Misdirection is fine for the triple option.

For some reason, this post about what it means to commit by Michael Carvell at the AJ-C’s recruiting blog was relinked yesterday on the paper’s sports page.  I had commented on it when it first appeared because I liked what Mark Richt said about how the program presents itself to its recruits, so I didn’t pay much attention about what Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson had to say.

But I couldn’t help but notice this comment by Johnson on the second go around.

… What did Paul Johnson say about what “commitment means?” He touched on it when discussing quarterback Dontae Aycock of Tampa, who had “secretly committed” to Tech in mid-January. However, less than a week away from signing day, Auburn entered the picture with a last-minute scholarship offer.

“I reiterated that to him: ‘Dontae, don’t get on that plane [to Auburn].’ His high school coach told him, ‘Dontae, don’t get on that plane,’” Johnson said. “When he chose to do that, he was telling me, in my mind, he didn’t want to come to Georgia Tech, and so we moved on [rescinding Aycock's scholarship offer from Tech].”

Johnson explained that Tech recruited Aycock for nearly a full year, which included visits by Aycock to Tech for spring practice last year and to a summer camp. During Aycock’s recruiting trip last month, Johnson said he explained “commitment” to the prized prospect.

“We talked about what that meant,” Johnson said. “That commitment means, especially two weeks before signing day, is that we’re through with the recruiting process. … I’m giving you my word you’ve got a scholarship. You’re giving your word you’re coming.”

Wait a minute… Aycock’s was a secret commitment?  Correct me if I’m wrong here, but a secret commitment means nobody but the kid (along with the kid’s high school coach in this case) and the school know it exists.  Its purpose is to mislead. Other schools don’t know that the recruit has pledged, so perhaps they devote resources to pursuing the kid that could be better spent elsewhere.  And, of course, other kids that Tech is recruiting don’t know the true numbers situation at the position that the silent recruitment is ticketed to play, or, for that matter, the total number of slots left that Johnson has to offer for signees.

So all this high falutin’ talk about “giving your word” is wrapped up in a veneer of obfuscation.  Hypocritical?  Sounds like it to me, so maybe Johnson shouldn’t be quite so huffy when the master plan goes awry.  Maybe if it had been public knowledge that Aycock had committed to Tech all along, he’d be making plans to pack for the Flats in a few months.

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19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

19 responses to “Misdirection is fine for the triple option.

  1. Joe

    That’s been the mystery of this entire debacle for Gtu. I also pointed out that the commitment was “secret” way back when, and took the whole thing for what it was-Sour Grapes from Johnson for losing one of the few talented players from the class to a better football program.

  2. 69Dawg

    CPJ is a good coach but he has been recruiting at Navy. That is a step above GSU but still you are very limited and for the most part you get what you go after. He’s new to recruiting A list players and having other schools interested in them. I’m sure he’ll catch on after awhile that he is in the heart of SEC country and all bets are off.

  3. Coastal dawg

    I agree with telling a recruit who commits to stop taking visits. I mean, you don’t get engaged and then tell you fiancee’, “I still want to check out other girls to be sure I made the right choice.”

    If you still want to shop around, don’t commit.

    The two things that nag at me though are the hypocrisy the Senator points out by CPJ (and most other coaches/programs) along with how one-sided the whole relationship becomes after the LOI is signed.

  4. Prov

    If I committed to Tech I’d keep it a secret too.

  5. john

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it several more times . . . maybe it’s because Paul Johnson is a prick.

  6. Farsider

    Big suprise. You like the way your guy does things, but somehow hate the way one of your biggest rivals does things.

    Viewed outside the lens of the rivalry, I see both coaches points of view. From the Georgia perspective, they are generally recruiting the more highly recruited athletes, so their sales pitch naturally will be a bit more low key. Georgia Tech has to be more selective due to their offense and academic setup. I can definitely see where a de-commitment could hurt Tech more than UGA.

  7. Tech fans can hem and haw all they want, but the bottom line is that a guy who Johnson had on the line who would have been absolutely _perfect_ for them and he wound up somewhere else. I don’t think there’s really any way to rationalize around that.

  8. NRBQ

    You mean Tech’s “academic setup” that forced them sign Ball, Houston, Burns, Hamilton, etc, etc, etc, and to play guys that had stopped going to class?

    Damn, I hadn’t heard that excuse before.

  9. NCT

    B-b-b-but they all take calculus!

  10. Hobnail_Boot

    Don’t forget folks, Stephon Marbury had to pass at least 3 classes while enrolled at GTU.

  11. RedCrake

    Not to mention the fact that GTU offers about 60-70% of the guys that Georgia does. The difference is, Georgia gets them

    Those academic standards don’t seem to matter much during the recruiting process, but they conveniently pop up after the North Avenue Trade School fails to land a player.

  12. bill

    Boy Senator, you are really reaching on this one. And the way the rest of you folks talk, you’d think Tech was a rival.

  13. Really? So tell me, Bill, how is a secret commitment with Georgia Tech different from a secret commitment with any other school in the country?

  14. bill

    Its not. But the fact that you are making this mole hill a mountain shows the insecurity the Dog nation has right now re CPJ.

    • bill, I can’t speak for the Dawgnation, but the fact that you characterize a 450 word blog post as making a mountain out of a mole hill says volumes about the level of your security.

  15. John

    Ha Ha. Senator Blutarsky > bill

  16. bill

    Senator,

    Regardless of the length of your post, the fact that you are focusing any space to a non story is the evidence. You are better than that.

    I actually like your blog. For a Dog, you are somewhat clever. But like most Dogs, you seem to revel too much in the negatives of your foes instead of the positives of your own team / university.

    And please, ask your constituents to refrain from throwing stones at Tech re its handleful of less than stellar student athletes. The fact that you can point them out by name them shows their rarity.

    This is a battle that you cannot win. UGA’s history (see Dr. Kemp) just doesn’t give you the credibility to bring up this issue. Granted, Tech isn’t Harvard but you ain’t Tech.

    • Bill, my post wasn’t about academics, so, quite frankly, I’m not really interested in responding. Besides, I’m one of those weird people who believes that you can get a quality education at either institution.

      As for what I blogged about, I’m not sure why you think this is a non-story, other than the fact that it sheds a negative light on Johnson. Ours are rival schools often recruiting many of the same kids, so I would think that PJ’s recruiting tactics would be of interest to the average Dawg fan. Your mileage may vary, of course.

      By the way, I appreciate the praise. Even back-handed praise. ;)

  17. bill

    UGA is a fine school. A lot of my relatives went there and some even graduated. I just can’t allow anyone from my immediate family to ever attend there.