The deadline for underclassmen college football players to declare for the NFL Draft is Jan. 17. Although the season ended for most of these players weeks ago, some are still declaring today — hey there, Jake Fromm — and others will take every last second afforded to them to make their decision.
As it pertains to the UCF Knights, we know Gabriel Davis is NFL-bound, and I think there are three other players whom fans are wondering about most: Defensive backs Tay Gowan, Richie Grant and Aaron Robinson.
For what it’s worth, I think I can shed a little bit of light on Gowan’s status. I’ve been working on a story about Tay for the Orlando Sentinel which you’ll likely see this spring. Anyway, Tay has overcome a lot of adversity his life, and it is paramount for him to provide for his family, especially his mother.
Given that and the fact that he did have a fantastic season in 2019, I asked Gowan during the week of the Gasparilla Bowl about that decision, whether to stay or go. He knows that if he left for the NFL now, he could start earning money which could really help his family, even if that meant toiling on a practice squad. But ultimately, Gowan seems more focused on the big picture than perhaps the quickest dollar.
“I know it’s about generational wealth. So, I don’t want to just jump the gun too early,” he said. “I know I can come back next year and be another dominant player for this team and really let the world know who I am.”
Gowan said even if he did “jump the gun” this year, “I’m the type of person that won’t be denied. I won’t let them deny me.”
However, he added: “I don’t feel like I need to go down that road.”
I have no real insight regarding where Grant or Robinson are in their process, assuming that they are giving the draft any consideration at this point. If they see this, they are more than welcome to reach out to me and set the record straight.
For now, all three men are slated to be seniors and integral pieces of what looks to be an absolutely stacked UCF secondary in 2020.