Originally posted on No 2 Minute Warning  |  Last updated 3/16/12

Should Bernard Pierce be going pro now? His coach doesn’t think so

Temple head coach Steve Addazio is watching you. Photo: Kevin McGuire

The Temple Owls are moving in to the Big East in the 2012 season, and head coach Steve Addazio wishes he could have some of the outgoing Owls on the roster when fall comes around.

“I’m looking and saying ‘God, we’d like to play in the Big East with that crew right there,” Addazio said referring to the 20 Temple football players working out and performing drills in front of about 20 NFL scouts.

Running back Bernard Pierce, forgoing his senior season, helped himself out with a decent 40-yard time clocked at 4.35 both with and against the wind, on a damp artificial turf at Temple’s football training facility. The time would be five-hundredths of a second faster than the NFL Combine’s top 40-yard time from those at the combine, a 4.40 by Miami’s Lamar Miller.Pierce has been dinged by some injuries in his three seasons with the Owls but he is coming off his finest season with the program, rushing for 1,481 net yards and 27 touchdowns.

Still, Addazio was not sold that Pierce was ready to make the leap to the NFL a year early, even though some scouts and draft analysts seem to really like what Pierce has to offer.

Pierce was not the only player from Temple to show some good speed. Wide receiver Rod Streeter showed off a 4.33 along with a vertical leap of 38 inches. For a comparison, Sreeter’s 40-yard time was  three-hundredths of a second faster than the fastest time recorded at the NFL Combine, a 4.36, matched by Miami’s Travis Benjamin, Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill and Stanford’s Chris Owusu.

Everybody I have spoken with that pays attention to the NFL Draft and where certain players may fall seems to have a different opinion on Pierce and leaving early. For the most part it seems as though the decision to leave early was a safe choice for Pierce, coming off the year he had and where he compares with other running backs coming in to the draft (he’s up there).

Personally I think Pierce was right in making the move when he did. He has been prone to injury and if his track record is any indication then playing another year at the college level, where he really does not seem to have too much more to prove, then why risk an injury that would damage his stock now? This is a no-brainer.

Pierce should be heading to the NFL now.

What do you think?

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