Postponing season places NFL prospects in a holding sample

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Big Ten and Pac-12 suspending their fall soccer seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic leaves some NFL prospects dealing with a dilemma: Leave now or go away later.

Take Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, a Heisman Trophy finalist final yr who would have begun the season as one of many favorites to win in 2020. He can be eligible for the NFL draft and virtually actually can be a prime 10 choose whether or not or not he performs one other down of faculty soccer.

But he’s already labored onerous making ready for this season, and the Buckeyes had been anticipated to be one of many prime two or three groups within the nation. There would possibly nonetheless be a Big Ten soccer season to play within the winter — Fields coach, Ryan Day, is pushing onerous for one — however the logistics might take weeks or months to determine.

That forces a holding sample for Fields and different top-tier NFL prospects like Buckeyes cornerback Shaun Wade and offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, and Oregon offensive sort out Penei Sewell, the reigning Outland Trophy winner.

Other gamers, like Purdue receiver Rondale Moore, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, didn’t wish to wait round. They introduced they had been opting out earlier than the Big Ten determined to desert the autumn season.

From a enterprise standpoint, there’s little cause for (Fields) to proceed taking part in within the spring, mentioned Andrew Brandt, a former Green Bay Packers govt and NFL agent who now directs Villanovas Moorad Center of Sports Law. That, in fact, doesn’t take into his account his curiosity of being half of a faculty program, taking part in for his faculty and all these emotional issues.

Day is relying on these issues to tug on Fields, who transferred from Georgia earlier than final season, and a few of his draft-eligible teammates because the coach tries to influence and them to remain round to see what occurs subsequent. But he pressured that the college and Big Ten can’t waste any time determining the following step.

I feel Justin desires to see what the schedule is, Day mentioned. And I feel its our job, and we owe it to those guys to make it possible for we do put the schedule out and put the plan in rapidly right here so guys like Justin can plan for his subsequent yr, subsequent few months.

Fields hasnt mentioned something publicly about his plans because the Big Tens determination was introduced Tuesday however was a number one voice in final week’s lobbying effort by gamers to avoid wasting the season.

Regardless of what occurs, the NFL draft goes to be subsequent spring. So we have now every thing in place right here in Columbus to assist these guys, Day mentioned. “In a traditional cycle, they wouldnt be leaving wherever till January anyhow. So to go someplace proper now to me doesnt make a variety of sense when we have now every thing you want proper right here.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly mentioned it’s onerous to know how one can advise gamers at this stage as a result of there are such a lot of unknowns, together with the switch scenario and the logistics of presumably taking part in two soccer seasons within the 2021 calendar yr.

Theres rather a lot thats new proper now, Kelly mentioned. Everyone is continuous to collect data proper now together with our mates within the Big Ten. Really what does the NFL or different three Power Five conferences do?

(It’s) simply much like our gamers leaving early just like the previous years, he mentioned. “We give all our gamers all the data after which them and their households make an informed determination. Well cross that bridge once we come to it, and effectively make sure that they’ve all the data.”

More AP faculty soccer: and


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