The world is in panic mode. And as such, the college football and sports world are also in panic mode. The NFL has remained relatively calm in the wake of the coronavirus chaos. They have canceled all off-season events besides the NFL Draft, and have mitigated the potential spread of the virus well.
Likewise, in college football, all events have come to a halt, and that includes college football spring practice. Former Gator wide receiver Chris Doering said in an interview with ESPN Gainesville’s own Steve Russell that he’s worried for young players coming into college football this year.
Doering knows how it feels
Chris Doering has been in the same position as these young players trying to prove themselves, in 1993, in his sophomore year. He was trying to make a name for himself just as players coming into the league now are.
However, incoming players across the NCAA are not getting the same opportunity that they usually do. Not like Doering did in 1993, and not like nearly every other player has before coronavirus came to be. There is a void of chances for new players to fill in recently vacated roster spots, one that is difficult to work around, though not impossible.
The quarantine has affected more than just the college players though, of course. It directly affects players who have declared for the draft too, as they do not all get the exposure they need to be properly evaluated by teams.
Doering empathizes with these players, and of course, everyone affected during these tough times. The former Gator also made a statement about the concern for future events. Many are concerned that the college football season, which starts in September, may need to be pushed back or canceled. Doering had this to say about that:
“Why are we talking about these things right now when there are more immediate, more pressing things at hand in our current situation?”
The former Gator receiver believes that sporting events should be evaluated every two weeks. He believes that decisions should be evaluated in two-week increments when discussing if a season or other event must be pushed back or canceled. This does not affect every player though. Seniors and other veteran players hardly participate in spring practices.
Despite Doering’s well-founded concerns, college football players are confident
Players in the NFL Draft pool are not getting all the standard evaluation that goes into drafting a player. The playing field for the players is not stacked against them like it is players coming into college. However, it does affect them to an extent. Primarily for the lesser advertised players who do not have as much excitement around them.
One such player is former Gator wide receiver Josh Hammond, who declared for the draft this year. Hammond is confident and ready, despite having no Pro Day or Combine to show his skill set.
This is an unavoidable byproduct of the current circumstances, one that players have found ways around in order to make their presence felt. But it remains an issue for the players, nonetheless.
Hammond and others have found ways to work around the limitations that the coronavirus outbreak has caused, but it remains to be seen whether it will pay off or not.