NCAA

Stanford football: For Love of the game

Bryce Love was a sure-fire NFL first-round pick in 2018, but he decided to return to Stanford for his Senior year, passing-up on millions. Why would he do such a thing?

By Neil Harrington

Stanford football continues to produce elite teams and talent year after year, yet somehow, they fly under the radar each NCAA College Football season.

More than talent between the tackles, Stanford recruits players with high-character off the field.

One of such gems is Senior running back Bryce Love, who is one of the favorites to win the Heisman this upcoming season. If it wasn’t for nagging injuries, which he played through in spite of the intense pain, he might have locked up the Heisman hardware last season.

The NFL was also calling his name, with Love being a sure-fire first-round pick if he would have entered the draft — which he chose not to do.

Why would he give up the big bucks to return to school? What if he gets injured or regresses, lowering his draft stock in the process?

Don’t ask me. Bryce Love has us covered, when he recently wrote an article for Sports Illustrated, explaining his reasoning for returning to Palo Alto for one more college try.

Love explains that his return is more than having a chance to win a Pac-12 title, the Heisman, or even a shot at the coveted College Football Playoff.

For Love, there’s so much more to his decision.

“It must have confused people last winter when I decided to forgo the NFL draft and return to Stanford for my senior year. It was a difficult choice. Football is my happiness, my drive, but I discovered something else as I drilled down on what I should do: More than the game, I love the bonds that I’ve formed with my teammates, my brothers—it’s what makes football so pure.”

Friendships last forever, and money is only temporary. Not many people understand that truth, but Love sure does.

Not only is he looking forward to bonding with his friends, but he feels the current Stanford squad has a shot to win it all.

Beyond even that, Love is looking into the future, instead of at the temporary pleasures that life has to offer.

“We have unfinished business here, but if I’m being honest, there’s more to it. I’m only 21, but I’m taking a longer view. Sports eventually come to an end for everyone, and this reality informed my decision to stay and finish my degree in human biology. As much as I desperately wish to play in the NFL, I am also passionate about becoming a pediatrician.”

How can someone so young, be so wise? Love has perspective oozing out of his ears. This guy gets it, which is refreshing in this day in age when most teams and players are chasing the Benjamins — at any cost.

Yeah, we’re looking at you, Ohio State.

Love also knows the risks of returning for his Senior season, but dude has serious stones for walking down this path anyway.

“I understand the risks I’m taking this fall. Will I be as attractive to pro teams if I’m injured? What if I don’t have the same kind of season that I had last year, when I set an FBS record with 8.1 yards per carry and was projected to be a top 30 pick?”

Love has his priorities straight.

“I received flak this summer for missing Pac-12 media day because I had class. (I Skyped in instead.) But the work I put in now will help me navigate my future. That’s why I took lecture notes and ice baths this summer, writing essays and dragging 90-pound sleds.”

Next Post: Ohio State delivers half-measure ‘punishment’ on Meyer

Man’s game, Bryce Love. Man’s game.

He’s doing it all for Love of the game.

You can read the full article on the Sports Illustrated website.

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Categories: NCAA, The Campfire

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