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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Allen Leaving Early

Asher Allen announced today that he will forgo his final season at Georgia in order to enter the NFL draft.

Asher basically said it was completely a family decision. While he didn't specifically say it was financially motivated, that was the gist of his comments. He said it was his dream to play in the NFL, and he weighed the risk of an injury next year hurting his draft status as too much to overlook.

He didn't discuss exactly where the NFL review committee projected he would be taken, but reading between the lines, they pretty clearly didn't tell him he would be a first-day pick. He said he wasn't concerned about the evaluation, however, and believes with a strong combine, he could still be taken in the first two rounds.

Long story short, his decision seems to be that he wants to strike while the iron is hot (or, in this case, luke warm).

As a frame of reference, I spoke with ESPN's Todd McShay last month and he told me that, with a good combine, Asher was potentially a mid-to-late second round pick, so it's not out of the question. He's a good physical corner with decent size who could definitely be a solid NFL player, but after a year in which his numbers were way down, it does seem like a curious decision.

For his part, Asher said that he hasn't been able to sleep for two weeks worrying about his decision and has met almost daily with family to discuss his options. In the end, however, he's following in the footsteps of Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno.

As a side note, I asked Asher who he thought might be most ready to take his place, and he endorsed Sanders Commings.

The school sent out this statement following Asher's announcement:

"Asher Allen has been a great part of our football team as well as our overall athletic program over the past three years," head coach Mark Richt said. "We will certainly miss him, however we wish him the very best in the NFL draft and with his professional football aspirations in the future."

UPDATE: Some quotes from Asher...

On feedback from the NFL review committee...

I really don't want to talk about (what it said). But, really, even if it comes back and says later rounds, it's still your decision that you have to make. You have to see how you feel compared to your competition and if you feel like if you're ready – which I do. I just really made a family decision more than anything else. … Nothing is in concrete. Obviously a lot of stuff is what you do at the combine and what you do when you're talking to the coaches and things like that. A lot of things can help you out.

It's a goal to go in the first two rounds. If you ask myself, do I feel like I am? Yes. I feel like I can. It will be up to the combine and how I execute there.

On making the decision...

Playing in the NFL is everyone's dream and its right there in front of me. My mother, father and my brother are a big part of my life, and we sat down for weeks. When I tell you it's the hardest decision I've ever made in my life, it's the hardest decision. Anybody that knows me knows I love Georgia. I bleed red and black. … I've been walking around my house and not sleeping and having nothing but family meetings every day … and did the pros and con thing.

On injuries...

It's a risk staying. It's a risk leaving, but I really have to do what felt right. The risk of getting hurt and injuries to me and possibly watching it all go away is something that is so, so hard to overcome. Or getting hurt and watching your stock go down, that's something that you have to put into the equation and be real with yourself.

On possible replacements...

Obviously Sanders Commings, I think he'll do a great job. He's a back that has a lot, a lot of raw talent, speed and plays very physical, which is usually the kind of attributes a shut-down corner has. I think Prince Miller will be able to bounce around also. He's a great, great talent and I think anybody who knows Prince and sees him play knows he'll be able to play (boundry) corner. (Makiri) Pugh, I think he'll be able to come in and play. Me leaving does not do anything to this defense. This defense is a system. You can put players in it and pull them out. To finish the drill, the motto which is how Georgia's defense plays, will be something that no matter who plays, if they're starting, you know they have that attitude and that they'll do well.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

any word yet?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Greg Reid can see he is needed.

Selena said...

This makes me sad. Probably sadder than Stafford and Knowshon leaving.

Anonymous said...

Greg Reid can't qualify so forget that dream

Bernie said...

Bigger blow than 7 or 24. I really thought he would stay.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this gives us a better shot at the kid from 'Dosta.

Anonymous said...

What a selfish punk. Good riddance to him. Another DeAngelo Hall waiting to happen. What a terrible decision.

SRQDawgs15 said...

Anon @ 4:31, Actually Reid's scores are fine. That whole story is BS. Here is a quote from Reid off of Rivals.com:
"Coaches have seen my transcripts and told my coach it seems like a miracle for them to be so great. I hope to go to college next year, and major in Sports Management or Business," said a very excited Reid.
Losing Asher sucks, but with the backups we have now, the redshirts from this past year, Branden Smith, and maybe Reid UGA will be just fine.

Carter said...

I appreciate the contributions Asher made.

But he will be a second round pick this year. Next year he would likely move into the first round.

Immediate gratification will cost him millions on his first contract.

At this rate, I hope Owens & Atkins don't turn pro tommorow.

SRQDawgs15 said...

Carter, he may have been a 1st rounder next year, or he may have had a bad year and fell to the 4th, 5th, or 6th round or have to get signed as a free agent. Hell, he could get hurt and never get a shot at playing in the NFL. That is the reality of it. You people that bash these kids have no foot to stand on. How did coming back for his senior year help Cornelius Ingram or even Jeff Owens?

Universal Remonster said...

I hate to see him go, but he was a good dawg while he was here. Good luck in the pros...

And this makes spring practice MUCH more interesting, BTW. Hopefully stingy competition will get a couple of our young bucks to step up.

Carter said...

SRQDawgs15:

You’d have to be terribly sensitive to construe my previous post as "bashing."

Reasonably priced insurance is available to CFB players. Even those of modest means have afforded it in the past.

Also, w/ the advances of modern medicine there are very few career-ending injuries sustained by men in their early twenties (see Prothro, Tyrone as a notable exception).

If you have talent the NFL will overlook injury. Willis McGahee was drafted in the first round a 4 months after one of the ugliest knee injuries I've ever seen was sustained in the UM/tOSU MNC game.
.

David Hale said...

At the end of the day, regardless of where he's taken, if he makes a roster he's going to be getting the largest paycheck most of us have ever seen. So it's hard to begrudge him the decision to leave.

I think this is a pretty big hit for the UGA defense, but if Reid ends up a Dawg, the depth of young talent will be pretty impressive.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:44 you are an idiot...

asher allen, DGD