September is a time when dreams are fulfilled or dashed. For some it might only be a temporary fulfillment, or temporary dashing, as a large percentage of first time players will get cut later in the year, and a small percentage of those cut might get another chance soon to play in the NFL.
But have you ever taken the time to calculate the sheer enormity of the odds against a college player having a solid NFL career? John Urschel recently wrote an article articulating the long odds a player faces on the journey to make it in the NFL. Donte Stallworth also highlighted the uphill battle young players face when he tweeted the numbers they have to overcome:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Odds of making it in the NFL. <a href="http://t.co/ShrVi1WNlg">pic.twitter.com/ShrVi1WNlg</a></p>— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) <a href="https://twitter.com/DonteStallworth/status/640903103575924736">September 7, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The scariest part is that even once they make a roster, the average career length in the NFL is approximately 3 years. So making it in the first place is just half the battle. The moral is that while the NFL might be a goal for many of these young men, they need to realize the role of college in molding their futures. They need to be able to support their families, and while I cannot fault them for chasing their dreams, they need to be prepared for the (in most cases) inevitable with a solid backup plan.