My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

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.


Muckbeast said...

Its 4:15..... what's the news? Is he staying?

Anonymous said...

dawgpost saying he's going pro

Anonymous said...

TotalUGA says the same thing... As much as I didn't want #7 adn #24 to leave, I understand that it was in their best interest. However, I think this is a big mistake. Is it worth giving up your senior season to be a second day draft choice so that you can play special teams? I would argue no, but I guess that's just me. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Tucker Trash.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:38 - You're trash. STFU

I wish he would stay just as much as I wanted Stafford and Moreno to stay, but let's be realistic. He's been a fine Dawg in his three years at UGA, and obviously you are not a true fan if you are turning your back on him already. Good luck to him on Sundays.

Anonymous said...

This leaving early really has hurt the dawgs in the past and will hurt next year.

I think we might have won it all last year if the starting d-back (was it Paul Oliver?) as well as Danny Ware had not left - could easily have beaten SC and done it all with a few diff plays.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else concerned by the fact that such a high number of our big time players leave early? Do you think we are getting a higher percentage than UF, Texas, So Cal?

Anonymous said...

8-4 next year is looking like a dream season

Anonymous said...

I agree our guys are leaving early more than other schools. I believe schools like Texas and USC tell their players they are not yet good enough so they stay longer. I live near Texas and I have always wondered how they keep so many of their players for so long.

Muckbeast said...

This strikes me as a tremendous mistake. I think this will actually COST him money, as this past year was weak statistically.

And a college degree is pretty important when your NFL status is not by any means certain.

Travis Eckhart said...

at Oklahoma State
South Carolina
at Arkansas Razorbacks
Arizona State
at Tennessee
at Vanderbilt
Tennessee Tech
at Georgia Tech

There is no doubt the 09' schedule looks tough on paper. But look at what people thought about the 08' outlook for the dawgs. Then the injury bug hit, and the season fell by the way side.

All i'm saying is this is TOO EARLY to be saying an 8 win season would be nice. Depending on how our lines play, and how mature our younger talent pans out, I can see another 10 win season in 09'. Maybe thats dumb faith, silly optimism or not wanting to admit tough times ahead. But don't get down just yet dawg fans. Our dawgs will have their day.

Vince said...

I think we should do well if they really really work hard in the off-season and work not only on fitness and strength but on technique and play execution, what to do, where to go, working together.

O line and D line should be very strong.

Anonymous said...

Asher Allen straight to NFL Europe.

no wait there's not an . . . Forget it.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Brown notwithstanding, this will be the first year in quite some time that the Dawgs will be without a Tucker Tiger Thug on the roster in quite some time. Good riddance, Asher. Way to leave on a high note. Zero interceptions. Congratulations, you'll be cut by August 15th.

And if Franklin Stephens wants to feel like a big man and ban Spurrier and USC from recruiting their players, he should realize that he is putting out low character, poor students that require a lot of babysitting. Between Jonathan Davis' attitude and his inability to read, he will be lucky to get into Hargrave. Now that Ellerbe and Asher are gone, we can try to retrain Reshad Jones from following in Asher's footsteps. Namely learning how to tackle and stop running your mouth every time you hit someone out of bounds.

Asher, I hope you and your ego can take being a special teamer for your short NFL career.

Anonymous said...

anyone bashing Asher Allen really needs to go home and get their freaking shinebox! The guy was a SOLID player for us, and now he can become a millionaire in a matter of months. Who can blame him for bolting, particularly after watching about 33% of his teammates suffer season-ending injuries, why take the risk?

Reshad Jones- THAT'S another story!