Heading into today's draft, I am very surprised that running back Lamar Miller didn't get chosen. I understand there were concerns about his physicality on the field, his blocking, his shoulder. But come on. The guy is fast and has great vision. When a hole opens, bye-bye.
Lamar is someone who can regularly get big chunks of yardage.
But I am so happy for Sean Spence, a really great kid with a really great family. He told me he grew up loving the Pittsburgh Steelers because of their great defenses, and he is so pumped they believe in him. Here's hoping Sean has a long, productive career, which I think he will.
I'm also happy for Olivier Vernon, a quiet young man with a lot of talent. I really think he could have boosted his stock by staying another season at UM, especially in light of hardly getting playing time last season. But honestly, if the rules allow these players to leave college early for the draft, then they have every right to do so if they think it's in their best interest. The thing is, I (and you) have seen so many great athletes get hurt, and then everything can change in one instant. And the fact that Olivier gets to play in his backyard for the home team? Wow! That is an unbelievably rare opportunity for him and his family.
I personally love when these guys stay all four years and are loyal to the program until the end. But if the end happens to occur prematurely, and they leave early, you'd like to think they continue coming back to Coral Gables and giving back to the ones who come after them. That has so much to do with their personalities and internal makeup.
I'm sure several guys (OK, at least a few!) will get drafted today, and once they do, they'll be eager to prove they are better than the obvious NFL perception. Of course, Lamar Miller, who had two seasons of eligibility left, will no doubt be on a mission.
And I frankly don't think the fact that the guys who left early didn't get picked until, possibly, today, will have much bearing on Hurricanes in the coming drafts. They're young, it's their dream and you know the rest.
By the way, I really hope that some of the guys nobody is talking about (LaRon Byrd, Chase Ford, etc.) get drafted also. But one way or another, they'll get their shot as free agents or in some capacity.
Have a good weekend.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN