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Which 2004 Junior is most likely to go pro?

Which 2004 Junior is most likely to go pro?

  • Total voters


Will Bryant
Staff member
Simple enough question. Who is most likely to follow in Gamble's footsteps, rather than those of Will Smith or Mike Doss? With quite a few of the guys listed, one would have to allow for something of a break-out season. But that's not too far-fetched with any of them.

It's also worth pointing out that the question here is not which Junior is most capable of going pro. You're going to need to factor in the player(s) likelihood to stick around for their senior year.

For example, you might think Hawk is most suited, but not likely to leave early. In that case you need to decide who is next most capable, and are they likely to jump after their Junior year?
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No way in hell does Hawk or Schlegel go early. I think Hawk is too loyal, and Schlegel is too rusty. As for Underwood, I really am dumbfounded that anyone said he'd be more likely to leave than Holmes...
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MililaniBuckeye said:
No way in hell does Hawk or Schlegel go early. I think Hawk is too loyal, and Schlegel is too rusty. As for Underwood, I really am dumbfounded that anyone said he'd be more likely to leave than Holmes...

I actually agree on Hawk, despite my vote. But stuck it there because of the level of attention he's getting coming into this season. I think that if he manages to raise his game even further, and is a Butkus finalist, or perhaps winner -- then he could possibly project as a 1st round draft pick (Jonathan Vilma (ILB) and D.J. Williams (OLB) out of Miami being the 2 LB 1st rounders this past draft). That's hard to pass up.

What we'd have going for us with Hawk though is his sense of team and loyalty, and the growing perception in a number of circles that the 2005 Buckeyes could be primed for another National Title run. But you never know. Gamble swore up and down (because of his mother, I believe) that he was going to be here all four years, but the lure of the 1st round was too much for him, and that was after kind of sandbagging at points this season.

It's all going to come down to whether or not Hawks play further increases the level of hype and attention he's getting. I'm reminded of LaVar Arrington, where the hype overshadowed the play. If LaVar was even *near* a play, the commentators would literally bubble over about what a great player he is. By the end of the season, LaVar was 13ft tall, 600 pounds with 0% body fat, and ate Volkswagens at halftime. Not saying I expect A.J. to get that hyped, but there might be enough to propel him towards a projected draft position that would at the very least give him something to think about after the season.

The other factor in my thinking (this was before Holmes was added, now I think he's most likely), was that no one else in the options really screams NFL-ready to me. Neither MDA nor Bobby C. have had enough play experience, can't see Schlegel leaving with one year of play at this level, Kudla not enough field time, Mangold is an intriguing possibility as some are talking about him being the best C in the Big Ten, but we're all just going to have to twist VLMarti's arm to make sure big Nick sticks around his 4th year. Hamby, believe it or not, was someone I thought a while about. Here's a guy who is no longer going to be sharing time with a dynamic TE like Louis "I jacked them fools" Irizarry, and could see a lot of balls come his way with an inexperienced QB back there needing a safety valve. He is a receiving TE first, who, behind Ben Hartsock (who I think might be one of the most underrated TEs we've had in a long time) really has learned to be a punishing blocker too. I still enjoy seeing one crusher he laid on a Cane player that opened up the endzone for Mo.C in the 2002 Fiesta. He's a guy who could have a breakout season and be tempted by the lure of the league.

Anyway, it's all conjecture at this point. We've been surprised by decisions to stay (Doss and Smith), surprised by decisions to go (Ross and Gamble), and everything in between.
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eh, when i read the the title to this thread the word "SANTONIO" jumped into my head but he wasnt an option when i voted.. and i dont see schlegal leaving yet, i think he is enjoying being in college at the moment, and i doubt as good as hawk is he is all that big of a pro prospect yet(reminds me a lot of wilhelm.
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While I think Hawk will play his same outstanding game and get national attention (repeat first-team all-conference, minimum 2nd-team AA but very possibly first-team AA), something about him tells me he'd stay for his senior season ala Smith and Doss, especially after when he saw where Gamble ended up getting picked (not near as high as Gamble thought he'd go). He's smart enough to know that there's a big difference in being picked in the mid/late first round and the early/mid first round. There's also that stigma of the "slow white Big Ten linebacker", regardless of your performance (remember where Matt Wilhelm end up being drafted despite being first-team AA?). In my mind, Holmes is the only clear possibility of an early bailer...he has the talent, he'll have the experience (a full season and a half), he'll have the seniority (senior but junior-eligibility), and he has a real-world reason to leave (his family). If Holmes has a full season like he had the end of last season, he's a AA and a first-round pick.
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I take back my 1st round comments on AJ. While I think he could end up being 1st round talent, it seems the last 5 years has been particularly unkind to LBs when it comes to the 1st round. Particularly the first half of the first round. So yeah, it seems highly unlikely AJ will be exiting after this season. I won't speak in absolutes, but 'highly unlikely' is probably fair if you allow that it's extremely tough to crack a top 10-15 draft position as a LB.

The whole poll is skewed by Santonio (er, San Antonio Holmes for you commentator-types who make a career out of not knowing the one thing you're paid to talk about, with any responsible depth anyway), I probably should have left him off and made a point to force people to consider the Juniors at hand. Looking at the JRs, and allowing that while I think Hawk is most 'ready' for the NFL, he's not likely to go -- I have to like Nate Salley as an early departure prospect, if he were to have a stellar season.
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of the juniors hawk is obviously the most hyped and productive if not the most talented, but my gut says he stays. i do think hamby will see more balls coming his way than lloyd carr's chin but tight ends don't go pro very early very often. i would agree that nate salley is the most likely of the juniors. he has the athleticism and the field time. he just needs that big season and he could cash a paycheck for sure.
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Doss and Smith returned to improve draft status

Cover might have been loyalty but Doss was being told 3rd - 4th round after 2001 and Smith was being told 2nd - 3rd round after 2002. They didn't want to end up like Diggs in the 2000 draft.

Hawk will stay as will everybody except Holmes provided he gets enough touches. 60 or more catches and 10 or more scores and he's gone in my mind.
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Well now that Holmes was added can you change my vote to him :tongue2:

Holmes has a kid and just had another kid. He doesn't come from money (when a young kid in his neighborhood, they would get sacks and chase rabbits when they burned the cane fields... forcing the rabbits to run out of the fields. The kids would get paid a few bucks for each rabbit they caught... if memory serves correctly, in his town something like 4/5 of the community worked for one of the majore sugar cane companies... in the fields... if that isn't poverty I don't know what is).

Holmes has two kids to take care of, as well has his family back home in FL... if he has a good year, it will be of no surprise that he goes pro... he is his families golden egg.
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slim to none santonio goes

the kid is a good reciever, but benefited ALOT from being the second option last year. look at the top reciever picks in the NFL the past few years. All tall, big recievers...6'4", 6'5" guys, not 5'11", 170 guys. If Santonio looked like Peter Warrick or Santana Moss last year, then i'd consider. He's a good route runner with great hands and good speed, but i'm slow to consider him one of the best in the country. Additionally, we are breaking in two new QBs and a very inexperienced O line.

now if he would leave early to go 2nd or 3rd round, then sure i'd agree. As it stands now, no way will he be a first rounder or all american.

i wouldnt mind him proving me wrong though!!! i also wouldnt mind having him for another year.
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