(USA Today Sports Images)
This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
PLAYERS WITH THE MOST TO LOSE OR GAIN BEFORE 2014 DRAFT
NO. 2 AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS
Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins was set to be one of the first tight ends taken in the 2014 NFL draft, if he wanted to go pro a year early. There was a good chance he'd be the first tight off the board with another good season.
He's physically imposing at 6-6, 266 pounds, and has already set many of Washington's career and single-season records for a tight end after just two seasons. As a freshman and a sophomore, Seferian-Jenkins had 110 catches, 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns. Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, who is listed at 6-6 and 251 pounds, had 117 catches, 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior and senior. Eifert was the only tight end taken in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Of course, now there's something else for NFL teams to consider that has nothing to do with Seferian-Jenkins' ability to block or catch, and has left him suspended from Washington for the time being.
In April, Seferian-Jenkins was charged with a misdemeanor DUI for an incident on March 9. According to the Seattle Times, the city attorney's office said Seferian-Jenkins had a blood-alcohol level of .18, well above the state's legal limit of .08. He was suspended from the team indefinitely by coach Steve Sarkisian. He put out a statement after he was suspended:
“Coach Sarkisian holds our team to high standards on and off the field, and I fell short of those standards this weekend. I apologize for letting down my family, my team and the entire University of Washington community. I will take full responsibility for my actions and work to use this as a learning experience.”
Seferian-Jenkins hasn't been reinstated yet, but probably will be. The statement was a smart idea, and Sarkisian told the Seattle Times he thinks this is an isolated incident:
"I don’t think that this mistake by Austin is truly indicative of his character and behavior," Sarkisian said. "But he made a mistake, and so different messages get sent in different ways."
The NFL can be very forgiving of isolated mistakes, especially when made by 266-pound tight ends who can get open and make athletic catches all over the field. And it's unlikely the suspension lasts long enough to really affect Seferian-Jenkins' season. It's easy to take a stand now when the season opener is about four months away. But when he does return, he'll have to be on his best behavior.
The one incident, no matter how isolated, will cause the NFL to dig into his background a little deeper. Any player who might cost a first-round pick gets plenty of scrutiny by teams. Not to mention that a drop in production, not that there's any reason to predict that, could cause a player like Oregon's Colt Lyerla to pass him, if Lyerla decides to come out as well.
The most likely and optimistic outcome is that Seferian-Jenkins learns from his mistake, comes back to dominate for a third straight season and we never hear about any off-field issues again. But he'll be on the spot now. NFL teams will be watching more closely over the next year.
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- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Steve Sarkisian