Devin White will stay — at least for now.
Greedy Williams is going — and is already gone.
The two LSU players to watch in this year’s installment of “NFL draft watch” have made their intentions known as far as the Tigers’ next game goes: New Year’s Day against UCF in the Fiesta Bowl.
White, who on Tuesday became the first LSU player to win the Butkus Award given to the nation’s top linebacker, announced via Twitter on Monday that he has “a lot of business to handle” and will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
It looked like just another Tuesday afternoon LSU football meeting with Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda standing and talking to some of the …
Williams, who is up for the Jim Thorpe Award to be handed out Thursday to the nation’s top defensive back, announced Sunday he would skip the 2019 season in an LSU uniform, starting with the Fiesta Bowl.
White has been coy about whether or not he will return to LSU for his senior season. It is widely expected that he will not, given that he is widely projected to be a first-round draft pick. If that ultimately is his choice, people will understand.
People will ultimately understand Williams’ decision as well. He has a young daughter, and if he winds up a top-five draft pick as expected he could make something close to $30 million. Bradley Chubb, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft by the Denver Broncos, signed for $27.5 million in June, including an $18 million signing bonus.
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For those who love college football as I do and find the increasing tide of players skipping non-CFP playoff bowl games disappointing, there is the personal element here that is nonetheless undeniable. These players have one chance to cash in big on their talents, a pay day that can be impacted by an injury that could happen in a bowl game. I would not want someone to tell me I should not go, and I would understand if it was my son who was in this position.
All that said, Williams could have handled his LSU exit better. First of all, the last anyone will see of him in an LSU uniform was being called for pass interference then being called for unsportsmanlike conduct in the seventh overtime of the Texas A&M game. SEC coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw last week expressed displeasure over the pass interference call but said the unsportsmanlike flag when Williams barked at the official was justified.
LSU star cornerback Greedy Williams declared Sunday afternoon that he will forego the rest of his college eligibility and and enter the 2019 N…
It was the end of what ties for the longest game in FBS history, and certainly Williams’ patience was frayed. There is less understanding for the lack of patience Williams showed in making his announcement that he was turning pro.
Williams’ announcement came while his coach, Ed Orgeron, was on a teleconference with reporters discussing LSU’s first trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
I’m not surprised Williams did not know he was showing up Orgeron’s news conference, but that’s exactly what he did. Orgeron had to say, honestly, he did not know what Williams’ decision was at the time. It made Coach O look bad. Could Greedy have not waited until Monday?
It will be interesting to see how Williams’ exit impacts his legacy as a Tiger. No doubt, he is one of the most talented cornerbacks every to play for LSU, a.k.a. DBU. But after two seasons (he redshirted as a freshman), how beloved will Williams be? One imagines his legacy will skew toward the Ben Simmons end of the spectrum, the one-year basketball shooting star who afterward made it clear he was only going to college because he was forced to. White’s legacy will likely skew more toward that of a player like Derrius Guice, who turned pro but decided to play for LSU in the 2018 Citrus Bowl against Notre Dame.
White simply has a lot of personal charm going in his favor. He rode his horse around the LSU campus and into Tiger Stadium last week, for example, setting off a social media avalanche. People ate it up.
On Twitter, White told Williams he was proud of the decision he made. “Big Unk (White, I assume) gone finish this season off strong for y’all.”
White’s favorable legacy at LSU, on and off the field, seems assured.