I remember being in the Marriott Center when Harvey Unga made the public announcement that he'd be returning to BYU for his senior year. It was the halftime of a BYU basketball game, and the crowd when completely crazy when Unga made his announcement.
Now Harvey is gone. He withdrew from school after an honor code violation, and will try to enter the NFL in July's supplemental draft.
The minute I read the news I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I felt, and still feel, monumentally sorry for Harvey Unga. I don't condemn him for making a mistake; I just feel awful that this particular mistake happened to have some pretty dramatic consequences.
Now Harvey walks away from a college degree to make a future for himself in the NFL without going through any workouts and without having the optimal skill set for his size and stature.
He's too big to be a running back.
And he's too inexperienced to play fullback.
Yeah, this mistake (in my humble opinion) hurt Harvey more than it hurt BYU. BYU loaded up at RB anticipating Harvey's early departure to the NFL. Right now we've got 3-5 guys that are highly touted and will ready to step up in the fall. We'll miss Harvey a whole lot, don't get me wrong, but we recruited heavily at RB thinking we wouldn't see Unga again anyway.
So now we move forward, and one of the most popular players in BYU history, and the school's all-time leading rusher, has black mark on his otherwise clean-as-a-whistle name. It sucks.
We love you Harvey. All the best.