Andrew Luck Staying at Stanford. The projected top pick in the NFL draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has announced his intention to stay in College for one more year. This puts many NFL franchises in limbo, as Luck is the type of franchise changing players that some teams spend decades looking for.
His numbers this season at Stanford were incredible, he completed 70.7% of his passes for 3338 yards, 32 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions. He finished second to Auburn’s Cam Newton for this year’s Heisman Trophy.
This is a surprising decision as the NFL is on its way to a work stoppage next season and one of the most contentious issues is the idea of a rookie salary cap. Some estimates say that Luck returning to college, rather than declaring for the 2011 NFL draft could cost him as much as $40 million dollars by being the first player drafted.
It’s commendable that Luck wants to return to college and finish his degree but that’s lots of money to leave on the table.
Luck is the son of former Houston Oilers QB Oliver Luck and his father continues to act as CEO for Harris County-Houston Sports Authority so the need to turn pro isn’t out of financial desperation.
Still staying it school to get a degree has inherent risks. USC Heisman winner Matt Leinart decided to return to college for his senior year rather than going first overall. He dropped in the draft to the Arizona Cardinals at number 10. His career has never recovered; Leinart is a backup with the Houston Texans and will likely be looking for another job this fall.
The biggest concern is that football is a contact sport; it only takes one bad hit for a player’s career to be over. Still it is commended that Luck is actually going back to get his education. Next season he’ll be the number one pick barring injury, he’ll have a degree in architectural design and he’ll likely be a lot lighter in the wallet.