University of Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman and defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo have received their draft projections from the NFL and are still deciding whether to make the jump.
Outside linebacker Perryman, 21, received a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board, said Perryman’s father, Desmond.
Chickillo, also 21, received a fourth-fifth round projection, according to someone familiar with his situation.
Both players just completed their junior seasons and would be entering their senior years. Both played as true freshmen and still haven’t received their degrees.
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All underclassmen must declare their intentions to enter the NFL Draft by Jan. 15.
Desmond Perryman told The Miami Herald on Tuesday he would like his son to stay at UM one more year and earn his degree, not to mention get one more season of playing experience on the college level. And though the family is close and Denzel wants guidance from his parents, Desmond wants to make sure the decision is one that his son makes himself.
Perryman and his girlfriend are the parents of little Ella Grace, born in November, but Desmond said the baby will be well provided for whether or not his son goes to the NFL. Both he and Perryman’s mom, from Coral Gables, are employed and ready to pitch in to do whatever it takes.
“I talked to him Sunday and when he gets home from visiting Rhode Island he said we will sit down and talk about it,” Desmond said. “I told him any decision you make, make sure it’s based on what you want to do and not what you think we want you to do.
“We’re big on education, but he has to live his life. He has a family, but his daughter will be taken care of. I would like to see him stay another year because I personally think it would do him good.
“I don’t even know myself which way he’s leaning.”
FATHER KNOWS BEST?
Perryman, listed on the UM roster as 6-0 and 240 pounds, was a third-year junior who earned first-team All-ACC honors this past season. He led the team with 108 tackles, including five for losses and 1 ½ sacks. He had one forced fumble.
“A lot of the kids jump to the NFL based on what someone else tells them,” Desmond Perryman said, “but they don’t really understand what’s at the next level. You might be dominant in college but you’re playing against the best of the best in the NFL.
“My thing is the NFL is not college – it’s a job. A lot of the kids get stuck on, ‘I get a chance to make some money’ without really understanding the business part. In the NFL, it’s your responsibility to do everything.”
Desmond said that his son was “very happy that coach Golden stayed.”
UM coach Al Golden was rumored to be in the running for the Penn State vacancy, but said Sunday he was committed to the Hurricanes.
As for Chickillo, he came to UM from Tampa Alonso High as a five-star All-American defensive end who was thrown into the fire when he probably should have been redshirted to grow into his body and develop on the field. Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio shifted him between tackle and end on a line that improved from last year, but not nearly enough to be dominant.
Chickillo is a third-generation Hurricane whose mom Joan went to UM and whose dad Tony (1979-82) and All-American grandfather Nick (1950-52) starred for the Canes in football.
Golden has said numerous times that he encourages juniors to request a written evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. He said Monday that he had not heard from all his players who might be contemplating leaving college early.
“I think we provide a great process here,” Golden said. “We’ve really grown in that area, not just the evaluation but affording them the opportunity to have data on the draft, to talk to NFLPA people, to meet with agents here at the Schwartz Center. All of those things allow them to go through a process and make a real business decision. Other than that I don’t get involved really. It’s important for me to provide them that process and then allow them to make that decision.
“Certainly some of them will have a question or want my opinion, but it’s really important that they go through that process with their family. When it’s final from our standpoint we will release that or give them the opportunity to tell you that in a press conference format.”
Last year, no Hurricanes declared for the draft, but five left early after the 2011 season – offensive lineman Brandon Washington, defensive lineman Marcus Forston, receiver Tommy Streeter, defensive end Olivier Vernon and running back Lamar Miller.
Miller and Vernon both play for the Miami Dolphins. Streeter is now on the practice squad for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Washington played in one game for the St. Louis Rams this season. Forston is on the practice roster of the New England Patriots.