RJS has a goal of early exit for NFL

Submitted by BlueinTC on March 1st, 2012 at 12:47 PM


In an interview over at GBMWolverine, RJS says he is planning on leaving early if things work out well for him.

I like the attitude and confidence.  Would love him around for 4 years, but a goal of leaving early means he's going to be working his tail off to perform and get early PT.  


GBMWolverine: How much does beating a team like Ohio State mean to you? Do you feel like the teams you will play with can 4-0 during your career?

Royce Jenkins-Stone: I’ll feel great about going 4-0, or even better 3-0 against Ohio State. I mean, what Wolverine wouldn’t? Come on now.

GBMWolverine: 3-0? Are you referring to the possibility of leaving school early as a Junior?

Royce Jenkins-Stone: Yes, I may possibly go to the draft early. Hopefully.


Mitch Cumstein

March 1st, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

I agree with you completely.  My post wasn't aimed at necessarily saying 4 years is the only way.  I was more saying this tunnel vision of going straight into the NFL doesn't necessarily mean he'll be set for life b/c of football alone.  Thats all I'm saying. 

I think if you can make they kind of money you're talking about playing for a year while not getting paid and risking injury is dumb.  Especially at a higher risk position like LB or RB. 

Your point about communications is dead on.  I guess what I was getting at was that if he knows he wants NFL $ right away, it might serve him well to take a finance class or two over his 3 years.  My greater point is even if he is only on campus for 3 years, it would be his loss to not take advantage of the skills he can gain off the field. 


March 1st, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

I agree with you that all of those things are valuable.  However, if a kid has a shot to be drafted in the NFL, he's not going to say, "I should stay another year and learn some life skills for my post-NFL days" or "I never took that finance class, I'll come back for my senior year now." 

That made me think of something.  If I was a Michigan football player and I was smart and I didn't think I had a good shot at the NFL, I'd become a personal finance manager of some sort.  You're likely to have a handful of friends who will be making millions of dollars and looking for someone they trust and respect to handle it for them.  My money is invested with a friend of mine from Michigan.  Is he the best financial advisor in the country?  Maybe not, but I know from personal experience that he's a smart guy and I trust him with my money. 


March 1st, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

Yeah, I can't blame him for saying something like this. When he gets to Ann Arbor and starts going up against other D1 athletes every day it'll either who him that he can do this or that he needs alot of work (most likely the latter). That said, I hope he's good enough to leave early and be a 1st or 2nd day pick, probably means he was very productive for us on the field. And I'm not worried at all about front 7 recruiting with Hoke in charge. It's been great for us so far.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

Until kids start getting paid, the NFL will be the only option to make money. It worked out for Woodson but most of the time it doesn't. He can always come back to finish classes.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

It's nice to have goals.   The beauty of this is as fans it's a win for us regardless of how it turns out.  

RJS working hard towards his goal makes Michigan better.   If he's that good than good for him.  The reality is that the odds are that he'll receive a wake up call come August, but don't kill the dream.

You guys forget he just spent the last 12 months with Hoke and Mattison in his ear telling him he's Ray Lewis.    He may feel a little pumped up.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

I hate when players want to be good enough to leave school early and enter the draft!  How selfish of them!  They should care more about their education! /S

For a player like RJS, his job is hopefully the NFL.  He wants to get out ealry so he can start working, and earning that paycheck that can set him and his family for the rest of their lives.  If he has the ability to do that, shame on you for saying he shouldn't so he can get a degree.  People go to college now to be able to get a job.  The NFL is his potential employer, every player with that potential should be hoping they can be successul enough to achieve that dream in 3 years.   


March 1st, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

the lack of perspective. I'd be a lot happier if some of these questions were asked of a college sophomore. I know it won't happen for a lot of reasons, but that doesn't change my point of view. I can't use examples without throwing stones at individual journalists, but some of the questions could be phrased in such a way that they don't elicit controversial comments either. Try to envision your name in print. Does it begin with Rosen....? No? Then don't try to further your career on the back of a high school student.

Now, as far as RJS - I hope he is able to leave early for the NFL. It is nothing but good for the program. Hoke & Co. will have to replace him, to be sure, but in exchange for a senior year,  they get a decade or so of "look what we did for RJS". Once upon a time I would have come out in favor of staying and getting a degree, but with the pay scale in the NFL, I can't defend that position today.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

Ill probably get negged for this but i think players should always stay for four years. They are given full ride scholarships that normal students will never see, and are treated extremely well at the university. The least they could do is honor the commitment to the university and stay for four years. I know people will say, "well what if they get injured?" I think a much more plausible question is, "what if they dont pan out in the pros, and/ior manage their money appropriately, and dont have a college degree to fall back on?". That being said, they do generate a lot of money for the athletic department so im not going to completely villanize early exits. However, I cant say that my favorite players were Mario Maningham, and Alan Branch, or Darrius Morris in basketball. Sorry for the rant im done now.

Also Joe Bolden will probably have a more likely shot at an early exit than RJS, but I would think that he would stay.

The Wonderful 135

March 1st, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

I'm surprised more people on this site don't feel the same way.  Of course we all want superstars, but I want somebody who is committed to Michigan.  To me, that means planning on staying until you get your degree.

Let the SEC take pro-bound kids who take off in 2-3 years.  This is Michigan forgodsakes.  We will beat them anyways.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Let's pretend for a second that Mark Zuckerberg had a full ride at Harvard, and that he couldn't bring Facebook online until he left school. Should he have left Harvard as soon as he was ready to launch Facebook? My answer would be yes.

What about a graduate engineering student that, in their off-time, discovers a new way to something something. Grad students often have fellowships that pay more than the value of tuition, should that student stay in school or file a patent and set up shop somewhere?

Someone above pointed out that sometimes music students can get an offer at a high level orchestra, or sign a record deal that would preclude them from both recording and being a full time student, should they stay unnecessarily because they're on a performance scholarship?

Also, none of the examples above factor in the high probability of getting injured while playing a contact sport. I don't know about you, but if I was going to blow out my knee permanently at 21, I would much rather have an NFL paycheck in my bank account than a few more credits towards a degree.


March 1st, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

While this is a valid argument, the situations you are comparing this to are not comparable. My point with STUDENT athletes is that they are given a scholarship for their athletic abilities, and are therefore semi-obligated to represent the university. Scholarships given directly by a university were originally meant to be a commitment between a student and a university. Zuckerburg left Harvard (correct me if am wrong) after Facebook was beginning to take off, and had more income security than say a NFL bust. It is wiser to stay another year in a sport because the probability of a career ending injury is still much lower than the probability of not panning out in the pros.

Also, the examples are different because Zuckerburg did not have a full ride and neither did the engineering students. But if they did, I see no harm in staying for one more year. There have been many examples of students who have created businesses and become quite successful while still in school.

Also “a few more credits” is over simplifying the difference of 1 year in college, the difference between a degree or not. Pros tend to not be that great at managing money, so unless you are a high draft pick, you need to sustain your success over a period of time in order to have income security for the rest of your life.

None of this matters though, because at the end of the day, I still have a hard time rooting for players that leave early. After all, THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS.


March 1st, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

They're not exactly the same, sure. But I think they're closer than you're making them out to be.

It's irrelevant in the scheme of things, but if The Social Network was correct on its timeline, Zuckerberg was still basically broke when he dropped out of Harvard and moved west.

Also, as a point of clarification, I was speaking about leaving school now/staying in now, and having a career ending injury in the fall of 2012. At most, they'll have an additional six credits and gone to about one week of class for twelve fall credits.

I have an easier time rooting for students who graduate as well; that doesn't mean I don't think Andrew Luck took a big and unnecessary risk in coming back for 2011.

The Wonderful 135

March 1st, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^

My point is not that they should definitely stay for 4 years.  My point is that they should not, before they even arrive on campus, hope to be gone in 3. 

I want our players to WANT to be there until they get their degree.  I fully understand that they will have to do what's best for them at the time.  But this is more than 3 years in advance of when he may have the opportunity to turn pro.  To already be hoping to go pro before graduating...it's just disappointing.  I expect better.


March 1st, 2012 at 4:09 PM ^

Then your expectation are too high.

And you are parsing words.  "Hoping" to be gone in three years (if he even said that) does not necessarily means he hopes to be away from Michigan as much as it means he hopes he's so successful at Michigan that he has the opportunity to turn pro.  I hope the same thing for him. 

Had he said, "I'm out of here after three years no matter what" then I could understand your frustration.  But he simply suggested he hoped to be in the NFL, and he hoped he would have that opportunity as soon as possible.  Give the kid a break.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

High school kids have no clue what goes on in the real world.  Think back to high school yourself.  Do you remember how delusional you were or how delusional your classmates were in high school?  I had a friend who thought he was better than Ken Griffey, Jr. because he had a better batting average playing against high school competition than Griffey did against his own level of competition.  I've known high school kids who think they can just walk out the door and get a $60,000 annual salary.

For all anyone knows, Jenkins-Stone could leave after three years and be a first round pick.  Or he could spend five years in Ann Arbor and only run down the field on the occasional kickoff or punt.  This interview doesn't do anything except remind me that high schoolers are naive.


March 1st, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

You don't have to be an athlete, even. I bet the majority of people going to Michigan thought they'd be multi-millionaire lawyers trying cases in front of the Supreme Court, or Engineers building the next space travel rocket for NASA, or the writer of the next great American novel, or whatever their field was in.  And a great deal of them are still doing very well for themselves, even if they weren't making it rain and driving a Bugatti. Or curing Cancer. High School kids have high hopes and dreams. And you never come close to obtaining any of them by settling.


March 1st, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

Coming out of Michigan in 2000, I was dead set on forensic psychiatry with the neuroscience background, but then there was a real-world pressure in my life to actually have some funds, so I fell into my other skill - programming - making  not as much as I thought I might. Somehow, I ended up in mid-level management at a local utility through technical writing and engineering technician jobs along the way. It makes me no less proud of anything, but I could be accused of "settling". 

Having said this, if things are going as well for RJS as he hopes they will,  then I wouldn't fault him for following his dream to play in the NFL after his junior year. If the prospects are looking that bright for him at that juncture, then it seems like a worthy risk to take, in my opinion. 


March 1st, 2012 at 8:05 PM ^

You had "settled." Just like I don't think if the kid finds himself here for four years and not in the NFL but with a degree he has settled. I just meant teenage dreams are never achieved by saying "well, if I'm lucky I might play in the League someday...if not, whatever." The dedication it takes to live the dream doesn't allow anything but all-in work. Doesn't mean no matter what you do you always get to live the dream. Life doesn't always deal those cards to everyone...even most of us. Or dreams change. Being Tony Stark or James Bond morphs into being a great dad. He will probably never get to the NFL. But he definitely won't by thinking he can't.

Now don't turn off my power.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

Every stud recruit thinks college is a stopping point on the way to the NFL, no matter what they say for public consumption.  Some make it; some don't.  Any player who is projected to be a middle to high first round pick after his junior year would be a fool not to take the money at this point.  

Either way, he's a great addition to the team, and will soon learn to edit his public comments.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

If he can after 3 yrs he would have been a beast for those years- and although it'd be sad and you don't wnat players doing it too often- its so hard to for the NFL it shouldn't really be an issue


March 1st, 2012 at 1:56 PM ^

Well, we do know one thing if this does happen:  No RJS in the MGoHallofFame (assuming graduating is agreed upon as a pre-req for admission).


March 1st, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

I can't blame athletes for leaving early.  You're essientaly one play away from blowing out your knee and ending your career.  Might as well take the millions when you can. 


March 1st, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

necessarily mean not getting a degree.  It's quite possible to pick up a couple of classes in the spring and/or summer terms.  I'm not minimizing the athletic commitment but if they receive the kind of academic support that helps them be focused and organized, I would think it could be done.

Also I've been impressed by the how many of the recruits are outstanding students.  RJS, as a Cass Tech grad, should be prepared and able to succeed at UM.

Entering early allows some to earn an extra semester of credits

Many professional athletes return to school in the off season.  Jawan Howard was the first NBA player to finish his degree after leaving early.  IIRC he finished at Maryland.  Dave Gallagher in the 70's attended UM Medical School in the off-season while playing for Buffalo, I believe.

I finished in 4 years (LSA with a teaching certificate = extra 20 hours).  I also remember how much more efficient I was after my Freshman year.  The athletes aren't the only ones who have to learn how to study!


March 1st, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

and Ohio players have a goal of running him over.

He'll do well to handle them first, as great performances in big games will help propel him to achieving that long term goal.



March 1st, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

God bless him.  I hope it works out exactly that way for him.  I hope he works his ass off and uses all that talent to get himself where he wants to go, when he wants to go.

Ron Utah

March 1st, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

It sounds to me like he's an 18-year-old with a dream.  And like I said in an earlier post, you're still a student when you're on the field.  The lessons he can learn on the field are just as valuable, if not more so, than what he'll learn in the classroom.

I think it's sad that our society puts so much value on the degree.  Don't get me wrong--I'm a college grad (who went to college on an academic scholarship) and think it's a good idea--but look at Zuckerberg, Gates, Allen, Jobs, President Truman, etc.  The chances of starting an ultra-successful business as an entrepreneur can't be much higher than a kid who leaves school early to get drafted.  How many kids declare early and don't get drafted?  I bet that number is VERY low.

A college degree does not mean you're educated.  It just means you got your degree.  If RJS can go pro after three years at Michigan, I wish him the best.  While he's at Michigan, I'm sure the staff will work with him to make sure he takes his classes seriously.

Think about this: would you feel the same way about a whiz-kid who had a great idea to start a business and didn't think he'd finish college?


March 1st, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

Good to see the kid has set the bar high for himself. If he's succesful in his goal that can only mean good things for U of M, and with what's looking like another stellar recruiting class at LB (leading for three 4/5 stars, 2 @ OLB) and three other studs around him in the 12' class I'm sure we'll be fine.

Also coming out of Cass Tech school district good to see he's putting a priority on helping his family lead a better life - the best kind of motivation you can have!