The decision as to whether to turn pro or not depends on a lot of things.
One consideration is which position you play. Some positions, like running back and defensive line, easily translate to the next level. Others, like quarterback and receiver, are notoriously difficult to play well in a rookie season.
Another consideration is the year’s draft class. If your position is stocked with good guys, the numbers dictate that someone is going to fall to the second round when he could be a first rounder in a normal year.
From there you can go forever on smaller considerations like the type of scheme you come from, whether you’re injury-prone, and things like that.
The second consideration appears to be why Brandon Spikes will again be in Gainesville next season. With higher profile guys like Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis coming out, this year’s draft is stocked at linebacker.
While Spikes made a lot of improvement this season, most notably in leadership and pass coverage, he reportedly would be the guy who gets bumped to the second round. For that reason, it makes sense for Spikes to come back.
Percy Harvin is leaving however. I don’t think it was considerations one or two that got him, but more likely a host of other ones. The primary concern would be his injury-prone nature. I’ve said it several times: it makes more sense to be paid millions to rehab than to do it for a scholarship.
He also is coming out at the right time. Similar players Ted Ginn and DeSean Jackson had good years, so players like him are enjoying success now. Plus, he can operate the wildcat that is so en vogue.
He will have stiff competition for draft position from Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin, but if he can be healthy by the combine, Harvin will do fine for himself. The fact that he can be both a credible running back and receiver means he can have a nice long career in the mold of a Brian Westbrook or a Marshall Faulk.
I am very excited about the 2009 Gator defense, now that it officially has every member of the two-deep coming back. It could end up the best in school history. It will definitely have a shot of getting there statistically thanks to the schedule rotating Miami, Hawai’i, and Ole Miss out for Troy, FAU, and Mississippi State.
I also wish nothing but the best to Percy Harvin in the NFL. I have no doubt that if he can keep in one piece, he will excel on the next level. Thanks for being an awesome Gator, Percy, and you might give me a reason to actually pay attention to some part of the pro game next fall.