Walker And Pickett Opt Out: Are Any Of Us Really Surprised?
Over the last 24 hours, Doak Walker and Walter Camp Award winner Kenneth Walker, III of Michigan State and Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh (pictured above) have opted out of playing in the upcoming Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia.
The question that beckons is: Are we really surprised by this?
The answer should be: You shouldn't be.
What people have to remember is that, in a lot of players' minds, college football isn't the be all and end all in the world. The real dream is to get to the NFL (and hopefully be a high draft pick in next spring's NFL Draft). Some of them actually think that college football is an obstacle to getting to the pros, not a pathway to it.
When I found out that both Walker and Pickett decided to skip the Peach Bowl, I wasn't surprised. And I don't think they should be condemned, either. If coaches can pick up and leave for another school once the regular season ends (which we see every year), then players ought to be allowed to do so as well (if they want to).
Add the fact that the Peach Bowl is NOT a College Football Playoff semifinal this year (it is next year), you shouldn't be shocked by the recent news. If either MSU or Pitt were in the CFP, I would think they would both play and want to play for a shot at the National Championship.
At some point, Walker and Pickett (as well as many other players) have to think selfishly about their own careers. Why risk an injury or a bad performance in the bowl game to hurt his Draft status this coming spring? Many players who are draft-eligible feel it isn't worth it, unless it's for the National Championship or maybe the Rose Bowl.
I don't blame Walker or Pickett at all. Yes, it hurts the hype for the Peach Bowl. But they should be congratulated for having great seasons for their respective schools.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know!