2017 Orange Bowl: What’s next for Miami Hurricanes with NFL Draft potential?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 30: Chad Thomas #9 of the Miami Hurricanes reacts during the first quarter of the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chad Thomas

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MIAMI GARDENS — Miami Hurricanes defensive linemen Kendrick Norton and RJ McIntosh, both juniors who are eligible to declare for the NFL Draft, said after the Orange Bowl they have not decided to do so.

Coach Mark Richt said both players and cornerback Michael Jackson, another junior, have not informed them of their plans.

“Man, I don’t know,” McIntosh said. “I know that’s the big question, but I don’t know yet. I’m going to sit down and talk to coach Richt and my family, and see what’s going on.”

Does he think he put enough on tape to impress NFL scouts?

“Yeah,” McIntosh said. “I think I had a decent year. Better year than last year, definitely. There’s some things I need to work on. I think I had a decent year, a good enough year.”

Norton echoed McIntosh’s comments — he put a lot on film, can improve “as a pass rusher” in particular, and will talk to his family before making his decision. Jackson told the Miami Herald he had yet to make a call.

Junior running back Mark Walton, recovering from right ankle surgery (Oct. 7 at Florida State was his injury), informed UM he will turn pro. Junior safety Jaquan Johnson said last week he will return.

The deadline to declare for the NFL Draft is Jan. 16.

“I always want to give them as much legitimate advice from the NFL as I can, and talk about all the things, not just the business decision, but also the educational decision,” Richt said. “Just lay everything out there, as plain and simple as you can, just give them  good information. Them and their family will decide and pray, and decide what’s the best thing for them.”

Meanwhile, several seniors will play in postseason bowl games in order to improve their NFL prospects.

* Kicker Michael Badgley and wide receiver Braxton Berrios will attend the Senior Bowl, and both are motivated to make the league.

“I think one of the main things that people look for, and what I showed, is that I love this game,” Berrios said. “I get it all the time: ‘You can make money elsewhere.’ Don’t discredit me and take away something that I’m good at. I love this game and you can tell when you turn on the film. … There’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”

Said Badgley: “Hopefully go to the combine and get drafted and play in the NFL.”

* Tight end Chris Herndon was selected, but will not play in the Senior Bowl because of a knee injury (left knee, MCL).

* Defensive end Chad Thomas and left tackle Kc McDermott will play in the East West Shrine Game.

“I think I put out some solid film for them to look at,” McDermott said, adding that he has received feedback from NFL people but declined to discuss it.

Thomas, a budding music producer, said he was not done playing football.

* If defensive end Trent Harris has received an invite to a game, it is not yet public.

* Richt said on WQAM recently cornerback Dee Delaney will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

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