Calling cornerback Daryl Worley’s foray into the NFL draft a calculated risk, West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson made the calculation.
“Daryl has qualities that he’ll have a successful career, but I just think he shorted himself a couple rounds and maybe a couple million dollars.”
Gibson, appearing on MetroNews “Talkline,” received a call from Worley on Sunday night as the Mountaineers were returning from their 43-42 win over Arizona State in the Cactus Bowl. Worley missed the bowl because of academic shortcomings but reportedly was on pace to be eligible this spring.
“I told him that we would support him anyway we could. He’s done a lot for our program. Great kid and a great young man that will have a successful career,” Gibson said. “He sat down with his family and had some time over the break to look into it. Ultimately he decided to go.”
The decision came only after Gibson recounted the cautionary tale of All-Big Ten cornerback Donovan Warren going undrafted as a junior in 2010. Warren had hoped to be selected in the first three rounds.
“I kind of used Donovan as an example, though not because I think Daryl won’t get drafted,” Gibson said. “I told him he’s going to leave a lot of money on the table, and I said, ‘Let us help you because you still have some things you need to develop.”
West Virginia already figured on replacing seven senior starters from the Big 12’s No. 2-ranked defense, which Worley led with six interceptions and 12 pass breakups. His best performances came during the final five regular-season games, which followed noticeable struggles against the league’s best receivers during the October four-game losing streak.
“It’s a tough loss. He’s going to be missed,” Gibson said. “I hate to lose somebody like Daryl but we have to go out and recruit another one and get him adapted into what we’re doing. Hopefully in the fall we’ll have 11 guys out there with the mentality we want on our defense.”