Life is never dull when you cover the University of Miami.
UM wide receiver Tommy Streeter had made his decision to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft, his father and mother both told me today.
He had a long, long meeting with Coach Al Golden, and not sure if any other coaches were in there (don't think so, but not positive). Golden apparently swayed Streeter enough to make him wonder when he walked out of that meeting. UM coaches believe Streeter will be drafted fourth or fifth round, from what I've been told.
I think Tommy would be drafted higher than that.
Streeter told me after that meeting that he still wants to turn pro -- yet on the other hand, he said he wants to be absolutely, positively sure of his decision. "I want to make sure I'm 100 percent,'' he said.
Sounds like he's confused, and understandably. Also sounded to me like he's leaning heavily toward going. If I had to guess, I'd say he's going to turn pro.
For UM's sake, hope he stays and gets that extra year in. He could cement his status as a first-rounder if he comes back. I think it could only help for him to show consistency in his success over more than one season.
Keep in mind, however, that Tommy is 6-5 and 217 pounds and runs a 4.36-second 40-yard dash. He is amazingly fast for a very tall man -- great attributes for a receiver. That won't get past NFL teams.
This won't get past them either: 811 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 46 catches.
Also important: Tommy is a young man of high character. He's intelligent, too.
Yes, he's only had one great season, but he rarely played before this season. He was not a favorite of Randy Shannon's, and Streeter himself said he changed his attitude before this season.
If Tommy leaves, his absence would be a major loss for the Hurricanes, who also are losing second-leading receiver Travis Benjamin, a senior, as well as senior LaRon Byrd. Allen Hurns, an upcoming junior, would return as the only veteran wideout. Hurns caught 31 passes for 415 yards and four touchdowns this past season.
"He believes he's ready,'' Tommy Streeter Sr. told me today. Mr. Streeter would like his son to stay in school, by the way.
Tommy Sr. told me TJ -- Tommy Jr -- "loves coaches Al Golden, Jedd Fisch and George McDonald, but he feels like it's time for him to move on.''
Now they will get together as a family again to discuss his future.
Tommy Jr. is majoring in sports administration and is on pace to get his degree in May, which I believe he still could get by arranging some internship hours.
It appears if he turns pro, he'll sign with Drew Rosenhaus. I was assured by both parents, in no uncertain terms, that Tommy has NOT yet signed with any agent.
This is a good, close family.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN
As for UCLA being interested in Al Golden, it's probably true -- or else a ploy to get folks from thinking of other options. But even so, I would be more than extremely surprised to see Golden leave now. What does it take for people to believe he's here for at least now? I hope I'm not crazy, but I just don't see it. Manny Navarro, who is covering the Dolphins game today, said he and some other reporters talked to UM president Donna Shalala, who was at the Dolphins game.
He said she assured them that Golden is staying at UM and wants to be with the Hurricanes.
Here's are the quotes, word for word, that Manny just emailed me, from Donna Shalala, during her interview with Manny and some other reporters:
Why the extension?
Shalala: "He wanted to stay. There is no question he
wanted to stay. We simply had to make sure we sent the message not
simply to him and the people he put together but to the Hurricane
family and all the kids thinking that have been a Hurricane all their
life and they want to play for the University of Miami."
Is anything sure in this business?
"No. But just because someone calls up -- this guy wants to be with the
University of Miami. He's an excellent coach."
What about UCLA and other schools calling for him now?
"Did you hear the story about Ohio State approaching me? If you're good enough
you're going to get calls every week. And particularly as the break
comes and the number of vacancies there are in the country, everybody
is going to call anybody who is talented. All that is is a sign that
we did the right thing."
Here's more on other schools coming after Golden:
"I know the rhythm of when coaching vacancies come out. Look at the difference it has made already. You make the announcement early enough. Other vacancies open
up. Of course UCLA and other schools are going to call. Everybody is
going to call everybody. When you're really good, you get phone calls."
Why the 4th quarter announcement of Golden signing, during the Boston College game?
"The reason it was announced when it was because the trustees were here for the game. We needed their approval and we did it at halftime. Once they do it, you've got to get it out. Since we got it done I needed a chance for the athletic director to explain it to the trustees here at the game. Once they said 'Yes,' we could make the announcement. It was actually a rational decision on our part. Once you get that number of people in the room, it's going to leak. At halftime we took an empty suite, gathered the trustees, briefed them on where we were and they said "fine." So, there was no reason not to get it out. I also knew after the last game there were going to be a lot of vacancies. So, it was
really a matter of talking to them. It seemed weird to you, [but] totally rational [to us]. If you were in my place and could get all your trustees together at halftime you would have done it that way. You need it approved by the board of trustees for a long contract extension. We happened to have them in one place. It seemed like a rational type of thing.
What did you like about the team this season?
"I like the discipline. I don't know enough about football. But everybody around
me who knows about football feels very strongly that he's a tremendous
coach. Everything is right about him. The way he works with young
people, his expectations, about the standards he brings, about the
values he brings. We're very pleased and obviously we're prepared to
make the kind of commitment he needed to build the team."
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN and MANNY NAVARRO