WASHINGTON --- So much to get to after (a) Fulfilling some responsibilities to other outlets and (b) Flying around College Park trying to salvage a few final seconds from a random nonconference basketball game.
More on the latter part eventually.
But of the many interesting new developments at the Military Bowl itself, none was as significant as Torrey Smith's decision to turn pro after his junior season (which you can read about more extensively over at AOL FanHouse).
Smith had 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, and even a quiet Military Bowl doesn't take the luster off only the second 1,000-yard season in school history. He was a first-team all-conference pick, and it was a well-earned honor.
And remember, he played half the season on a bum ankle.
Unless a guy is guaranteed untold millions, there is no way to truly know if staying or leaving is the "right" decision. Those declarations can't be fully vetted until a few years down the road.
But for Smith, there's no arguing his choice makes a world of sense. He has a degree, is losing his head coach and offensive coordinator, comes from a single-parent household and just enjoyed one of the best seasons a Maryland receiver ever recorded.
In short, he had far more reasons to leave than to stay. And so he went.
In the process, he continued (or, should I say, completed) Ralph Friedgen's streak of having a player turn pro early for the ninth consecutive year. It's a group that includes (with year of draft):
2003: FB James Lynch
2004: DT Randy Starks
2005: OLB Shawne Merriman
2006: TE Vernon Davis
2007: OT Jared Gaither (supplemental)
2008: LB Erin Henderson
2009: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
2010: OT Bruce Campbell
2011: WR Torrey Smith