Meyer, Stoops talk NFL

Published: Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 11:48 p.m.

Florida and Oklahoma are expected to have quite a few players consider the jump from college to the NFL following the BCS title game.

Among the big-name underclassmen that could go are Gator quarterback Tim Tebow, linebacker Brandon Spikes and receiver/running back Percy Harvin. On the Sooners' side, possibilities include quarterback Sam Bradford and tight end Jermaine Gresham.

When asked how they would advise their players, the coaches gave these responses ...

Stoops: "My advice is whether financial hardship or not, you need to get your value. If you leave school, there are very few kids or young guys that leave early and get their value. At least that is my feeling.

"If you're going late, if you're going in the second round and after and there's even an argument ... I'll give you an example Jammal Brown. If he comes back for his senior year, wins the Outland Trophy, has a good year, was projected in the second or third round as a junior, comes back and he's the first lineman taken the following year ... he's made probably eight, 10 times the money he would have if he would have if he would have gone the year before. And that money never comes back to you. And he has an opportunity to leave with his degree, or he's a year closer to that degree.

"Everyone says you can always come back and get (your degree). Well, life changes. You've been in the NFL for five years, now you might be married, you have children, and now you're going to go back and go full-time to school? My point is you're giving up too much, I believe, if you're not getting your value.

"(If) Jammal Brown had gone out earlier and went in the second round, everyone says, well he's still making a bunch of money. Well, he's not making the kind of money as a first lineman taken, and he doesn't have his degree and he's going to play for that team for four years at a discount. My whole philosophy, and I believe more and more of our kids are getting it, (is) you need to get your value.

"Again, in that league, what they say is it's not for long. That's what the NFL stands for, and you look at the average career is three-and-a-half years. You need to maximize those three-and-a-half years."

Meyer: "Well, I use (NFL feedback) myself, and when I'm asked that advice ... when I first got to Florida there were people that made decisions. I'm never going to force my opinion on someone. Now I have to (because) I have the kind of team (where) players and coaches are real close. When we got here, the coaches were the bad guys. Now I have starting with guys like Reggie Nelson and those guys are open, this guy is calling me (asking) 'What do I do, coach?' You're like a father.

"It's really tremendous. The guys that will make decisions at Florida from here on out will make very fine decisions. When I say 'fine,' I don't know if it's the right one. It's going to be a decision based on education, that they've talked to the right people, they've done their homework, they've done their research. It's not with some agent, not what some third uncle is going to tell them. He'll be on the phone with Bill Belichick, Jon Grudens of the world, general managers, Jack Del Rios, guys I have good relationships with. If (the athletes) want to talk to those people, talk to them, but make the right decision. That's a family decision.

"I know the guys we have will make the right decision."

When asked about Tebow specifically, Meyer continued: "Will I convince him? Absolutely not. I'd put him on the phone with the right people and lay it all on the table and have his mother, his father and if he wants a brother there, but no one else. I don't want if someone wants to put their adviser in there, then they're in the wrong place."

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