According to a press release by the University, Monday will be nerve wracking for Canes fans for more reasons than the NCAA investigation. At 11 a.m. Eastern, Brandon Linder, Curtis Porter, and Seantrel Henderson will announce their plans for the 2013 season. They will either announce that they are turning pro, or staying for their senior campaigns.
I can see this press conference go either way, to be honest. All three of these guys, Henderson and Porter especially, have long been rumored to be considering turning pro. My gut reaction is that it is not normal for guys to hold a press conference unless they are turning pro. However, Clemson quarterback Taj Boyd did just that last week. The difference? Boyd is a very high profile player, and the lynch pin for that team. These three guys, while extremely important to Miami's 2013 success, are not exactly high profile. Henderson was, but that has since faded.
On the other hand, they could be holding a press conference for the very reason that their decisions have been highly anticipated, and they want to publicly put those worries to rest. As much as people on twitter and elsewhere want to try and connect this press conference and the NCAA news, there isn't anything to it. These three announcing would have been a decision made by them long before this afternoon, unless by some ridiculous coincidence. There's no denying the sense of relief that announcing their intent to stay for 2013 would give fans. Linder and Henderson are one side of the offensive line. If they leave, the replacements are very capable, but the depth would take a gigantic hit. Porter was perhaps our best defensive lineman last year, and looks to be set for a great senior campaign.
There is no way to know what draft grades these guys got, or even if they pursued that information. Common sense, however, would say that if they did have the NFL review their info, that there's almost no way that any of them would have gotten higher than a 3rd round grade. Granted, that didn't seem to stop any of the guys last year from bolting for the NFL, but suffice it to say it sure feels like Golden has instilled a much better sense of reality into this team. These guys should absolutely stay for their senior years if they hope to be successful long term in the pro ranks.
Let's hope that Monday brings Canes fans at least some good news.