Savage: Early leaves bad for CFB, NFL

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The Reese’s Senior Bowl is the last event to held that showcases the talents of college football players across the nation. It’s a game where fans and spectators get a glimpse of college football athletes before several players head to the National Football League.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director, Phil Savage, gave his insight on the future of collegiate football and the National Football League. He said the game isn’t losing it’s luster and NFL organizations and players get a real benefit by participating.

“Last year, every team from the NFL took home at least one senior bowl player, all 32 teams. We’ve tried to set up a situation where it’s not a waste of their time, where it could be productive. As a scout, your greatest value is placing small school guys with big school guys at the same venue,” Phil Savage said.

Just last week, a college football star left some disappointed when he decided to not participate in the Senior Bowl, although the game is being held in his hometown.

The player’s decision drew attention to the what some critics call, lack of big time talent in the game. But, Savage has a different perspective and believes that players who opt out of participating in the Senior Bowl, but will participate in NFL combine, may miss valuable experience and interaction with NFL personnel by opting out of the game.

“I saw the difference at last year’s combine with participating Senior Bowl players.” “The kids who were in this game when they got to Indy- they understood that hey, this is the real deal, I’m going to be asked hard questions. This is what I need to be ready for. I felt they handled things better than the guys that just show up and had been practicing in a classroom what their answers were and working on a forty,” Phil Savage said.

Savage referenced NFL great Ozzie Newsome to support his claim that, today’s athletes are just not ready for the NFL or it’s average three-year career length, when they leave school early in hopes of playing in the National Football League.

“I think it’s bad for college football, I think it’s bad for the NFL. Players come into the NFL after three years of college football and they’re not ready. They don’t have the background, the 20 hour rule, the 15 days of spring football. I think the talent, size and speed is better than It has ever been, but the technique and the understanding of the actual game is probably worse.,” Phil Savage said.

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