Mar 20, 2011, 12:16 AM EDT
In his running diary at the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame nose guard Ian Williams had a great post about the NFL lockout, the upcoming draft, and former teammates Kyle Rudolph, Manti Te’o, and Michael Floyd.
As Williams returns to campus to finish his classes before May graduation, he talks about balancing his preparations for Notre Dame’s April 7 pro day while training in Chicago with former teammates Kerry Neal, Brian Smith and Robert Hughes, all guys that have legitimate shots at catching on with an NFL team — if they ever figure out their labor impasse.
Williams also gave us some minor scoop that Kyle Rudolph signed an endorsement deal with Adidas, which helps explains his inclusion in the latest Adidas “All In” commercial. (Don’t blink, you might miss him.)
It’s a pretty cool commercial and Notre Dame’s inclusion with Derek Rose, Katy Perry, and Lionel Messi certainly means something I’m not qualified to figure out. But if there’s one thing Irish fans might like hearing is Williams’ take on Irish star Michael Floyd, who decided to stay in school for his senior year, and rising junior Manti Te’o, who also will have a decision to make after next season.
The lockout won’t stop endorsement deals. My former teammate, Kyle Rudolph, signed with adidas. Me, I haven’t gotten any calls. Rudy is an offensive player. A lot of those brands — adidas, Nike — they like the offensive guys, but I’m happy for Rudy to get something like that.
You really never know where you’re going to go in the draft. You hear things and they have projections, but when you’re a player in college, you just have to go out there and play as hard as you can.
You can’t focus on something like, “If I do good here, if I get a sack here, I’ll go in the second round, third round.” That’s kind of being a selfish player.
If you go out and play hard every Saturday and do what you can, at the end of the day, the coaches and the scouts will see that.
The projections, ESPN and all that, really don’t mean anything. The coaches and GMs and the scouts who are in the draft war room at the time have the final decision of where you may go.
Now sometimes you have teammates you know will be high draft choices eventually. Michael Floyd, I think personally, would have been a first-rounder this year.
There were questions about his speed, but those people apparently don’t know that Michael Floyd is actually fast. And Manti Te’o is going to be a great linebacker.
I think he’ll stay all four years, but when he does come out, with his talent and the way he’s played the past two years, he’s going to be a first-rounder.
I wasn’t in the position to have to make a decision to come out early, like Michael Floyd did this year and Manti might next year. I think it would have been difficult, but it comes back to the thought that there is no experience that parallels being in college.
I would have talked to Jimmy (Clausen) and Golden (Tate) about it, but I think if I was in that position, I would have come back.
Te’o mentioned when he decided to forgo his Mormon mission that he’d be staying for four seasons in South Bend, but obviously restating that claim after next fall will have Irish fans breathing a lot easier. And while it’s an exercise in futility, if Williams had the recruiting skills needed to bring back Clausen and Tate to the Irish offense this year, it could’ve been a much different story, especially with the defensive renaissance.