Golden was asked if he learned anything from last year regarding how to handle situations involving underclassmen contemplating the leap.
I think our current players learned, he replied. I didnt learn anything. I knew exactly what was going on. I think they know that some guys left for 20 cents on the dollar.
After the move
Washington was drafted 200th overall by the Eagles the 30th pick in the sixth round and didnt make the team. Forston wasnt drafted, earned his way onto the Patriots roster as an undrafted free agent, then was released after three games and subsequently named to the Patriots practice squad.
Streeter was taken 198th overall by the Ravens and signed a four-year, $2.19 million contract, with a signing bonus of $94,500.
Olivier Vernon, a defensive end, was the 72nd overall pick (third round) and signed a four-year contract reportedly worth $2.84 million, with a $638,000 signing bonus.
Miller, a running back, went 97th overall (fourth round) and signed a four-year contract reportedly worth $2.58 million, with a $486,000 signing bonus.
I had talked to my mom and dad and pretty much had made up my mind to turn pro by about Week 10 last season, said Miller, who rents a townhouse by himself near the Dolphins training facility in Davie. Miller had played sparingly in 11 games, but in Sundays win against Buffalo, he ran 10 times for 73 yards.
If I would have stayed at UM, I probably would had had another good year, but I still believe I made the right decision. Im living my dream.
When asked if he might have made more money in the long run by finishing his UM career and earning his diploma, he replied: Im playing in the NFL. Most people dont get that opportunity.
Vernon, a defensive end, has had a fruitful season, in one game recovering a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown, and then blocking a field goal to subsequently earn AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Its been fun, he said, especially with the guys on this team. The veterans are really cool and make you feel comfortable.
Vernon is 33 credits shy of earning a degree in criminology. He said balancing academics and athletics is tougher than most think. Im not saying athletes cant do it, he said, but you know when you want to focus on something you love a lot I mean, football is something I love and that was my choice.
Vernon, as well as Forston, acknowledged that it also was tough adjusting to their third defensive line coach in three years, as well as second head coach.
Coach Golden had his new rules, and I was used to coach [Randy] Shannons ways, Vernon said. New coaches are going to implement all their rules and try to weed everybody out on a team thats not following the program.
Practice squad players there are eight per NFL team earn a minimum of $5,700 per week, though some teams pay more. Over 20 weeks, say, that would amount to a $114,000 salary.
The main thing that really affected my decision to enter the draft was I wanted to help out my mom, said Forston, whose mother, Pearline Simmons, is a school bus attendant in Miami-Dade County. I just want my family to be happy and not worry about bills.
Pearline Simmons said she is spending Christmas with Marcus in Foxborough.
Hes happy, said Simmons, who moved from Liberty City to Miami Gardens. Its nice and quiet up there in Foxborough.
Simmons said she believes her son will prevail, no matter where he goes from here.
He graduated with a degree in criminology last year, and I was proud as a mama could be, she said. He said, In case I dont make it in the NFL, I have something to fall back on. I told him, Have faith and believe, because youre going to make it.
All five players keep in contact with each other. Washington, who said he needs 18 more credits to earn his degree in criminology, said he tries not to look back at his decision to leave early. Last spring he told ProCanes.com that if I knew I was going to be drafted that low, I would have stayed in school.
Today, he is only looking forward.
I have great faith in God, Washington said. I prayed a lot about it, weighed the pros and cons, and made my decision. I know God gave me the ability and strength and health to play football. I wanted to go to the big leagues.
Theres no doubt if I keep my faith, Ill be back on top and be the lineman I was in college.