Must be NFL Draft season here at FishDuck as we hit on Oregon’s super-star Kayvon Thibodeaux for the second straight day. Unfortunately, as we draw closer to the draft, red flags keep rising on Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux’s latest transgression occurred this past weekend at the NFL Combine. Thibodeaux was expected to participate in drills after completing his solid 40 yard-dash (4.58 seconds) and registering a terrific 27 reps on the bench press. But, Thibodeaux passed on doing drills, with only giving a tepid reason of how long the day was.
Sure, opting out of certain drills at the combine is nothing new, but it is generally done with a much more palatable excuse, such as feigning a minor injury like a minor ankle sprain or a sore hamstring. But, “It has been a long day?” C’mon, man! Not exactly the kind of thing NFL decision-makers want to hear when Thibodeaux’s work ethic and buy-in at the next level is already in question. Hopefully, he will not ever pull himself out of a game late in the fourth quarter, exhausted, and gasping about “how long the game was.” Yikes.
Also, in a recent interview, Thibodeaux claimed himself to be the next Jadeveon Clowney. So, you’re saying you’re going to be the next great underachieving pass-rusher? Maybe even take that underachieving play to the next level? This would have been like a 1998 version of Peyton Manning claiming to be the next Jeff George. Not exactly shooting for the stars.
My personal feeling regarding Thibodeaux is that he often comes across as being overly concerned about his “brand,” while simultaneously garnering a reputation as a guy who does not always bring it on the field. This is not a good combination. He has said that he chose Oregon because of the Nike brand, and, while that is a legitimate reason, it comes across as a bit superficial. It gives the impression that he is more concerned with his brand than on-field performance.
Unfortunately, in today’s era of commercial endorsements and NIL, many of the college football blue-chips, who are usually no stranger to being told how great they are time and time again, seem to put more effort into their brand than into their love of the game. When, in reality, the best thing you can do for your brand is to leave everything you have on the field. Otherwise, you are just putting the cart in front of the horse.
In today’s big-money world of sports, it cannot be easy being a young man with so many opportunities and influence. Being pulled in so many directions has got to be overwhelming. As Duck fans, we hope Thibodeaux can prove his doubters and pundits wrong by staying laser-focused on football and having a pro-bowl caliber rookie season.
Time to burn those red flags.
Top photo credit: Tom Corno
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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