BYU football: Unga might skip senior year, enter NFL draft

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  • Don't do it!
    Dec. 17, 2009 7:33 a.m.

    Next year we have a rookie QB and need Unga to play to give the new guy someone to hand off to. We don't want to go back to 6-6 seasons again. Unless BM finds someone to replace Unga, he will be letting down the team. Take one more for BYU and see. I still think Collie made a mistake. With him, Pitta, Tonga, and Unga, we would have been unstoppable!

  • AZ Coug
    Dec. 15, 2009 7:01 a.m.

    I will cheer for Unga no matter what he does. RB's have a shortened football lifespan. If you can make it in the NFL, go for it. It has been a pleasure to root for you at BYU. Just remember us zoobie fans when you make it big.
    Good luck and God speed.

  • Eric
    Dec. 14, 2009 4:00 p.m.

    Please go Unga. Your backups are what won the game against Oklahoma because they had great speed and juke ability and ran largely North/South. If BYU wishes to beat TCU next year it will have to be with the kind of running backs we see on the film clips on College Final Saturday nights on ESPN. I never once saw one of any BYU running backs. We haven't run back a punt of kickoff for a TD in how many decades? Start recruiting outside Utah!!!!!!

  • Roger
    Dec. 14, 2009 2:46 p.m.

    Unga will be letting down all 9 million members of the LDS church.

  • JT
    Dec. 14, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    I'm one more who thinks Harvey is not the type of back the NFL wants, but that he is also wise to try for it. How much money did Staley make in the NFL? A couple hundred grand? That's better than the alternative if Harvey gets hurt again, and he indeed isn't going to get any better than he is now. Giving up the scholarship for a final year likely won't prevent him from finishing school.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 14, 2009 12:42 p.m.

    Harvey Unga would be selfish to leave the Cougars and would leave millions disappointed.

  • Uninformed masses
    Dec. 12, 2009 9:24 p.m.

    What many Cougar fans may not realize is that before the 2011 NFL draft there will be a significant restructuring of the rookie contract system. It is widely suspected that this new rookie signing system will greatly reduce both overall contracts in terms of guaranteed money (the part of the contract that matters most), as well as the amount of money a player may get as a signing bonus.

    Bottom line for Harvey (and most college athletes with any semblence of business savy) is that testing the NFL waters now and declaring if there is even a reasonable probability of being drafted in the first 3 rounds will put you hundreds of thousands or millions ahead of the guys that come out next year and go in the same exact draft slot.

    Would any naysayers please raise their hands if they would turn down a full-time job that paid a guaranteed $250K+ per year for at least three years in exchange for skipping your senior year of college. That essentially is what a top 3-round draft pick gets.

    As a huge Cougar fan, I say go for it Harvey. It may be the best business decision you make.

  • BYU, Where Hate Speech is Good
    Dec. 12, 2009 7:36 p.m.

    For strictly selfish reasons, I would like to see Unga return for his senior year. If I were lucky enough to be Unga right now, I would 100% go to the NFL.

  • Get a life
    Dec. 12, 2009 5:18 p.m.

    Harvey needs to do what is best for Harvey. It has nothing to do with loyalty. It has everything to do with life. If you want to live your life vicariously through someone else, play an online reality game.
    I don't know if Unga will be much in demand as an every down back, but I think he would do very well as a fulback, which seems to be something that BYU produces a lot of for the the NFL.

  • re:Boise
    Dec. 12, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    Hey smurfs, You are soon to be 1-1 in BCS games. Please get back to us once you have beat the MWC in a game and don't play those creampuffs and still struggle away from home.

  • re: Hawaii Fan
    Dec. 12, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    I hope that post is a joke. No Hawaii fan has any right to mention their appearance in a BCS bowl. That was a huge letdown and step backward for the non-BCS schools. What was the score 41-10? embarrassing. See ya

  • Boise Blue
    Dec. 12, 2009 3:00 p.m.

    BYU will always be our little brother in football. Have fun watching us play in our second BCS Bowl.

  • Realistically...
    Dec. 12, 2009 8:32 a.m.

    There are several running backs who will be drafted before Harvey. He will not get a big contract. If he sticks with a team, it will be as a short yardage, goal line power runner. He does not have either break away speed or the ability to turn the corner against NFL linebackers. Stay in school and enjoy a terrific college career. If you are meant to play in the NFL, it will happen.

  • Unga
    Dec. 12, 2009 7:28 a.m.

    Has nothing left to prove at BYU.

    What could he possibly accomplish other than another year of getting beat up and beat down.

    How could he possibly improve his draft position?
    Would he have to rush for 1000 yards? 2000 yards? 3000 yards?

    Reality is, it will be next to impossible for Unga to improve his draft position and will only likely hurt his position by another average season, (for him, especially given the load he will have to bear with the new QB/TE/OL, etc.) and is just as likely to hurt his draft position with another injury.

    Dont' believe me, ask Colby Claweson about his meeting with Sam Bradford and how that affected Sam Bradford's draft position. Guarantee Sam Bradford would have been drafted much higher if not for Brother Claweson's hit.

  • manane
    Dec. 12, 2009 3:39 a.m.

    Responding to:
    "Re:RERe: Let's Keep Complete... | 10:39 p.m. Dec. 11, 2009"
    At the end of 1984's season, there were *two* undefeated D1 teams: BYU (13-0-0) and Cal State-Fullerton (12-0-0).

  • Interesting
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    Interesting that the poster at 10:39 PM plainly states that the BCS and the new rules came into existence because of what BYU accomplished in 1984. Rare for someone that seems like a Ute fan to admit.

    In your justification to apparently crown Utah I have one question for you how do you explain other years where undefeated teams were not voted as National Champs? Penn State & Michigan seem to come to mind.

  • Re:RERe: Let's Keep Complete...
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    Again, you're wrong. BYU was the only undefeated team left in 1984. At the time the polls gave preference to ANY undefeated team, regardless of their SOS. BYU benefited from being the only undefeated team left over a once-beaten Washington team who played in the Rose bowl. BYU beat a 6-5 Michigan team by 7 points in the Holiday Bowl. It was because of this that the rules were changed to never allow a team from, what would become the "non-automatic qualifying conference" teams, to win a national championship.

    In 2004 Utah was one of 4 undefeated teams with arguable the best offense of the 4 teams, including USC, Oklahoma, Auburn. But last year the Utes repeated this accomplishment, becoming the only undefeated team in the country. To do this they beat Alabama, a team that had been #1 for a month and a half, by 14 points in the Sugar Bowl. By every subjective measurement, the accomplishment of the Utes last year was equal to, or greater than, what BYU accomplished in 1984. But, as stated above, the rules had changed after 1984 to keep teams like Utah from being awarded the national champ.

  • RERe: Let's Keep Complete Scores
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:06 p.m.

    Actually Utah would NOT have been national champions in 2004 or 2008 in the old system that gave BYU the national championship in 1984 because Utah was NOT ranked number one in ANY of the major polls. BYU was ranked number one in most of the polls, including all the major ones.

  • Re: Let's Keep Complete Scores
    Dec. 11, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    You are correct - the other records do count in the record book. But they do note that 1950 was the beginning of the modern era of college football and they often will parse some of the statistics because the nature of how the game changed around that time. Look it up.

    If a BYU fan was just trying to show only their good years wouldn't they start in 1972 with Edward's and show nothing else?

    The previous post did list both sets of numbers to not alter the facts.

    The system in 1984 was voting by several news wires and coaches polls. The two that really mattered AP & UPI (now coaches poll) voted BYU #1 for their undefeated season and 24 game winning streak. Since both voted BYU as #1 they were a consensus national champion. That does not equate 2004 or 2008 for Utah to be National Champs just because they went undefeated. The pollsters in the main polls recognized by NCAA record books AP/Coaches did not vote Utah #1.

    Very nice bowl win percentage Utah - much easier to do when you're not normally the conference champ with the tougher competition :-)

  • Re: Let's Keep Complete Scores
    Dec. 11, 2009 6:28 p.m.

    Since when did the NCAA establish 1950 as the year to start counting records? That is blatantly untrue. BYU fans always like to play that card because up until the 1960s, their win-loss record was one of the worst in college football. The NCAA accepts all of its records since football was established in the late 1800s.

    Let's add a few facts: Utah 53 wins, BYU 34 wins. (At one time the U of U held a 34-2 record over BYU.)

    It's true, BYU has one "national championship" in 1984. But under the same rules that were in place in 1984, the University of Utah has one national championship in 2008, and possibly another in 2004.

    Utah's bowl record is 11-4; BYU's is 9-17-1. BYU has played in 12 more bowl games, yet has 2 fewer wins than Utah.

    Be careful when choosing which records to accept and which records to reject. By your way of thinking, the New York Yankees have only won 15, not 27, World Series titles. Everything that Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, etc. did does not count because it happened in the 1920s. Come on!

  • Red Rocks
    Dec. 11, 2009 4:33 p.m.

    re: Red Rocks | 3:31 p.m wrote:

    "Didn't the other teams start with the posts about the score in scope of the BCS.... Does it have to be a BYU fan to find/post stats that can't be refuted? Does that display class or no-class to post facts? Does it hurt that the accurate stats that were pulled do not high light your team of choice?"

    What are you rambling on about?! I have no idea what you are trying to articulate. I have never posted a comment about Utah being better or superior to BYU. Your comment is really, really strange.

  • re: Red Rocks | 3:31 p.m
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    Didn't the other teams start with the posts about the score in scope of the BCS.

    Which by the way only exists because of 1984.

    Does it have to be a BYU fan to find/post stats that can't be refuted? Does that display class or no-class to post facts? Does it hurt that the accurate stats that were pulled do not high light your team of choice? Is it classier for someone (perhaps you) to make ascertions of dominance or national prestige with no backing of reality?

    Recency has placed the spotlight on all the teams listed above to differing degrees. But based on the "scores" who has proven worthiness or received the most national attention historically?

    I am totally aware that BSU/Utah/TCU have grabbed a huge amount of the light that BYU once held for itself in the football world of mid-majors. The declining/winding down Edward's years and the painful Crowton years were taken advantage of by each of them and I saw kudos to them. Look at the last 4 years and see the consistency BYU is showing and trying to build upon. It gives hope along with facts.

    Dec. 11, 2009 3:53 p.m.

    There is no way in hades that Unga will stick around. A rebuilding year, with his injury history? He will take a fat NFL check and lock into a big contract. I will bet my skinny paycheck on it.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:44 p.m.

    10+ win seasons for the scoreboard:

    BYU 14 (14)
    TCU 9 (6)
    BSU 8 (8)
    UTAH 4 (4)
    Hawaii 2 (2)

    Poor BSU may feel bad about some of these numbers but considering they've only been DI - FBS since 1999 I'd say that is impressive for them. You could add 3 more years of 10+ win seasons if you counted their time in DI-AA.

  • Red Rocks
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:31 p.m.

    To Let's keep complete scores | 3:18 p.m.,

    Leave it to a BYU Fan to try to tear down our football team on an article about Harvey Unga. Real classy.

  • re: complete scores
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    I also missed this years BYU bowl game so that would bring them up to 28.

  • re: complete scores
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    By the way - I included a hope/assumption that Utah wins their bowl game and ends up ranked, otherwise it lowers their number for ending seasons ranked.

  • Let's keep complete scores
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    We'll break down some scores for all of you. I'll place totals plus number since 1950 in parenthesis since that is considered the beginning of the modern era of college football by the NCAA and recency has relevance. I also will only list Div I - FBS information. All numbers include this year even bowls not played yet.

    AP Consensus National Champs:
    BYU 1 (1)
    TCU 1 (0)
    Utah/BSU/Hawaii 0

    Conf Champs:
    Utah 26 (10)
    BYU 23 (23)
    TCU 15 (10)
    BSU 9 (9)
    Hawaii 3 (3)

    Overall Bowl invites:
    BYU 27 (27)
    TCU 25 (19)
    Hawaii 23 (12)
    Utah 16 (14)
    BSU 10 (10)

    BCS invites:
    Utah 2
    BSU 2
    Hawaii 1
    TCU 1
    BYU 0

    Major National Awards (heisman/outland/sammy baugh/etc):
    BYU 16 (16)
    TCU 5 (3)
    Utah 1 (1)
    Hawaii 1 (1)
    BSU 0 (0)

    AP Top 25 finishes:
    BYU 17 (17)
    TCU 15 (12)
    BSU 6 (6)
    Utah 5 (5)
    Hawaii ? (?)

    Only one historical category does any of these schools rate higher than BYU and that is in overall conference champs. Since 1950 it isn't even close.

    The newly invented category of BCS BYU does lag behind. WhyDoesBCS Exist?

  • Hey Proud BCSers
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:48 p.m.

    Hawaii, nobody cares about your BCS game where you got destroyed.

    Boise State, your joy ride is over. You will get beat by TCU and will not make it to the BCS next year. VT will kill you.

    TCU, congrats, you guys deserve it. But don't get all excited about a BCS appearance until you win the game. (see hawaii above)

    Oh, and to re:Early entry, Lee Cummard did not enter the draft early.

  • Geezer Coug Fan
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:36 p.m.

    I think Luke Staley did what was best for him at the time and I supported him. He had had 5 or 6 major surgeries, and needed to give the NFL a chance before his body fell apart.

    I also support Harvey Unga if he decides to leave early. I'm thankful for his contributions to the cougs, but he needs to take care of his young wife and future kids. If he stays, he will probably be carrying the whole team on his back, what with a new QB, TEs, and FB. He will surely be banged up. If he decides to leave, it will be because he needs to give the next level a shot while he is still healthy. I think he is also aware that he might be playing FB in the NFL like Fahu Tahi. His body and speed are more typical of an NFL FB. FB is a body-pounding position to play, especially in the NFL.

    If Harvey stays, we should certainly count our blessings, but don't be surprised if he heads to the NFL--it probably makes the most sense for him.

  • Horned Frog
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:09 p.m.

    Since we're all at it right now:

    TCU 1 BCS
    BYU 0 BCS

    Unga, good luck on whatever you decide to do. It was nice playing against you the last couple of years!

  • re: re: early entries
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:08 p.m.

    After several years in the NBA Bradley was not any stronger. I don't see how being at BYU vs the NBA would have been better for him. If $70 Million is a bust sign me up :-)

  • Hawaii Fan
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:55 p.m.

    Aloha, my BYU friends!! Just thought I would remind you that:

    Hawaii 1 BCS Bowl
    BYU 0 BCS Bowls

    Good luck Harvey!

  • Boise BLue
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:27 p.m.

    I would bet anything that Unga decides to go to the NFL this year. He knows that another year at BYU will gain him absolutely nothing. He knows that BYU will not be going to a BCS Bowl in the next 10-20 years. He knows that Boise will be going to their third BCS Bowl next year. In case you BYU fans have forgot:

    Boise 2 BCS Bowls
    BYU 0 BCS Bowls

  • BYU, Where Knowledge is Good
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    Unga will do the right thing and go into the draft. If you guys are honest with yourselves, you would do the EXACT same thing. The ONLY reason you go to college is to make more money and provide for your future family. This is Unga's chance and I wish him luck. Thanks for the memories.

  • Go.
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:05 p.m.

    I'm about as loyal a Cougar fan as you'll ever find, but I gotta think Harvey is better served to hit the draft this year. Unless the agents tell him he won't be drafted or he'll be a 7th rounder, he's gotta take it. He can always go back and get his degree...that money will not always be there, and I don't think his stock is getting any higher than it is right now. He's not getting any faster, and he's proven all he can prove at the college level. Wh risk a major injury? Best of luck to you Harvey, you've been spectacular.

  • Boyy
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    As much as I want to have Unga back next year, I think it would be a good choice to turn pro. He isn't an every down back in the NFL. Coming back next year would not change that. But he does have a unique set of skills to bring to the NFL. He is great to pick up the hard 2 or 3 yards on 3rd and short. He also has surprisingly soft hands which will make him a good option in the receiving game.

    Of course, I will not complain he if stays!!!

  • Be careful of agents
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:36 p.m.

    "I think talking to agents and getting a feel for what they think is a start for me..." - HU

    Harvey, I'll save ya some time on that one. Here's what the agents are gonna say: "Yeah, man, go for it! You're great and I have a feeling you'll go high in this year's draft! You are so much better than a lot of players entering the draft it's practically a done deal!!"

    Agents say stuff like that whether it's true or not. And why? Money. They have a chance to make money off of you and that's all the reason they need. They figure the more clients they can get to enter the draft the better their chances are of making some real money. Don't let their flattery get to your head. Also look at other factors and don't give too much weight to what an agent says.

  • re: early entries
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:32 a.m.

    I suspose it's your perspective. If all you're considering is the payday then, yes, Shawn Bradley's case worked out in his favor. However, if you look at how well his NBA career turned out, I'd have to think any reasonable person would have to say it was a complete bust. His most influential contribution to the NBA was his animated character in Space Jam, co-starring opposite Daffy Duck. Not saying much. His NBA career was a huge disappointment. Besides, Bradley was at BYU when I was there (20 years ago). Staley was another one - got his payday but had no NFL career. I'll grant you that Tait and Collie (although early, it's promising) worked out by leaving early. So, that's *2* in *20* years. You didn't include any BYU basketball players (Travis Hanson, Lee Cummard, etc.) that left early that never made an NBA team. That's not an impressive track record. Speaking for myself, I don't think BYU players are too slow or too small (BYU still puts people in the NFL, just not early entries) - history shows the best bet is to go AFTER your senior year.

  • wet
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:25 a.m.

    The highway to the NFL is littered with players who have the skills but not the body to handle the pounding.

    If Harvey's body can't take the college game, it sure looks unlikely to make the pros, unless the staff at BYU just can't take care of the players.

  • I Hunga for Unga
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:03 a.m.

    We'll miss you Harvey. You deserve the draft this year. Good luck in the NFL! It would be great if you joing Austin at Indianapolis.

  • early entries
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:34 a.m.

    For those bashing (specifically) BYU players that left school early for drafts:

    Shawn Bradley = 14 years in the NBA approx $70 Million (G=832, GS=484); comfortably retired this year; retired comfortably after the 2005 season

    John Tait = 10 years in the NFL conservatively $38 Million (G=148, GS=139); comfortably retired this year

    Luke Staley = 1 year contract with Detroit Lions, $225,000 (G=0, GS=0; entered 1 pre-season game no stats); cut with more money in hand than most ever earn in a year (or 2, or 3)

    Austin Collie = 1 year so far with Colts approx $295,000 - played every game so far (12) and started 3. Has a reception in every professional game played, a top 2 rookie receiver in most statistical categories; making a very good showing for himself and his future

    For everyone one who says "too slow", "too small", "not enough skills"; I know I wish I had these gentlemen's perceived deficiencies on a scale that allowed me to pick up any of their pay days.

    I'm guessing most on this board would do the same.

  • Get the dough
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:53 a.m.

    I use to be on the 'stay in school' bandwagon with college athletes. What I didn't realize when I was younger was the concept of opportunity. If the NFL opportunity to make the league minimum of $300,000 is there, then why risk another year of school and injury. If Harvey wants to finish his degree, then he can always come back and get it. If you went to college to get a degree in computer science, proved yourself by your junior year and was offered a job for six figures....wouldn't you take it?

    Where did Luke Staley go after he got injured and didn't make an NFL roster .... back to Provo to finish his education ... at least that is why I assume he was there.

  • Unga?
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:35 a.m.

    Dude commit to the NFL....what are you 29 years old? sign up fast or you may have to retire before your drafted!

  • Surfratmatt
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    Unga's been a good, tough college back. I see him in the NFL, but only kinda like Fuamatu-Ma'afala -- a big bruiser that lacks NFL speed. He played off and on for 7 years, which means he earned NFL retirement status after 4. If he can get drafted this year, he should go.

  • wallofvoodoo
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    Who can blame him. How many pro careers have been ended in college?

  • Coiugar Fan
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:50 a.m.

    Harvey needs to improve his speed and stamina. The combine will hurt him if he comes out.

    Good luck to him with whatever he does.

  • If he gets drafted, go.
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    Pros for going Pro: Big money. Get to play pro football.

    Cons: miss SR year. Graduation delayed.

    Pros for returning: Another year playing BYU football. Graduate now (next year). Set football records. Make fans happy.

    Cons: Risk season/career ending injuries. Risk decrease in draft stock due to graduating QB, top reciever, and much of the O line. Delayed NFL income could cost him as much as 200,000 due to time value of money. Possible lower NFL salary due to new regulations.

    If it appears that Unga will be drafted, he should go. He loses little by going early.

    He can always go back to school, especially after earning an NFL salary.

    He really can't improve his draft stock very much. He's already had 3 great years, another one really wouldn't change things.

    Due to the loss of key players on offence and defence, Unga may not have as big a season next year which would lower hi stock. He also runs the risk of getting injured in a manner that could dimminish or erase his hope of getting drafted.

    Go Harvey, Go.

  • Bob in line
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:07 a.m.

    When in doubt stay in school.

    I join the crowd that thinks Harvey may not have it what it takes to get into the NFL. First, they love speed. You can't coach speed. Either you have it or you don't. He is far faster than I am but on the average NFL roster is is likely slower than most of the linebackers, let alone safties.

    I just don't think he has it. He may get onto an NFL team and sit the bench for a year or two but I don't think he will really make a splash. That being said, I said about the same thing with Austin Collie and I was wrong.

    I hope he stays in school and finishes his degree. If not, best of luck to him!

  • Ernest T. Bass
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:05 a.m.

    Goll, Unge would be a #one round draft pick.

  • Draft Boards
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    Every mock draft I've seen has Harvey Unga being taken in the later rounds. He'll get drafted for sure. Who wouldn't want to make 6 figures right out of college? Go to the NFL, put as much money as you can in the bank, then finish up at BYU with enough to have a house paid for in cash if things don't work out.

  • Good enough
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    Unga is good enough to get drafted. He won't be a first day pick obviously. He won't be a feature running back, but he could be a back up or a situational back. He has the abliities and the experience to get drafted and stay with a team for at least a couple of years. Here's why:

    1)He's a big back. He is as about as big as Fui Vakapuna and Naufahu Tahi who are in the NFL as fullbacks, but he is a tail back.

    2) Experience/vision. He already has 3 years of starting experience. He has almost 3400 yards. He already has more experience than most RB, including seniors, who try to go pro. That experience shows. If you watch him play, you'll see that he is great at finding hole to run through. Many times this season I've seen hole detailed in the play get pluged or congested, and Unga noticed a gap in the defense and took advantage of it. That is a valuable skill. To turn nothing into a significant gain is something people look for.

    This comment will be continued in good enough part 2.

  • Too Fragile?!?!?!?!
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:23 a.m.

    Harvey Unga has run for almost 3400 yards in 3 seasons. How is that make him too fragile? How does someone who isn't durable run for over a thousand yard per season for 3 years in a row? And he's done on a throwing team too. His injuries have been little nicks and scratches. the longest he has ever gone without playing was a single game.

    He is not "injurey prone" as Luke Staley and Matt Assiata are. They had injuries that end their season. Unga has injuries that might make him miss a couple days of practice.

  • Not a speed back
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:09 a.m.

    Harvey will obviously not be a home run hitting speed back in the NFL (like Adrian Peterson is), but most NFL teams also have workhorse tailbacks that pound between the tackles and have great careers (like a Jerome Bettis). He won't be an early rounder, but Harvey definitely has the talent and stature to have a successful career in the NFL with the right team.

  • to anonymous 10:01
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:06 a.m.

    If BYU wasn't going anywhere then they wouldn't have NFL worthy players

  • citizen16
    Dec. 11, 2009 6:14 a.m.

    As a fan I'd love to see Unga back next year. Having him in the backfield will take pressure off of the new QB. But, if he gets a lot of teams and agents saying he'll be a mid-round pick, then he should declare for the draft. I'd personally take the advice of NFL professionals on this over a bunch of anonymous comments on this board.

    I distinctly remember a lot of UofU fans on these boards ridiculing Collie for the same decision last year using the same lack of speed argument. They were wrong and Collie is having an outstanding rookie season. I still don't understand all of the UofU fans commenting on here. Don't you have your own team to cheer for?

    Dec. 11, 2009 4:56 a.m.

    Harvey will not decide by any of these comments, he will go by what coaches, family, and close friends and of course agents say, but the fact is, and Collie was an exception (because team members of the Colts left and they needed him)if Harvey leaves early, he will not get drafted and will end up on a practice squad. Why? Because he is from BYU (not knocking BYU per se)he does not have credentials (forget stats, look at what they did to Pitta). He is better off staying at school and creating a HUGE statistical base next year that would be impossible to ignore (another 1,000 yards more TDs, etc. Then with bigger numbers he can move forward. And, he will have time to substancially fix his hamstring problems before going into the draft.

  • Do what's best for you, Harvey!
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:39 a.m.

    We Coug fans will be forever grateful for your three or four years of bearing down, grinding, and tearing up defenses nationwide. Figure out what offers the best future chances for you and pursue it 100%. Do finish up school at some point though so we can get you in the BYU Hall of Fame.

  • Re: 8:19 a.m.
    Dec. 10, 2009 11:34 p.m.

    Asiata==============got injured against a Big East team.

    Go Harvey!!!

  • Kiddin me
    Dec. 10, 2009 11:20 p.m.

    A lot of selfish coug fans on this worrying about next year. Have some respect for a guy who is looking to better his life.

    Any of you looking to get a better job? Better paycheck? Financial security? Retirement?

    And about the education; it will be there waiting for him the rest of his life.

    Thanks Harvey for the three years, do what is best for your family and yourself.

    Best of luck

  • Stay...
    Dec. 10, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    No offense Harvey, but if people are telling you you'll be playing on Sunday's next year, I think you should get a second (or third) opinion. Harvey's a big guy and a strong runner, but I can think of several senior backs that play in harder conferences that are much more "power" backs than Harvey. I'm always disappointed to hear BYU athletes (basketball & football) considering going pro early - other than Collie, I can't really think of anyone who has done this successfully from BYU - not sure where that kool-aid is, but Harvey needs to get some perspective. BTW, I'm a BYU homer and want to see Harvey next year - truth is that it will only be in a BYU uniform, not in the NFL.

    Patience Grasshopper, patience...

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2009 10:01 p.m.

    Do it, BYU isn't going anywhere

    Dec. 10, 2009 9:38 p.m.

    With the collective bargaining agreement possibly changing in the NFL, rumor has it that they will cap the rookie salaries. As stated by a Chicago sports station that I listen to, this could be the deepest draft in years because a lot of collegiates want to leave early (before the cap). This could mean Unga would benefit leaving but get drafted lower or get drafted higher next year but make less money. HMMM - Tough choice. Of course, I want him to stay but it is not life - follow the money! If you are not ready now - you won't be in a year.

  • Idahoan
    Dec. 10, 2009 9:20 p.m.

    I wouldn't be promoting Asiata on this thread. After all, he's had injury issues too. His were worse even.

  • Floyd Johnson
    Dec. 10, 2009 9:11 p.m.

    I love watching Harvey play. Strong, powerful, good feel for the game good hands. I would love to see him play another year at BYU.

    He is receiving good advice and is taking reasonable steps to evaluate his options. He has not declared himself eligible, simply requesting a professional analysis.

    If he is predicted as a first day selection he should enter the draft. Otherwise, we are fortunate to have him another year.

    Austin Collie, Luke Staley, and John Tait all made the correct decision in leaving early. Staying at BYU another year would not have helped Staley. His knee would have failed early in his senior year. His "bad" decision netted him two years of NFL salary and a fabulous experience.

    Give up the loyalty argument BYU fans. He has a growing family and needs to do what is best for him. 3-4 years of NFL salary won't set an individual up for life, but the rest of us wish we had that head start.

  • Provo Joe
    Dec. 10, 2009 8:20 p.m.

    Harvey Unga eats Yewts for breakfast.
    Career vs. Utah:
    61 Carries 373 Yards (6.1 YPC) 4 TDs

  • Asiata >>>> Unga
    Dec. 10, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    GO UTES!!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2009 8:00 p.m.

    Harvey is not an NFL running back. He is not quick enough to get around the corner in the NFL, and his body will not survive inside.

    If he goes early, its just to grab a paycheck and not risk losing all of it with an injury. Can't blame him for that tho. Loyalty? There is no loyalty in sports, so fans who cry "I cheered for you, you owe me" need to reconsider their life options.

  • hey CougarKeith
    Dec. 10, 2009 7:30 p.m.

    Collie is the real deal, and Payton Manning is the one saying it. Watch them the next 5 years and report back ...

  • Realist
    Dec. 10, 2009 7:24 p.m.

    Nfl is talking about adding to cap on Rookies.....this may be the last year of BIG Mony contracts...But somehow I don't think that includes Unga...he is not a 1st rounder......I question whether he can make it through as a walk on...He isn't that impressive, but then neither was Mike Anderson at Utah? But look how far he went.....?

  • Voice of Reason
    Dec. 10, 2009 6:34 p.m.

    Let's be objective here. Harvey wants to play football to support his family. If a fortune 500 company approached you your junior year in college and offered you a guaranteed 200k signing bonus and a job, you and I would take it.

    Bronco and the gang have hooked Harvey up with NFL guys who will accurately gauge where he is at in the draft. If he is a 5th round talent or better, he goes; if he is a sixth round talent or worse, he stays in school. Luke Staley was told he was a sixth round talent because of his injuries and jumped in the draft and we know the history.

    Dec. 10, 2009 6:24 p.m.

    His numbers will drop by about 25% during his Senior year.

    The replacement QB's have physical talent, but nowhere near the game experience of Max. Put new TE's and OL's in the equation. The whole thing looks very ify.

    The pro teams know what he can do.

    Staying in Provo will guarantee an undrafted free agent status. The risk of staying around to face possible injury is just too great.

    The best time to leave is when you feel you have something to prove to the naysayers. Put a chip on your shoulder and prove all the naysayers wrong. You're healthy and optimistic.

    GO FOR IT!

  • Converted
    Dec. 10, 2009 6:04 p.m.

    Unga will be converted to Full back at the next level. Go pro, get a pay check. Save some of it to finish your degree AFTER you're done playing in the NFL.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    "Next year is huge rebuilding year what with losing Pitta and the winningest QB in the history of BYU FB and Jan Jorgensen. Things are looking slim for ya in Provo next year."

    Glad to hear it...BYU should hope that the players replacing these guys have learned from their mistakes and know how to keep their mouths shut.

  • Unga
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    Go Pro, young man, Go Pro!

    Next year is huge rebuilding year what with losing Pitta and the winningest QB in the history of BYU FB and Jan Jorgensen. Things are looking slim for ya in Provo next year.

    Likely to get more injuries and another 1200 yards of rushing will not get you any closer to the NFL. You're not getting any younger and in the grand scheme of things, you'd rather have an extra year playing for $1 million plus rather than coming back for another bitter Holy War (since BYU will almost certainly not contest for the BCS next year, and will likely not be in the running for MWC champs either).

    Good Luck Harvey, and Go PRO!

  • Unga lacks
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:33 p.m.

    I'm going to beat a dead horse and agree with everyone that Unga is too slow for the NFL. He struggled to beat people in the MWC. I would be surprised if he even got drafted, and if he does, he will have a very short NFL career. I am a Cougar fan and think he has been great for BYU but I don't see him going anywhere after the season is over.

  • Stay Unga!
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:32 p.m.

    Unga should definitely stay another year. But maybe that is just me as a Cougar fan wanting at least one proven offensive player on the team next year (OK, maybe two if you count Jacobson).

    Also, although I agree Collie is very talented and has definitely worked hard to get the playing time he has gotten, he is quite lucky to be on the same team as Peyton Manning, especially given the Colt's current situation at WR. I don't think he would be doing nearly as well on any other team.

  • Re: Unga is not NFL material
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    Are you nuts? I'm a Utah fan and would be happy to see him leave. He is strong, has great balance, quick for his size. If you need 2 yards, he'll get 3. Why would he stay? BYU loses their tight end and QB and three linemen. BYU will be rebuilding next year. Run Unga, run. He may not get drafted but will make a team. He'll play special teams and get a chance as a third string somewhere. Go Utes!

  • 3rd string
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:26 p.m.

    Oh no! He might end up a 3rd string back in the NFL? I would take that paycheck any day.

  • So Cal BYU Fan
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:09 p.m.

    It would be nice to see Unga have a great bowl game against OSU to show that he can carry the team against a formitable opponent. He doesn't have break away speed (for the NFL) and the pounding he will take at the next level will quickly wear him down. If you do go, get as much money as you can in the initial contract.

  • Harvey Staley
    Dec. 10, 2009 5:08 p.m.

    Please don't leave yet. There's one more game on the hill that you need to play next year. Besides, you don't want to have a legacy like Luke...what's his name.

    Do you feel you've played your best football yet? Give the Y on more year like NDamukong Suh did for Nebraska. Yes, different position, but he really dominated all year...we havn't seen that from Harvey yet.

    I realize that much of that relies with Anae, that being said, it may be in your best interest to bolt since he doesn't recognize where his strengths are and didn't go to you nearly enough.

  • Unga is not NFL material
    Dec. 10, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    He would not get drafted. He would get picked up as a free agent and not make a team. Big mistake to go pro right now for Unga. If he declares for the NFL, this years Las Vegas bowl will be the last time he plays Football.

  • MiP
    Dec. 10, 2009 4:43 p.m.

    I'm glad he'll be eliciting the advice from some professionals rather than us "experts."

    He's gotta do what's right for him.

    What was right for Tim Tebow? To stay in school and be the BMOC and be "the best college player ever." Likely he'll do little in the NFL and go straight into coaching or inspirational speaking.

    What's right for Unga? Only he can decide that.

    Personally, as a Utah fan, I'd like to see him in the NFL ;)

  • re: Harvey's tough
    Dec. 10, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    true, and none of the U q-backs have thrown 5 INT's, fumbled, and ran their mouths either.

  • No Way!
    Dec. 10, 2009 4:22 p.m.

    Harvey is a good back and will make a good back in the NFL because of his size. As far as school goes he has been around long enough that he will probably graduate this year. He has been with the program since 2004.

  • dh
    Dec. 10, 2009 4:18 p.m.

    Unga doesn't have close to the speed needed in the NFL. I can't believe he is even considering it. He'll need to bulk up and play fullback in the NFL. He's not even a 4-6 round pick. I'd be shocked if he got drafted and I'm a cougar fan.

  • RR
    Dec. 10, 2009 4:00 p.m.

    I have seen several interviews of Staley and he is happy he went. He knew he was fragile and had a high likelihood of being undraftable after his senior year. He got to play in a preseason game. He didn't make a ton of money, but he did get paychecks from the NFL. Harvey isn't as fragile as Staley was, so I think Harvey is a wash if he is not guaranteed 1st-3rd round (he won't be). Then, it is just his risk tolerance and need for cash.

  • Re: gdog3
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:56 p.m.

    I thought it was Chris Burgess (who initially chose Duke over BYU but later transferred to Utah) that Roger Reid said let down 8 million Mormons and the Prophet too.

  • Harvey's tough
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:53 p.m.

    You try running the ball 2 billion times for almost 3400 yards over 3 seasons and see how long you last. Harvey takes a beating, and he has handled it all quite well.

    None of the U backs have done that yet.

  • Dear Harvey Unga
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    You don't owe the fans or school anything. Get good advice and do what is best for you and your family.

    If you do come back, do it for the 4-year degree and not a shot at winning the MWC or getting into the BCS. There is no chance that the Y. beats TCU in Fort Worth with a new quarterback next fall, and beating Utah or Florida State on the road is probably not happening either.

  • Drafted
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    Who says he'll even get drafted if he decides to leave school? He is a pretty decent college player but I'm not convinced he could make it in the NFL.

  • Hawk
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:45 p.m.

    Well, Utah Fan, therein lies the rub -- he WON'T be a late 1st or 2nd round pick. I would guess a mid-round pick, out of the guaranteed money. So a major injury means no guaranteed $$. I don't see him having the speed to be an NFL TB, nor the durability or blocking ability to be an NFL FB. So, another year in Provo may not improve his draft status, but it will be easier to land a decent post-football job with a degree in hand....

  • So Cal Y Fan
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:41 p.m.

    Re: Utah Fan. There's ZERO chance Harvey will be a 1st or 2nd Round Draft pick. Mark my word. No way. I'm a Cougs fan and Unga fan, but the reality is he'll be a mid-round draft pick (4-6 round) at best! If I lose this beat, I'll turn over my over-priced mortgage to you! Go Cougs! Still wish they were coming to Sunny San Diego!

  • West Jordan Blue
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:35 p.m.

    I think he should test the waters. Get a feel for what the NFL scouts say about his game. It depends on how well he does in his pro day. The injury bug will bite him wether he is in the NFL or MWC but no one will know, only time will tell. I do believe school and education are very important. But even if he is on a NFL practice squad he will bring in around 7k a week. His education would be around 8 or 9k to finish depending how far away he is from graduating, point is one week on a practice sqaud (that means he actually is not a a NFL roster) can pay for his education. There is plenty of time in the summer to finish up that degree. Whatever Harvey decides to do I will support him. All the posters including myself can't say what he does will be right or wrong because we would never even sniff this tremendous opportunity. Good Luck Harvey, take is to OSU

  • TheHailstorm
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:33 p.m.

    He better stay .
    I know Tonga passed Lego's 3 and his Barney puppet class but I don't know if he is eligible for the post season , let alone next year.
    Better come back and help those blue blooded Ute haters. Wouldn't want you to have any treasures on earth when you can have all of those treasures in heaven via Bronky and his coaches "The Fireside Five".

  • Unga!
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:28 p.m.

    Dude, I cheered for you for the last 3 years. I gave you my loyalty along with 1000s of others. Where's the loyalty to your fans and school?

  • gdog3
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    Yes money comes and goes. But where and how it may come and where it actually goes in securing a family's future is the concept that probably matters to Unga.

    I remember when many a cougar jumped on the Roger Reid train about Shawn Bradley letting down 8 million Mormons. However many Mormons or more Cougar fans to be more specific, are telling Unga not to leave BYU hanging next season, think it about the relative situation completely.

    It may be in Unga's best interest to stay another year in Provo. Who really knows? It's a tough decision, one that will include advice, yet still one that carries no guarantees either way.

    The Staley comparison is not really comparable is it? Two BYU RBs is more or less it.

    Personally, I see Harvey Unga as a great MWC and BYU RB but not one who will excel at next level. As with Pitta, it takes different physical abilities to flourish in the NFL than the ones these two (Unga & Pitta) have used to be BYU greats.

  • Utah Fan
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:22 p.m.

    Just in response to all of the previous comments, yes Luke Staley had a very unlucky pro career. And while you all make good points on staying another year and finishing school which is great. And he may impress the NFL scouts even more next year, especially with Max Hall leaving so i'd imagine that they'll run the ball a lot more next season. But there's also a chance of him getting seriously hurt next season which would destroy his chances of going pro. If he gets word that he will be a 1st round or early 2nd round pick i'd imagine he'll decide to go. It would be stupid to stay another year after the career he's already had. You don't want to risk losing everything you've accomplished. Of course, me being a Ute fan, i'd like to see him go so we don't have to play him anymore. He is one great runner

  • re: And to think
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    Yeah. I don't think guys like Sean Smith and Paul Kruger benefited much from switching positions at Utah did they!

    Naive Cougar fan. Truth is Unga would have been a terrific LB, and when it comes to playing at the next level, his chances to have a long NFL career would be much better at LB than RB. Not quick enough to be an every-down back in the NFL. But would be a heck of a middle linebacker.

  • Collie Lucky???
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:17 p.m.

    What? Lucky. Please you crazy Ute fan..... He is leading rookie receiver. Desevres props. Love your Hatred for the Y. Dork... Unga ought to Go to NFL in my opinion because he might get hurt worse. Take the money while you can. BYU just restock and reloads because they are getting all the recruit the Utes wish they had. LOL...GO, Take the money and hope you don't get cheap shots on the ankles like the Utes like to give everyone. Cheap Cheap Cheap Utes........ I feel just like MAX HALL>>>>>>>>

  • Blind Cougar Fans
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:15 p.m.

    The very reason he should bolt now is because of his injury issues. Staley did the right thing. Yes, he got injuried in the NFL and didn't get the big paycheck he hoped for, but seeing how often he was hurt in college, why do you think his senior season would have been any different? Had he stayed and gotten hurt again, his chances to get in the NFL would have been even worse. Injury prone players just don't suddonly get healthy.

    He has nothing left to prove at BYU. Much like Collie last year. He comes back next year with a new QB, new FB, and 2 new TE's. Not to mention a team with an entire new front 7 on defense, and road games at TCU, Utah, FSU, and Washington at home.

    Just say no Harvey. Get the payday now.

  • JR
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    Take the cash. He is at a point where he is not going any higher in the draft next year. It is too risky. Take the money and run.

  • Unga is awesome
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:08 p.m.

    Why run the risk of a major injury playing one more year of college ball when he has already proven that he can play well. Go when the going is good. Take the money and run Harvey run.

  • Divotmeister
    Dec. 10, 2009 3:01 p.m.

    Anytime there is a story like this, "...weighing options, etc.", it's basically adios to the player in question. Choosing between $$ and risk of injury + homework/classes, etc. is no choice for these kids. Unga is good, but he doesn't have the durability or the speed to get around the corners for the MWC let alone the NFL.

  • Doing it for the money?
    Dec. 10, 2009 2:55 p.m.

    Money comes and money goes, but an education is for life.

  • And to think
    Dec. 10, 2009 2:52 p.m.

    if he had gone to the yewts, he would have been a linebacker instead of the most prolific running back in the history of the conference. Good thing he went to the Y. This should be a lesson to all those high schoolers that your dreams can be fulfilled at the Y, but not with the yewts.

  • CougarKeith
    Dec. 10, 2009 2:48 p.m.

    My advice Harvey, STAY IN SCHOOL! Think about it, look at those who came out early, Luke Staley comes to my mind. Here is a PRIME EXAMPLE example of what can happen when you come out early! Staley a back up with the Lions never had a chance because of injury, and he wanted "Money" which he really never got. Opportunity lost? If he stayed in school he could have gotten healthy been able to gain MORE YARDS, impress the NFL even more, gotten drafted HIGHER, played more, made more, and still be playing if he so desired! Sure think of your buddy AUSTIN COLLIE, fact, he is EXTREMELY LUCKY, he hasn't been bothered much by injury, he fell in when someone else went elsewhere, someone else got hurt, and they HAD TO USE HIM! I still think he will be out of the league in less than 5 seasons! Why, he didn't stay in school the extra year and mature. I think if he had stayed, BYU might have helped his career, another season to IMPRESS, another opportunity to have his stock go up, and more cash in his till. PLEASE STAY IN SCHOOL AND GRADUATE!

  • So Cal Reader
    Dec. 10, 2009 2:46 p.m.

    Give me a break! I'm a big Cougs fan and bigger Unga fan, but get real. This guy can't even make it through a MWC season uninjured. Look at where coming out early got Luke Staley-- als on an injury-proned runner? If I'm an NFL scout, I want to see if Unga's body can withstand at least one more year in the "mighty MWC" injury-free. I'm guessing the NFL hits a tad harder than in the MWC. Harvey, please stay around for your senior year and get the ol' body toughened up for what I hope is a successful NFL career ... in due course!