The Waiting Game

As quickly as we receive that beautiful sunset on the Pacific ocean, is about as quickly as a Bowl victory celebration will end in Southern California. Another Rose Bowl, another victim, another top 5 finish, another top 5 preseason projection, and another race to land a top 5 recruiting class. But within hours of glory, we are left with the bitter task of waiting for underclassmen to make their announcements, to give us a more clear picture of what the next roster will be.

It took less than 24 hours for Chilo Rachal to announce his interest in the NFL money, stating a family hardship, which includes a needed surgery for his mother. As much as I would like to see players stay the full years of eligibility, I’m very aware that the program creates an earning potential that the average reasonable person could not resist. It’s a rags to riches stories, with players performing for scraps, before eventually being compensated for their worth. Rachal is just one of 5 Trojans sitting in the NFL waiting room, as Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga, Kyle Moore, and Cary Harris will each have similar decisions to make.

Of the 5, the NFL would be most tempting to Rey Maualuga, though he stated earlier, along with Brian Cushing, that he would return for his senior year. But Maualuga’s stock is high right now, maybe even higher than senior teammate Keith Rivers who is being projected in the first round. Down the stretch, and into the bowls, I don’t think there was a bigger linebacking name in the country, with maybe the exception of James Laurinaitis. Staying in school becomes a gamble, not knowing if he can avoid injury or even maintain his NFL stock for another season. We’ve seen Miami’s Calais Campbell and TCU’s Tommy Blake’s stock fall from one season to the next, but we’ve also seen Glenn Dorsey rise to the top.

Selfishly, I hope they’ll all decide to keep the cardinal and gold for another year. But realistically, I feel we’ll lose at least a pair from the list. But regardless of their final decisions, and regardless of the colors they’ll bear in 2008, they are forever Trojans. Committed to excellence, striving for perfection, all in Trojan spirit….Fight on.

~ by Anthony on January 4, 2008.

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