HOOVER, Ala. – A few hours after Alabama coach Nick Saban addressed early-entry players, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema swung even harder at players he believes are making a bad decision.
“First and foremost, if you’re not invited to the NFL Combine and you even think about coming out, you’re a moron,” Bielema said. “You shouldn’t even have to send any papers.”
The Arkansas coach spoke about the reality of these underclassmen, who are often promised cash and NFL stardom by agents.
“Here’s the situation: no matter how much you like a kid, no matter how much he believes your recruiting, as soon as he gets the possibility to make millions of dollars, they automatically think they’re going to get lied to [by their coach],” Bielema said. “You are the evil man, and this new guy they met named Rick from New York – I hope there’s no Rick from New York in here – guy comes in trying to sell him the goods because he wants a piece.”
Like Saban, Bielema believes an underclassmen scouting combine is the way to turn the tide on the 107 players leaving school early for the NFL draft.
He specified that draft-eligible underclassmen could get accurate measurements and do non-football workouts, like 40-yard dash and bench press. Bielema believes it would give the NFL a better evaluation.
“It would allow for some kids who are making some really poor decisions to go back for another year,” Bielema said.