David Pollack is considering skipping his senior season and entering the 2004 NFL Draft, and it is believed he was leaning heavily toward leaving until last week.
"I thought I had my mind made up pretty much, but then I kind of
changed it," he said.
Quarterback David Greene, Pollack's roommate, said he doesn't badger
Pollack about his decision but has sensed a changed of heart.
"Until three or four days ago, I pretty much knew what he was
Greene said. "Now I have no idea."
Pollack wouldn't confirm if he had decided to leave.
He spoke about his future Wednesday, as Georgia returned to the
practice field to begin bowl preparations. The No. 11 Bulldogs (10-3)
play No. 12 Purdue (9-3) in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on
Georgia could lose several juniors to the NFL this season, but Pollack
and All-America safety Sean Jones appear the most likely to leave with
eligibility to spare. Wide receiver Fred Gibson said Wednesday he has
decided to remain at Georgia for his final year.
Last year, the Bulldogs lost defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan,
running back Musa Smith and linebacker Chris Clemons early.
Coach Mark Richt has already talked twice to all the team's juniors
about their upcoming decision, he said. The first meeting took place in
midseason, a first for Richt.
"You have to be proactive," he said. "They know we love
them and they
know we want them to stay"
Richt met with the players again when the regular season was over.
Jones said Richt promised next year's seniors they won't have to do as
many of the team's famous "mat drills" this offseason and will get a
break from spring practice conditioning.
"I don't particularly like talking about it," Richt said,
"but I think
they're excited about what could happen in their senior year."
The Bulldogs probably will be ranked in the nation's top five in next
year's preseason polls if all their juniors decide to return. Pollack's
decision probably will get the most national attention because of his
He earned All-America status after his sophomore season and was a
first-team All-SEC selection this year even though he had a far worse
year statistically. He has 85 tackles and 4.5 sacks, 10 fewer than last
year when he set the school record.
Pollack said he has heard he will be a first-round pick if he leaves
"It's a tough decision. It's your future," he said. "A lot
think you leave for money, but that's not the sole decision. It's not
easy. It's a stressful situation."
Pollack has no timetable for his decision, he said.
"I don't think I'll decide before the bowl," he said.
Jones thinks he will know before the Bulldogs play Purdue, but he
doesn't plan on announcing his decision until 2004, he said. He has
applied to the NFL's underclassmen advisory committee for an indication
of his draft status but hasn't heard yet.
"I really don't know right now," he said. "It's still up in
the air. I
think I'll have it in my mind before the bowl game, but I'll keep it in
the family. I'll make it known after the bowl game."
Jones has 111 tackles and leads the Bulldogs with five interceptions.
"I think I'm ready for the next level," he said, "but
stuff to work on."
Gibson was expected to have a breakout season this year but was
hampered by injuries all season and has just 32 catches for 531 yards.
He has been slowed by hamstring, knee and finger injuries. Barring a
huge bowl game, this will be the first season in which he hasn't had at
least 700 receiving yards.
He admitted Wednesday that before the season he was thinking this might
be his last season.
"I think it would benefit me better to come back and finish on a
note," he said. "If I left, I wouldn't be happy. I'm sure. I gave it a
lot of thought. I think I'd be really selling myself short if I did
Greene, who has thrown for more yards than any Bulldog through three
seasons, will remain at Georgia, he said.
Safety Thomas Davis, a redshirt sophomore, is eligible for this year's
draft because his high school class has now been out of school for three
years. He is the Bulldogs' leading tackler with 130 and was named
first-team All-SEC (Associated Press) and second-team All-America (The
Sporting News), but he won't leave, he said.
"My mind has been made up," he said. "I never considering
Davis, in fact, has led the campaign to keep all of the Bulldog juniors
in place for one more season.
"Anybody who could leave this year, I just try to encourage them to
come back so we can make this run," he said, "go out and try to win
Prospects look good for Juniors to Return
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