Yo Penn State Three: It Pays To Stay

As far as Penn Live tells us, Penn State star defensive playmaker Navorro Bowman and running back star Evan Royster are thinking about taking the dive to the NFL

First of all, we understand that the players might be thinking about the words "dollars", "parties", "girls", "Sportscenter" when they go to the NFL.

Although we realise that players defecting after a successful junior year is nothing new, the VFA would like to make a case as to why they both should stay in State College.

Remember star defensive end Aaron Maybin, who went to pursue NFL riches at (ta daaa!) Buffalo? He didn't come to a deal with the Bills until mid-way through training camp, and has a stunning 16 tackles, a forced fumble, and zero sacks in his first year. To say the least, he hasn't been as productive as he - or Bills Nation - would like him to be. Sure, we can probably say that 17 sessions without a training camp didn't help him - or could he have done with another year in college?

Don't you think that if Maybin could go back into history, he'd change the decision to go pro and stay at State for one more year, and gain the chance to be possibly the top pick in the NFL, get more money and, more's the case, more experience under his belt at the college level?

Then there's Maurice Evans. He's as big as a house, and could have shone out in his final year (well, what was left of it after the drug bust, anyway!). But he decided to go to the NFL. After getting cut by Carolina, he now 'plays' for the New York Giants, where he's apparently brilliant.....on the practice team (he hasn't appeared for the NYGs so far).

We haven't finished yet. Ex-Buckeye James Laurinitis, who's been undoubtedly one of the defensive standouts of 2009, scoring a mind-numbing 115 tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. Brian Cushing, formerly of USC, has been freakishly good in his first season at linebacker for the Houston Texans, managing a bone-crushing four INTs and 128 tackles. I realize that linebacker and defensive end aren't the same position, but here's the point: both Cushing and Laurinitis were both seniors leaving college. 

It pays to stay.

Why? The experience that a defensive player gets in college will be invaluable come the NFL. Offensive guys can learn and adapt. If a defensive player gets pounded in the pros in training camp, then he might not make the cut. We'd like to argue that staying in school will help a player to get drafted higher, make more money, start, become a fan favorite and then, yes, make more money.

And then we come to Evan Royster. Only the really, really special running backs find time at the top level in their first year. We're talking Beanie Wells and Knowshoun Moreno special. If Royster goes - yes, that Evan Royster who rushed for over 1,000 yards for the Nitts this year despite not having an offensive line to speak of - he won't be a starter. Heck, Royster might struggle to be a back-up. If Royster can continue his supercharged career with the Nittany Lions - and have strong games on the road at Alabama, Iowa and Ohio State (and the bowl game) as well as a good one against LSU on Jan 1, you can't help but think Royster could be a first round/high second round pick in the 2011 draft.

Plus, Penn State hasn't exactly had a shining history of great NFL running backs (we can only think of Larry "Twitter" Johnson), so why not keep Royster for another year and beef him up for the Big Leagues? 

Anyway, if you listen to our advice Nav and Evan, then great. It pays to stay!