilled players leave (below), I think the decision to bolt is an easy one. Pryor, Herron, Posey and Adams aren’t going to get a whole lot better watching from the sidelines. They all might even look worse entering the season halfway through while their opponents have five games with real game speed under their belt. The potential of an injury is always there as well, and may be even more so entering the season at its midpoint.

Pryor wouldn’t like where he would end up getting drafted. With the potential of quarterbacks Ryan Mallett of Arkansas, Andrew Luck of Stanford and Cameron Newton of Auburn declaring for the draft, the position Pryor falls to deepens. Add in Washington senior Jake Locker to the mix, and he’s fallen potentially out of even the second round. The worry is he’s not yet ready for mental aspect of reading NFL defenses, which may be true. The class Pryor falls into is with Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor, and Delaware’s Pat Devlin, into the third-to-fourth round mix.

For Posey and Herron, things might be better than Pryor’s situation. Posey could work his way into the second round because of the physical attributes he brings to the field and the array of wideouts who could not declare for the draft or if all bring in first round paychecks. Herron sits in the middle of the pack as far as available running backs. With over 1,000 yards on the season, Herron would most likely find a grade ranging from early third-to-fourth round.

For Adams, who started all but one game for the Bucks, a third-to-fifth round grade would most likely be the result. At 6-foot-8 310 pounds, Adams may intrigue scouts with his sheer size and potential in the league, improving his grade. As for Solomon, who isn’t a starter for OSU, what little games he could play in, in 2011, would help his future draft status.

They all may not be the grades they want to hear, but I can’t see playing in potentially just seven games in their senior years really helping them out. The NFL pay I hear, however, is better than having to turn to selling your jersey and bowl rings for money.

The fact of the matter is they’ll be able to start making some money for themselves, rather than just Ohio State.

Pryor Photo Credit: Doug Lesmerises - The Plain Dealer

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All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.