Star recruits dream of the day when they can step on an NFL field and collect that first big pay check. With advice coming from all directions, the college start turns to his coach for honest advice.
It's quite a dilemma for the coach. You nurtured this guy for three years, and just when you are on the doorstep of a national championship, the NFL comes a callin'.
Jim Mora recently spoke to ESPN about the balancing act in a new article.
"It's hard to balance that responsibility," Mora said. "Because we do have a responsibility to these kids in many, many ways. And to their families. We make them promises. We're going to help them reach their dreams. We're going to help them develop into the men you envision them becoming. They are handing them off to us."
"Because my responsibility to Brett was to try to be truthful to him. I told him, 'I don't think you're ready,' or, 'You can be more ready," I guess is the better way. That aligned with the responsibility to all those we serve, which is put the best football team on the field."
Su'a-Filo is a 23 year old man ready to make the jump.
"With X," as Mora referred to Su'a-Filo, "he took that Mormon mission, so he's two years older. If you're thinking about X, it's like it's time for [him] to go. You look at his position, we can fit a guy in there and be OK. The guy's not going to step in there and be Xavier Su'a-Filo right away, but we're going to be OK. And X was ready to go."
Sounds like Mora has it right. Let's wish X luck on May 8! Meanwhile, Brett is back to lead UCLA into College Football's first playoff.