Nutt cutting time, and other recruiting tales of woe

Sad story for an Ole Miss recruit:

… Collins Moore of Bob Jones is an example of another side of recruiting, where schools say they have accepted more commitments than scholarships they have to give. What follows is pure spin control: We still love you as a player, but just not until next January.

Moore heard those words last weekend. What awful timing. He committed to Ole Miss in August over enviable choices such as Kentucky and LSU. Of course, they no longer have room. He’s scrambling for a Plan B, but will likely wear a grayshirt now.

Of course, if he’d have picked LSU then, there’s no telling that Les wouldn’t have run into math problems of his own later on.

But here’s the other side of that coin.  Georgia Tech just lost its fourth recruit in less than two weeks (by the way, nice timing with this puff piece, Mark Bradley) when defensive end Trey Flowers switched his verbal commitment to Arkansas.  In doing so, he sounds like he made as cold and calculated a decision as the Nuttster did.

“Yes, I’m excited about Arkansas, but I do feel kind of bad how it ended with Georgia Tech. I probably rushed with my decision to commit [to Georgia Tech] last week. But I did it because I wanted to protect myself with a big-time scholarship. Then a better situation came along for me with Arkansas and I had to take it.”

The more this stuff goes on, the more I’m convinced that Andy Staples has the best solution.


UPDATE: I’m not the only one who saw the linkage between Moore and Flowers.


UPDATE #2: Speaking of Miles, he’s got math issues, too.  Some of it’s a case of last year’s chickens coming home to roost.

… Twenty three is exactly where LSU’s recruiting class stands with the commitment Friday of St. Paul’s defensive tackle Mickey Johnson. Actually, he was No. 22, but LSU must also count Cameron Fordham, a grayshirted offensive lineman signed in 2010, against this year’s class.

But also note that there’s some painful notoriety he’s dealing with.

… But there is a fine line to be walked for the Tigers, numerically and politically. Coach Les Miles is still stinging from the bad publicity — he’d probably call it being singled out — by that ESPN Outside the Lines piece on former Tiger quarterback Chris Garrett.

The subject was grayshirting, which is something most schools do. Except most schools don’t get their grayshirts aired like they were dirty laundry.

Then, there’s also the question of whether the NCAA would consider any LSU signees over 23 as a slap in the face when it hasn’t even accepted LSU’s self-imposed penalties yet.

Still, there may be some wiggle room.

So, if LSU is going to take anyone over 23, they had better be worth it. Still, it’s worth it for Miles to take the chance. You can’t turn down top-notch talent now because of some potential backlash. Could it possibly be worse than losing a game because you were missing that one key recruit?

There is one particular recruit who LSU could cut ties with to make room for someone else: Redemptorist running back Jeremy Hill.

Hill was arrested earlier this month on a charge of oral sexual battery with a 14-year-old female student at RHS. Despite that, LSU is still apparently willing to accept his letter of intent Wednesday.

If that ain’t your quintessential 2011 recruiting dilemma in a nutshell (see how I did that?), I don’t know what is.


Filed under Recruiting

22 responses to “Nutt cutting time, and other recruiting tales of woe

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Let’s be honest, some of the same schools/coaches continue to do this and they still get top talent committing to them. If these kids or parents did any research at all on the internet they would know this is a possibility. How about ending signing day and if a school extends a ‘ship the player can sign a LOI at that time no matter what time of the year. It would causes coaches to be a lot more cautious with those offers.


    • Jamie Newberg

      That’s a terrible idea.

      How will we know if he’s a “can’t miss” if recruiting services don’t have several months to drum up publicity and drive subscriptions?


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    And the problem with Tech losing 4 commitments is?


    • tduga1

      No problem at all. Remember that according to the Nerds recruiting doesn’t really matter. As evidence they will suggest that you look at how many times they have been CLOSE to beating Georgia.


      • Macallanlover

        Yep, and UGA fans will tell you GT is still very significant, we are afraid they will beat us every year, and they are still our main rival. Yet, when UGA fans look at the last 20 years agaainst UF, they forget all the close games that could have gone the other way, talk about how we have no chance against them, they are in our head, and we are not worthy of being called a rival.

        I can come a lot closer to buying the “GT isn’t worthy” and has no chance in a series we totally dominate than the “woe is me, UF owns us” crowd in a series where we have more SEC titles and still lead in the all-time record. But then, I don’t get brought down by every negative angle I could possibly take regarding UGA football and I don’t read a word of the AJC so their writers don’t influence my thinking. Fact is, a few plays/calls going the other way could go a long way to change most fans’ perception of most rivalries.


  3. Two things strike me re: the Tech situation —

    1) The loss of Giff Smith is hurting them even more than they thought it would.

    2) It’s been a long time since Paul Johnson had to devote serious sweat to recruiting, and it shows. At Navy, where the admission hoops one has to jump through are even more stringent and complicated than at most of the top state schools, your “recruiting strategy” is basically “Figure out who can get in and then make the best of what you’ve got.” At a BCS-conference program, though, one that expects high levels of success on the field, things are a lot more difficult.

    Yet paradoxically, at Navy you have the sort-of-luxury of being a pretty prestigious destination within your limited sphere. If a recruit is choosing between let’s say Navy, Army, Miami-Ohio and East Carolina, and doesn’t entertain any realistic goals of an NFL career, the prestige of having Naval Academy on his resume might be enough to send him to Annapolis. But if there’s an NFL-caliber recruit being offered by Georgia, Arkansas, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, he knows Tech isn’t going to give him anywhere near the kind of NFL preparation that the other three can. But that’s basically what GT signed on for when they hired Johnson.


  4. nolensville dawg

    Another thing a lot of people don’t know about service academy recruiting is they sign a ton of players i.e. 40 or 50 a year and send a large percentage to their academy prep schools. That quantity allows for a guy like CPJ who run a “quirky” offense to find and develop guys for his system and if they don’t pan out oh well they still get a great education. While he is getting a better quality of athlete at GT than he did at Annapolis, the relative talent difference between what he had at USNA and who they played vs what he appears to be pulling in a GT and the teams in the ACC is larger and he won’t be able to make for his recruiting misses with quantity at GT.


  5. Cojones

    Andy Staples’s article is littered with holes and fuzzy thinking. It’s great to entertain change for a system we don’t like (principally because we don’t like teanagers manipulating the emotions of those of us loyal to the University), but his wishful thinking of how his changes would turn out are not helpful. Hell, he has Mettenburger going to an Elite11 for QBs as a Georgia candidate. I have a good idea where his head has been ’cause he’s suffering from lack of B12.

    Can’t believe that you agreed with him or that you read his referenced article closely.


  6. GShock

    Hell, he has Mettenburger going to an Elite11 for QBs as a Georgia candidate.

    What do you mean? This article was written in 2008 – did you read it closely?


  7. Cojones

    As a UGA alum I would appreciate it if everyone would lay off Johnson. There is no glory in trashing your rival’s coach when he has been kicked to the curb by teenagers using his scholarship offers to bide time in order to get the team(s) that they really want. Tech is a proud institute that has graduated many noble members to our society. They are our worthy opponent and rival on the playing field. Don’t let some high school kid who can type shape your emotions on blogs such that you lose sight of a principled coach who is honorable. Because he doesn’t accept teenagers manipulating him when they travel to other schools after accepting a great honor(scholarship offer) at his school doesn’t mean that he is cutting their scholarship as an act of vengeance. It means that he won’t tolerate his team or school to be used by kids with a dipso attitude toward honor. How long has it been since Da’Rick Rogers used us and was swayed in a way to make it appear that UGA wasn’t worthy? Long enough for some of you to forget, but the sting toward my team and University sits down and grates my soul. Don’t pile on Paul Johnson for having principles that many SEC coaches don’t have.

    I’m very proud that Richt espouses the same principles as our rival’s coach. If you don’t have this pride then I would seriously doubt that you have set foot in an institute of principles and common sense.


    • Sanford222View

      Johnson doesn’t seem to have an issue with recruits who verbally commit to one school then change their minds to give Tech a commitment. Until Johnson stops recruiting kids who have committed to other schools his stance is a pile of hypocritical B.S. He didn’t seem to mind when Stephen Tuitt switched from ND to GT. Sadly the lad switched back to ND a few days later.

      How do you blame a kid for changing his mind with such a big decision? I won’t buy the “he shouldn’t commit until he is sure.” If a recruit waits too long there may not be a spot available at the school he wants to attend. Also, a kid may commit in June to his best offer at the time to later be offered by a school he likes better three months later. His options changed so he should be allowed to change his decision. That is the point of Signing Day. Nothing is binding until an LOI is inked in February. Coaches know that. Recruits know that.


      • Macallanlover

        I agree with you about Johnson, he has shown himself to be very classless in his comments and actions since coming to GT. And he does encourage the same behavior from recruits so he deserves getting smacked back.

        I do agree with Cojones about the crummy actions recruiting brings out in both coaches and teens. They are old enough to be accountable for their decisions, imo. I very much favor allowing recruits to sign a binding agreement with schools before NSD. That agreement should be binding on both parties at that point. Ridiculous how we expect coaches to land a class that fills their needs when players are allowed to reneg on the last day. Imagine running a business when the “product” you need can be diverted by your competitors too late for you to find a suitable replacement. The whole process needs to be reworked, imo.


  8. Cojones

    No, I didn’t search for a date on a recently referenced article.


  9. Comin' Down The Track

    My question would be, if one can’t tear a little hide off of one of one’s biggest rivals’ head coach on a team-friendly blog comment board, where in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks does one do it?


  10. Cojones

    Ignore him or do it on one of Tech’s blogs since they seem to have infuriated us to the point of denigrating his character on our blogs. I Don’t disagree when lobbing smoke grenades at Techsters, but burning phosphate frags lobbed at innocent coachs can leave a mark on you as well.


    • Comin' Down The Track

      … innocent coachs [sic]..?!
      I’m sure I don’t see one anywhere nearby.


    • sUGArdaddy

      Cojones, I just don’t get it, dude. Are you PJ’s brother-in-law or something? The guy is a prick. I can’t imagine he’s a good living room recruiter because he’s generally in a sour mood and pretends that he’s smarter than everyone else. Mommas usually don’t like that.

      But his recruiting philosophy is ridiculous and small. Do you know where Swann was this weekend? L.A. I’ll bet Richt told him to enjoy the free trip to Cali and he’d look forward to getting his signature on Wednesday. Johnson is like a jealous boyfriend afraid his girlfriend will leave him if she looks at another guy. That guy was always a goober in high school. And you look like a goober as a grown up, too, if you pull that stuff.

      You say that’s honorable? You made a commitment to a kid but just because he wants to go look at something else you hurt the kid and your football team? What’s honorable about that? Because he didn’t keep his word? He pulls schollies just for visits to other places, not de-committing. The kid hadn’t even decomitted but Johnson pulled the commitment because he’s a small man. All it takes is a mature conversation with the kid about commitment and his understanding that if he’s going to look, then you’re going to have to look at other players at the position, too. But he can’t or won’t do that on some kind of contrived principal.

      Please, save your PJ love for “the Hive”. He is an enemy here and nowhere near the same universe as Mark Richt when it comes to class and honor.


  11. visitor

    “if there’s an NFL-caliber recruit being offered by Georgia, Arkansas, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, he knows Tech isn’t going to give him anywhere near the kind of NFL preparation that the other three can.”

    The MANY NFL players who went to non-FBS schools say hello.