From The L.A. Times
It paid to stay.
When former USC linebacker Keith Rivers ended a holdout and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals this week, the Trojans' celebrated senior class of 2007 allowed Coach Pete Carroll to offer nearly 50 million reasons why players should exhaust their eligibility before turning pro.
This is old news to us as we have written about this before.
As I watch the game between New Orleans and Arizona tonight its great to see Matt, Reggie, Deuce and Big Sed all maximizing their potential by staying ( I know Reggie left as a junior and it was the right move) and making the most out their college careers.
With USC having 7 players taken in the first two rounds of the 2008 NFL draft a strong message was sent that by staying in school you increase your future draft stock. Now I'm not naïve not every player will benefit from the full 4 years and some players are just too good not to leave early but for the majority of college players its pretty clear that by staying the positives will out weigh the negatives.
Character had a lot to do with those players taken in the first round. Character matters and regardless of what his detractors have said Pete Carroll has recruited and developed players that stay focused. It hasn't been perfect but he has done a pretty good job in that area. Think the positives out weigh the negatives? The numbers don't lie:How much is a final year of college worth?
For USC nose tackle Sedrick Ellis, linebacker Keith Rivers, offensive tackle Sam Baker and defensive end Lawrence Jackson, all of whom were selected in the first round of the NFL draft Saturday, it could amount to more than $43 million.
That's about how much guaranteed money the players taken in the same slots in 2007 were collectively assured when they signed contracts last year.
On a day when a school-record seven USC players were chosen in the first two rounds, the four Trojans who passed up the chance to turn pro after their junior seasons hit the first-round jackpot.
"I'm hoping everyone who takes a look at this, whether it's our guys or other guys, that they see there is clear information to play that final season," Coach Pete Carroll said. "They make more money, not to mention that they are more mature to make that first impression."
Sounds to me that pete knows what he is talking about!