Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oregon CB Thurmond done for season

You may not find a stronger proponent for higher education than yours truly. I believe the college experience--from both the educational to the social aspects--is invaluable to young people, especially today. Those who believe it's a waste a time and/or money have no idea what they are missing.

However, I am also a realist. College is not for everyone, or perhaps more accurately, a college degree is not for everyone.

The number one goal of going to college is to develop skills to help you ensure a successful and productive life once your school days are done. I often use that argument when today's student-athletes are faced with the decision to leave school early for the professional ranks or to stay in college for another season or two.

Granted, every case is different, but for the upper echelon of uber talented athletes, staying in school sometimes has its consequences, and Oregon's Walter Thurmond III is the latest example.

Thurmond, who came extremely close to entering the 2009 NFL Draft, suffered a season-ending knee injury in Saturday's win over Cal. Instead of rehabbing that knee with a professional team, who would be paying him while doing so, Thurmond must now try to get back to a level of strength and conditioning by January so he can work out for NFL teams with hopes of someone taking a chance on him.

Once a guaranteed lock for a high draft pick, Thurmond is now viewed as damaged goods by professional scouts and talent evaluators. Instead of determining where he should be picked in the draft, some teams will soon determine whether he should be drafted at all.

Here's hoping that Thurmond's work ethic and desire will help him prove to NFL general managers, coaches and scouts that he is still worthy of a chance.

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