It’s that time of year for college football players to decide if they should stay or if they should go. Legendary coach Steve Spurrier has some advice for those struggling with the decision: Make it yourself.
The deadline for college football players to declare for early entry into the 2018 NFL Draft in Tuesday.
Spurrier, a Hall of Fame coach and player known for his time as the Florida and South Carolina “head ball coach,” gave some interesting advice to players who are trying to decide if they should venture into the world of professional football.
“Every young man has to make the call himself. He really does,” Spurrier said during an interview with SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio on Friday. “Us coaches aren’t as smart as a lot of people think we are.”
Speaking off 26 years of experience as a FBS head coach, Spurrier said the one mistake coaches can’t make is trying to talk a player into changing his mind from going pro into staying another year at college.
“You cannot try to really tell him to change his mind,” Spurrier said. “Because if you told a kid to come back, ‘you’re making a big mistake’ and then he comes back and gets hurt, now what are you going to do? He’s going to look at you and say ‘Coach, I may have been a third-rounder but at least I would have made a team.'”
Spurrier referenced an example of a time where he was wrong in trying to talk Houston Texans defensive back Johnathan Joseph into returning to South Carolina in 2005. He’s still playing in the NFL some 13 years later.
The Head Ball Coach also referenced another time when he was right in telling former Florida wide receivers Ike Hilliard and Reidel Anthony to go get paid by the NFL after winning a national title with the Gators during the 1996 season.
“We usually tell them to go if it’s the right time,” Spurrier said of college coaches. “But there are times that we’re wrong, also.”
You can listen to the clip from Spurrier’s interview with ESPNU radio here:
"As coaches, we usually tell them to go if it's the right time, and sometimes we're wrong also." – @SteveSpurrierUF.
The Head Ball Coach shares w/ @MarkPacker the advice he gives to players who choose to enter the NFL Draft early, including the experience w/ Texans CB @JJOE2424. pic.twitter.com/LKQWNP0iFF
— ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM (@ESPNUonSiriusXM) January 13, 2018