The topic of the day? BCS Bowls and NFL prospects.
My sister blog, www.CougarCrazies.com has covered the BCS Bowls, so I'd like to talk about Cougars making it big in the NFL.
And no, I'm not talking about over-active middle-aged women looking for young NFL players to hook up with.
We have a lot of talent on our team right now. So much talent, in fact, that BYU fans everywhere are sweating bullets, fearing one of our big-time players will bolt early for the NFL.
I'd like to take this opportunity to bring everyone back down to earth. Including BYU players, if any happen to be reading this.
For starters, let me present you with a short list of past BYU players: John Walsh, Ronny Jenkins, Luke Staley, Bret Engemann. What do they have in common? They all left early to the NFL and they all, with the possible exception of Jenkins, stunk it up big time.
You could even add Trent Plaisted to that list, but the jury's still out on TP, and we're talking about football here.
The point is, BYU players would be well-advised to stay in school as long as they can. We simply don't produce (or attract) the kind of athletes that can leave early (read: guys like Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell or Adrian Peterson).
That being said, though, let's take a deeper look at each of our future NFL prospects, starting with seniors.
1. Ray Feinga--Offensive Line. Big, nasty, good on his feet. Ray will most likely be the only BYU player drafted this year.
2. Fui Vakapuna--Fullback. Fui probably won't be drafted, but I wouldn't be surprised if he signs a free agent agreement to play fullback. He's got the size to be a good blocker, and he can run the ball well if he's so called upon. Plus, the fact that a similar former BYU player, Fahu Tahi, is still doing well in Minnesota leads me to believe Fui can be in the NFL too.
3. David Nixon--Linebacker. You're getting a degree, right D-Nix? Good. I'm just saying... Solid BYU player, but I don't think he has a prayer in the NFL.
4. T-Bright, David Oswald, Dallas Reynolds--offensive line. I have a hard time believing these guys aren't NFL prospects. Maybe I'm just ignorant and biased, but these guys make up one of the best offensive lines in the country. I'll be surprised if Feinga is the only one to get in the NFL.
On to the juniors.
1. Harvey Unga--Tailback. Unga is the best NFL-talent guy on our team, in my humble opinion. He is a bruiser, he hits the hole, he recently reported a 4.5 forty, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield as well as a lot of receivers. I may be wrong, but Unga will be NFL-bound very soon. I won't be surprised when he leaves after his junior season, and I won't be surprised if he bucks the trend of BYU players not doing so well in the NFL. Running backs have a short shelf-life, and Unga has to strike while the iron's hot.
2. Dennis Pitta--Tight End. The key for Pitta is size. If Pitta can put on a few pounds and really learn how to block well, he's an NFL tight end for sure. The NFL doesn't appreciate hybrid guys like Jonny Harline as much as BYU does, which is why Daniel Coats stuck and Harline didn't. Pitta seems to be a nice cross between Coats and Harline, though, and may end up on an NFL roster (though I could see him not getting drafted). I guarantee, though, he won't leave BYU early.
3. Max Hall--Quarterback. Hall's two biggest things working for him now are his accuracy and his attitude. He's a smaller guy, though, and he doesn't have the biggest arm. I'm torn with Hall. He may be drafted, only because he'll put up huge numbers, but I don't know if he'll make it big in the NFL. He may prove me wrong, though, simply because of his gutsy beat-'em-at-all-cost attitude. I think attitude is one thing that is really slowing the progress of John Beck, and it could help Max break into the NFL.
4. Austin Collie--Wide Receiver. Collie is one of the best athletes I've ever seen at BYU. He runs smooth, like a gazelle, and he has deceptive speed. However, in today's world of supermen, I struggle with the thought of Collie making it in the NFL. I know guys like Kevin Curtis and Wes Welker have found their niche, but those guys are few and far-between. The reality is there are going to be dozens and dozens of receivers taken before Collie come draft day. It's not his fault--he just happens to be in a talent-laden position. Some have rumored that Collie will leave early. I don't have any inside info, but in my opinion he would be very foolish to do so.
5. The Janimal, Jan Jorgenson--Defensive End. Another great-in-college guy, but I don't know if Jan could make an NFL team. He's just a little small.
Bottom line: Stay in school, guys. For the sake of fans everywhere--and for the sake of your futures--don't let some BS agent or delusions of grandeur convince you to leave BYU early. Stay in school, get your degrees, and stay as far away from APX Alarms as humanly possible.