Will Muschamp is a straightforward guy. With the media, with the fans, with his players – Coach Boom doesn’t mince words. So when it comes to the weighty topic of underclassmen declaring for the NFL Draft, naturally he won’t BS his players.
During a talk with an Orlando Gator Club, Muschamp pragmatically discussed players leaving early for the draft. He understands the temptation of money, but there is also a significant risk in giving up eligibility. The coach’s job is to do research, but declaring is ultimately a family decision.
“The league minimum is $400,000 now,” Muschamp said. “That’s a lot more than they’ve ever been exposed to. So it’s all relative to what you think. My job is to get them all the information. That’s a family decision.”
If ever a player is a guaranteed lock for the first round, he will receive the coach’s blessing. Again, Muschamp understands the business aspect of the sport (especially having coached in Miami under Nick Saban), he knows the fickle nature of teams, and he’s realistic to the life-changing money that a first-round contract can bring.
“If you’re going to be a first round pick, I’m going to tell you to leave,” Muschamp said. “You’re not going to make that kind of money again.”
Ultimately, for players, the draft process is about knowledge – collecting as much information as possible and then using it to make a well-informed decision. With all the different pratfalls, mock drafts, hoopla and hangers-on, Florida players are lucky. They have a coach who cuts through the BS and gives it to them straight.