Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's a long way from Oregon to Louisiana Tech

Jeremiah Masoli's college career might not be over just yet:
Jeremiah Masoli visited Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., over the weekend, The Oregonian has confirmed, as the former Oregon quarterback attempts to sort out his future after being kicked off the Ducks team this spring.
A previous report from a TV station in Louisiana said Masoli planned to visit Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State, but The Oregonian disputes that and says he does not intend to visit Starkville. Assuming this is accurate, the choice will be between Louisiana Tech and the NFL supplementary draft.

The obvious question here: Why Louisiana Tech? Nobody seems sure. My guess is that new LT coach Sonny Dykes (formerly the offensive coordinator at Arizona) reached out to express interest, because there can't be too many schools looking to bring in a guy who's pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary AND been charged with marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license all within the last five months.

Dykes is a spread-offense guy who obviously has seen what Masoli can do in person (he accounted for a ridiculous 11 touchdowns in two career games against UA). Dykes probably figures that even a year's worth of Masoli in 2011 would do a lot for the visibility of his program. It's also worth noting that this year's projected starter, Ross Jenkins, is a senior. LT will have a new starter in 2011 one way or another, so why not make it a former Heisman candidate? There's little downside for Tech.

For Masoli, though, I'm not really sure how sitting out a year and then playing at a mid-major in Louisiana would be a benefit. It'd be nice to show people that he can avoid committing any crimes for a while -- the NFL usually prefers that -- but sitting out a year and then (even in a best-case scenario) tearing up the WAC won't really help his stock. I don't see any scenario that ends with him going higher than the sixth or seventh round ...

... all of which leads me to believe this report that says Masoli is expected to enter the supplementary draft (although that was written before his visit to Ruston and doesn't really provide any specific info). He still won't go in the early rounds, but I'd rather develop while getting paid a few hundred grand a year than develop while hanging out in rural Louisiana. Call me crazy. Then again, getting a college degree and getting his life straightened out before getting to the NFL certainly wouldn't hurt. He's probably just glad to have that option.

The draft will be held July 15, so we'll know either way within two weeks.

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