If Andrew Luck decided to make himself available for the 2011 NFL draft — as more than a handful of players have done already — there’s a very good chance he would be the No. 1 overall pick.
Thus far, though, the Stanford quarterback has given no indication that he will leave The Farm in the near future. In fact, all the public indications given by Luck point to a near-certain return, although a final decision won’t be made until after the Cardinal takes on Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl and he has a chance to discuss it without his family — including his dad, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck.
If that decision were made today, however, at least one member of the media thinks he knows how it would go.
According to Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, and citing a Stanford source, Luck would stay in school if he had to make a decision today.
The source — who is heavily involved with the Stanford football program and sees Luck every day — said that statement doesn’t mean that Luck has ruled out declaring himself eligible for the 2011 NFL draft. But the source said he “knew” Luck was leaning toward staying at this moment, as the redshirt sophomore quarterback prepares for Monday’s Orange Bowl showdown with Virginia Tech.
“A lot can happen between now and Jan.15th,” said the source, referring to the date underclassmen must declare themselves eligible. “There will be a lot of conversations still to come. And whenever he goes pro, he will be a fantastic NFL quarterback. But this is a kid who truly enjoys college.”
Luck will have myriad factors that will weigh into his decision, not the least of which will be whether Jim Harbaugh would be his head coach if he does decide to return, and if a new Cardinal coach would even matter. Additionally, there’s the uncertainty surrounding the NFL labor landscape that any player in Luck’s position needs to take into consideration.
It won’t be an easy decision either way. My money’s still on Luck making the right one for him, regardless of which direction he takes.