Tomorrow, one of my favorite video games comes out that brings in tradition for me. The game is NCAA 12, it's not necessarily the game that draws my attention, it's a way of ushering in the new college football season that is set to start in less than two months.
With college football getting set to return, that brings all the great players who have a bright future ahead of them to continue their legacy in their school's history.
One of those players is Stanford's Andrew Luck. Luck is the quarterback of the Cardinals and did a rare move after his junior season - he opted to stay for his senior season.
Draft analysts said Luck would have been the first quarterback taken had he come out in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Luck chose a path that very few athletes ever choose.
When Luck made the decision to stay in college, he called NFL Star Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts according to Larry Holder of CBSSports.com. He asked Manning for some advise in dealing with the media and pressure that consumes you in your senior season as a high profiled player.
Manning told Luck, the person who told him it'd be fine was the San Antonio Spurs All-Star Tim Duncan.
"That’s the advice that Tim Duncan, who was at the time at Wake Forest told me, he said, 'It's OK to stay if you want to be a senior.' So I was proud of Andrew for making that decision and a big, strong, good-looking quarterback. He's going to have a great senior year. And I think it's great, it's great for college football."
These days, most NBA and NFL star players ever stay for their senior year once they have an stellar junior year. In the NBA, players like John Wall, Blake Griffin, and even recently Kyrie Irving all headed for the NBA after their freshmen seasons.
One of the players demands in the NBA lockout is to let highschool students have the ability to come into the NBA at the age of 18.
Luck has made a wise decision to stay for his senior season barring an injury. Both of the players he is following, Duncan and Manning, have both won championships in the their respective sports and MVP awards.
The roles of point guard and low post (F/C) in basketball and quarterback in football are the most difficult positions to master. Longer time at the collegiate level should be promoted more, instead of taking the money and running. The NBA is filled with athletic big men who have no back-to-basket game, poor boxing out skills and poor execution of pick and roll offense and defense. Competitive college ball used to teach these basics. Rarely is there a point guard who can come to the NBA early and dominate; the Magic Johnson's are a dime in million (not dozen). The much hyped John Walls and the superb Chris Paul came in as scoring point guards. The growth curbs of players like Tony Parker and Deron Williams are more natural.
As for the NFL, I think more young quarterbacks are ruined due to too much too soon than them lacking the skills to be effective. It's too difficult to often overcome 3 years of beatings due to a poor o-line, diminished confidence or the reputation for being a bust. David Carr comes to mind from his time with the Texans; that kid totally regressed from who I thought he would become as a qb prospect. Hall of Famer Jim Plunkett is a success story of a top draft pick qb thrown to the wolves right out of college, ruined but later given a new lease on life and eventual championships with the Raiders after age 30.