Georgia Football Producing Top Level NFL Players

Robert HollandCorrespondent IApril 27, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 29:  Quarterback Matthew Stafford #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs threw for 407 yards and 5 touchdowns during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the game at Sanford Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  The Yellow Jackets beat Bulldogs 45-42.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

All the debate over whether Stafford and Knowshon Moreno should go the NFL was quickly squashed by the millions of dollars they were guaranteed in the draft.

Sure, we don't want to make this all about money!

But the main point I remember is that Stafford is the highest paid draftee in the history of the NFL.

Certainly there was a lot of controversy, debate, and blogging going on over whether or not they should leave Georgia for the NFL.  In fact, there was even a website built just for that.

Now don't get me wrong—I'm a huge advocate for a college education.  And I don't mean to make leaving college early to play in the NFL all about money.  But c'mon, to a certain extent, money does matter (are you going to argue that?).

Even though an education is important, and especially from a great school like Georgia.  There is certainly plenty of time, and money available to come back and complete that degree.

So anyway, they've left for the NFL and we need to now track their careers to see how it turns out.

I want to point out a secondary winner from Georgia's NFL draft prospects—and that is The University of Georgia and their football program.

Damon Evans, the University of Georgia's Athletic Director, has said before that he desires to elevate Georgia to a higher level of recognition, and respect, throughout the country.  And the events that have unfolded recently certainly help that objective.

First, we saw ESPN's live coverage of G-Day—Georgia's spring scrimmage between first and second string offenses and defenses.

This alone put Georgia at the forefront in college football.  I mean, was any other spring scrimmage covered this year by ESPN?

Some people wondered why ESPN was covering Georgia to begin with.  If I had to guess, I would say that Damon Evans and staff were behind it.

Next we have the NFL draft where we saw three Georgia players go in the first round. 

Certainly, this draft was the most successful outcome in Georgia football history.  Never before has so many players gone in the first round—and certainly none for as much money as Matthew Stafford.

Let me know if I'm wrong on this point.

More than any other beneficiary, however, is the University of Georgia themselves, the staff, and the football program as a whole.

You have to admit that with Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, and Mohamed Massaquoi all going to the NFL in the first round, this speaks volumes for the Georgia football program.

Certainly, from a recruiting perspective, this draft should help Georgia in recruiting the very best in the nation coming out of high school.

And whoever is consulting the staff on recruiting definitely needs to remind everyone that this year's NFL draft is a strong point of leverage—and perhaps even through in the amount of money that was paid.

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