You can take it to the bank. Really.

If you wonder why I don’t spend much time indulging in recruiting speculation here, take a look at something ESPN’s recruiting expert posted yesterday in his chat:

Tom (Scranton)

How much does the loss of Tuitt hurt ND’s class?

Craig Haubert

(3:46 PM)

The Fighting Irish have been doing well on the recruiting trail and are closing strong. The pick-up of Ishaq Williams was big & getting A. Lynch back was even bigger. So there are positives for ND as far as recruiting defensive help. I do though think that the loss of Tuitt stings some. He is a great fit for the DE spot in their 34 defense and I felt like he was a key part of that classes front 7 haul. Not the end of the world – win some, loss some, but I don’t think his departure should be just brushed off.

clint (tennessee)

with the recent switching of stephon tuitt from notre dame to georgia tech, is there a possibility that tuitt allows brian kelly to use his in-home visit to sway him one more time, or is this a done deal? thanks.

Craig Haubert

(3:47 PM)

Also on that subject. It looks like it is a done deal & he signs w/ GT. Also think it is a great get for the Yellow Jackets who also run a 34.

The punchline, as you can probably guess, is that within a few hours of that pronouncement, Tuitt switched his commitment back to the Irish.

The five-star defensive end from Monroe Area High School, who flipped from the Fighting Irish in order to commit to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, confirmed to the AJC late Wednesday night that he flipped back to Notre Dame. Elapsed time on the de-commit/re-commit: About 30 hours.

“What a day!” Tuitt said.

Tuitt said he had a change of heart after Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and several defensive coaches made an in-home visit Wednesday night.

Pretty much the exact opposite of what Haubert called.  Why people get wrapped up in other people’s sense of what seventeen-year old kids may do – not to mention spend money for the privilege of doing so – is one of life’s little mysteries for me.


Filed under Recruiting

33 responses to “You can take it to the bank. Really.

  1. Dawgfan Will


    And yes, I know we suck right now, but any chance to laugh at Tech…


  2. The Original Cynical in Athens

    The funny thing is that it is not the mind of the 17 year old that is the hardest thing to figure out, it is the mind of their parents, as you can see from the linked article.

    In the wake of the NCAA’s decision to allow programs to pay parents of players for the right to sign their children, I imagine we will see a lot more of kids wanting to go one place only to be overruled by their pimps….um, parents.


    • Stoopnagle

      But for non-athletes, this more or less happens ALL THE TIME. Parents are on top of the college choice of their offspring like it’s their own from the get-go. And are asking the questions and negotiating the aid packages with college officials… everyday. How, really, is this different?

      “They aren’t being paid” you might say, but I contend that they are because in all likelihood, the aid packages are saving the parents from dipping into 529s or Coverdells or 401ks or, at least until the recent past, home equity. That’s pretty much the same thing especially when we consider the families most adroit at the bargaining with colleges are those who can most afford to pay.

      I don’t get the pimping out angle hung on Cecil. Unless he was going to abscond with the funds, then he only engaged in the same behavior rich folks display where college choice is concerned (and few bat an eyelash). The only difference was he was looking for the best “deal” for his son w/r/t football; and these folks shop for the best “deal” for the education.


      • You make it sound like every parent is out there negotiating with colleges. I would say maybe 1%, if that, have that kind of pull… and those either have large endowments to bestow on the university or are legacies. Unless the kid is a Rhodes Scholar waiting to happen, they all get the same (relatively) aid package.

        And, these parents generally are paying the universities… they are negotiating what they are paying, not bargaining for payment. The difference is the consumer in the transaction and what is being sold. For Cecil, he was selling the rights to his son. Unless there are millions attached, parents aren’t selling the rights to their sons to universities.


      • “Only engaged in the same behavior rich folks display”? I don’t get that. Sure, most parents try to find as much scholarship money for their kids as they can. But Cam Newton was already guaranteed a full ride to whichever school he went to, based on his athletic prowess. Yet Cecil still tried to juice them for more. A lot more.

        Reminds me of the old story about Winston Churchill asking a wealthy socialite at a dinner party if she’d sleep with him for five million pounds. When she said she’d consider it, he then asked her if she’d do it for five pounds, to which she responded, “What kind of woman do you think I am?” Churchill’s reply, of course, was “We’ve already established what you are; now we’re simply haggling over price.”


      • 81 Dog

        if you can’t see the difference between parents who total up aid/scholarship packages offered by legitmate sources in order to find the most affordable college for their children, and some guy taking bids on under the table cash payments (by the way, slightly illegal unless Cecil was planning on declaring it as income and paying taxes on it, in addition to a violation of NCAA rules), then you must be an Auburn fan.

        this is an exceptionally stupid attempt at an analogy, even for Auburn fans. War Damn Asterisk.


  3. JBJ

    I know 30-40 year olds that can’t make up their minds, much less 17 year olds with parents breathing down their necks and coaches promising them the world.

    Recruiting has its place, but I don’t think the hype is warranted. I found THIS article regarding the star ratings of players on the All-SEC team in 2008. There were more 2 Star players that 5 Star players. However, I find it more interesting that the number of 3 star and 4 star is almost identical which would seem to indicate all this stuff doesn’t really matter. It is the things like heart and desire that help push 2 star and 3 star guys into top tier players.


    • mp

      except that the services give out more 2-, 3-, and 4-star grades than 5-star grades. Many, many more 2- and 3-star grades, in fact. To actually compare, you would need to do what % of athletes from each grade make the All-confernce and, ultimately, the NFL. Dr. Saturday has done this the last couple of years and it shows what one would suspect – the % of 5-star athletes that get drafted is higher than the % of 4-star, which is higher than the % of 3-star, and so on.


      • JBJ

        I realize 5 stars are few and they are the elite athletes that will likely join the ranks of the NFL. I guess my main point is that all these guys are good athletes when you are talking about 2 through 4 star rankings. So then the separation at the collegiate level comes from coaches determining the intangibles of these athletes. Does anyone know if these kids are given personality tests?


    • Bryant Denny

      What I’ve discovered is that some folks can make up their minds and some can’t. I’m still trying to decide what I think about it.


  4. Barry

    Of course, the best part of the story is that Paul Johnson, that beacon of rectitude, the man who thundered that a commitment is a commitment (except when another school’s commitment visits GTU stole a highly ranked recruit from Notre Dame, only to lose that recruit 30 hours later.

    And now the GTU message boards are spewing invective against Tuitt’s mom. Her quote is priceless: “I never changed my mind in the first place,” she said of her son de-committing to Notre Dame. “Stephon did. The reason he was wavering back and forth all boils down to him not wanting to hurt anybody’s feelings. He had developed relationships with all these coaches and didn’t want to disappoint them. But somebody’s going to have to be disappointed and today it’s Georgia Tech. Tomorrow it’s going to be Georgia Tech and the next day it’s going to Georgia Tech because recruiting stops now.” ( Sounds like Tuitt’s mom is a woman of insight similar to Marlon Brown’s grandmother.


    • Shadrach

      Sounds like she knows her kid and stepped in when she knew things were getting out of hand. He steered by his HS coaches to Tech, but it’s obvious that him Mother understands the process and is actively involved. Can argue with her thought process.

      South Bend sucks, but ND is a still a very good school and he’ll get a ton of automatic exposure. Look at Jimmy Claussen for evidence of that.


  5. TennesseeDawg

    Tuitt woke up the next morning and came to the realization of what he had just done.


    • 81Dog

      would that make Paul Johnson the recruiting equivalent of Coyote Ugly? I guess you could call him “Mustard Ugly.” Tuitt would rather have gnawed his writing hand off than sign a GTU letter of intent once he woke up the next morning and the full horror of what he had done washed over him like a great wave of suckitude.

      Or maybe he was visited in the night by the Ghosts of Football Past, Present and Future. I kind of like this analogy, as likening the situation to a Charles Dickens novel lends an air of class and dignity to my otherwise sarcastic barbs.

      I’m currently reviewing the collected works of Snoop Dogg to see if there’s an appropriate song to describe this 24 hour Tech tragedy. Because that’s just how I roll.


  6. Castleberry

    Is it possible that Johnson told Tuitt he’d rescind the offer if he took a visit from Kelly? Isn’t that the Tech rule??


    • Reptillicide

      CPJ would crawl on his knees to get Tuitt back.


    • 81 Dog

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, isnt it? Of course the Mini-Skipper wont stop recruiting someone else’s commits, or pull an offer to a guy like Tuitt who can actually, you know, possibly play. Although, if he had a shred of integrity, he’d live up to his own rules and not recruit kids who are committed elsewhere, or pull an offer to a commit (even for less than a day) who backed out and committed someplace else.

      In 3 years, Tech people will be cursing the day they hired him and complaining about how overmatched he and his antiquated little option game are. Sort of like they’ve been wailing about Hew?tt for the last 3 years or so. Remember when THAT guy was the Wizard of Techwood? Took them to a Final Four? Now, they’d all trade him for a couple of passes to next year’s Dragon Con. PJ’s circling the same drain.


  7. Bad M

    That may be what we are missing. What happened to the evaluation? The stars don’t matter as long as a coach (who should be smarter than the recruiting bloggers) gets the right guy. Do we need to bring back Donnan as a player evaluation guy? Coach Richt gets some great players, but it seems we a missing on the good players who can make their (the great players) life easier. Stafford and Moreno had to win too many games themselves.


  8. Dog in Fla

    Stephon is taking his talents to South Bend.


  9. Like It Is


    The reason why recruiting gets so much hype (especially from us UGA fans in recent years) is because people need something to look forward to; some glimmer of hope.

    After 8-5 and 6-7 seasons, our fans are not happy but don’t want to give up so they find that putting their hope in new recruits is the answer because, let’s face it, there is not much else to look forward to in the 2011 season!


  10. Bulldog Joe

    It is part of the growing up process. In life, you can’t make everyone happy.

    Best of luck to you in college, Stephon. Looks like you have a very wise mother.


  11. Normaltown Mike

    Am I the only Dawg fan that keeps having Jasper Sanks flashbacks regarding this off season?

    The fact that Crowell is from Columbus doesn’t help.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      And our recent on the field and off the field troubles with RB’s doesn’t bode well. Like Rodgers last year, I have doubts whether Crowell is worth all the haggling and heartache. But if he doesn’t sign with UGA, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘plan B’ – we don’t appear to be recruiting any other RB.

      The Dawgs need to sign some dang football players, and lots of em.


  12. Go Dawgs!

    The reason I don’t get wrapped up in recruiting is the fact that many of these “can’t miss” prospects don’t pan out. I remember being pumped about Marlon Brown coming to Georgia, but so far he hasn’t become the player we thought we were getting. And, I certainly don’t mind not having Da’Rick Rogers now, either. It’s a crapshoot. I typically just wait to see who shows up and then welcome them to the family.

    Crowell, however, I really, really want.


  13. 69Dawg

    I’m not a recruiting wizard but I play one on the Internet. UGA’s biggest problem the last few years is that we have been recruiting for a seminary instead of a football team. We have recruited from every Christian school we can find and there is one thing wrong with that, they are small schools that play in small regions. Marlon Brown is exhibit A. He was a beast in high school because he played with midgets. Now recruiting services like stats they are easy to analyze and you don’t have to work hard for your money. Marlon meet the SEC, these are not midgets and you have trouble. 2 & 3 star players from 5 and 6 A schools are going to be better than the stars of the Christian School leagues.


    • dudetheplayer

      Hmmm, this is a new one. So our talent is down because we’re recruiting from too many small Christian schools?

      Other than Brown, do you have any evidence to actually back that up?

      Some of you gentlemen throw out some very odd theories.


    • Go Dawgs!

      Herschel Walker played in 2A.

      Also, I don’t see much evidence that we favor recruiting Christian schools over public schools. No evidence at all, really, unless you consider the fact that we have some players from small Christian schools on the roster to mean that we target those schools above all others. Certainly, our performance in recent Fulmer Cups (2010 Champs!) would seem to contradict the belief that we’re trying to recruit for a seminary.


    • Aaron Murray

      Sigh. It is going to be a LOOOOOOOONG offseason.

      I heard Dummy Coach Richt has the maintenance crew cut the practice fields at two inches when everybody KNOWS it’s better to practice on 2.5 inch grass. That’s what is making our players move slower in games.

      I also heard somebody from Bama snuck in Butts Mehre and switched around the stickers on our bowflex machines so we aren’t lifting the proper amount of weight to get stronger.

      Oh, and also Coach Richt cursed on Christmas and God is mad at him. Blame him for that one. If he didn’t believe in God it wouldn’t be a problem.