“My heart was with UGA, but my mind was with UCLA…”

Roquan Smith surfaces and has quite a bit to say about what transpired on signing day.  Not much is too surprising – Ulbrich lied straight out to him (“Coach Ulbricht did say that Coach Dan Quinn (of the Atlanta Falcons) had called him the night before, but he had declined the job offer”) and the bad taste that left in Smith’s mouth is what’s led him to this no-NLI path he’s now on, rather than some trailblazing motive.

But I’m not completely sure he knows what he gets by not signing the NLI.

“When you sign a letter-of-intent, it give a school all authority over you. You don’t really have any say or anything like that. People say choose the school because of the schools, but coaches shape the school. When people talk like that, that’s kind of crazy. If you get a bull at the school, why would you go to a school to have a bull coach you? You have to look at it like that. Say for example, you’re at the school for two years and then some butthole coaches come in, they won’t be able to hold you there if you’re only on scholarship papers. The letter-of-intent gives the school all power over you.”

“Actually, I do think it’s an unfair situation. Think about if a kid comes from New Jersey and goes all the way out to Texas or somewhere and then someone at home gets sick. With the letter of intent, if he’s their star player, they may want to keep him there regardless of what else is going on. With the scholarship papers, it’s a year in and year out situation, so they just can’t hold you in one place. Where I plan to go, I do plan to be for four years, though.”

If he thinks he becomes a free agent for his entire collegiate career by foregoing the NLI, he’s sadly mistaken.  Not sure if he’s getting bad advice, or if he just doesn’t understand that he becomes locked in upon enrolling, but it sounds like he’s in for a surprise down the road.

25 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

25 responses to ““My heart was with UGA, but my mind was with UCLA…”

  1. sectionzalum

    and somehow, the UCLA staff equates a Sports Management major with a Business major. or maybe they have control over the Sports Management schedules….

    “They said, regardless of coach leaving or not, we’re still going to be a great school, which it will be. They’ll still have a great football program and things like that. I was pretty close with him, and if it wasn’t business for me, I could maybe do sports management.”

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  2. heyberto

    Unless he’s 100% committed to UGA, I’m fine if he goes with another school but I have to admit I hope it’s anywhere but UCLA because of how dishonest they were. They shouldn’t be rewarded.. but if it’s where he wants to be, then good for him.

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    • I wish he had signed the LOI with UCLA on NSD.
      I am not excited about him still talking about becoming a Dawg.
      Does not sound like a 100% commitment to UGA or anyone else to me.

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      • heyberto

        Agreed.

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      • WF dawg

        Maybe I’m making the wrong inferences, but that interview makes it sound like he’s a lock for UGA. Also, he may have wavered on where he wanted to go on signing day, but that isn’t the final word on how much he’ll invest himself in a program once enrolled. I’d be happy to have him.

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        • Dawg0572

          You could read it on his face, during his announcement, that he was distressed. I went to the Macon County HS and I’m guessing he probably just wants to get far away from there. I would welcome him to Athens with arms wide open. People I know that still live there say he’s a great kid. I’m with WF dawg.

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        • heyberto

          I just couldn’t get a clear read, myself.. maybe I wasn’t paying much attention, but I’ve been going off what he and his coach have said.. and the big takeaway is he’s very conflicted, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I never thought he wasn’t a great kid, hope I didn’t give that impression. I don’t want him to have any regrets about his choice, UGA or not.. but that’s something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. I’d be stoked if he chose us on Friday.. but I also want him to be 100% confident in his decision, and i’m not convinced he is. So if he picks UGA and isn’t 100%, I hope he walks away in 4-5 with no regrets about choosing us. That’s all.

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          • WF dawg

            That’s fair. Prior to this interview, the kid did seem wishy washy and in fact, somewhat disinterested in UGA by reopening his recruitment to 4 total schools. But now, he’s soured on UCLA, he’s not talking much with Michigan and TAMU, and he’s now certain he knows where he wants to go. Process of elimination suggests that’s UGA. I hope that will translate into a high level of commitment to the program, but I suppose only time will tell.

            Unrelated, but if I’m UGA, I want to convince this kid that he can have a college experience vastly different from his HS one right here in Athens. Athens boasts about as much cultural diversity as you could want–there are even book clubs for Malcolm Mitchell, if that’s your thing–and it’s just right up the road from mama, not on the other coast.

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  3. W Cobb Dawg

    The whole episode has been entertaining, but he had a clear choice between lying sacks of shit and a HC who is probably the most honest guy in cfb – at least those are the 2 teams he supposedly had as finalists. Maybe he’s smart enough to make a graceful exit from his 15 minutes of fame. I hope he’s finally satisfied with his selection. Time to get it over and move on.

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    • So you are in the “commit to a coach, not to a school” camp? I understand why a kid may choose UCLA over my beloved alma mater, despite the regard I have for UGA and Athens. I understand why a kid may decide he wants the things attending UCLA offers despite the coach being a lying sack of shit, as long as he makes that election knowing the coach is a lying sack of shit.

      I am in the blended, “commit to the school but do factor the coaching staffs into that commitment decision ” camp. It is reasonable for Coach Richt’s integrity to be the tipping factor, but if it isn’t them I do not blame him.

      Either way adults are getting too invested in the decision making of a teenager they never met.

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        The college and the coach are just a couple of the factors any recruit should consider. To each his own. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Roquan saying its about the coach’s integrity/honesty. So in my book that means he automatically ought to go with the other finalist, in this case UGA. I guess its all the histrionics that bugs me.

        If somebody is lying to him, he can either make it worthwhile for ucla and pick them. Or he can make them pay for dishonesty by picking UGA.

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  4. Derek

    Surely we learned from Jarvis that a man can do some California dreamin’ and still become a damn good dawg. Roquan was one we really needed and I think we got him. We should all be very happy if he comes through on Friday.

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  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    Smith says, in the statement above, absolutely nothing that has not been said, speculated on, suspected here and many other places on the intertubes.

    What amazes me is that some folks continue to label Smith as something other than what he seems to be…a kid who was mistreated by the system, had second thoughts and acted on them.

    Frankly the fact he has obviously thought about his situation going forward, what could be in his college career, makes me want him to come to Georgia more. I wish-hope every young man or woman who comes to Athens as a scholarship athlete thinks things through as much as this kid has.

    Whatever his decision, it appears to me the young man has already had a powerful learning experience that may very well serve him and other athletes well in the future.

    “People say choose the school because of the schools, but coaches shape the school.” Pretty well-said, Roquan Smith.

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  6. Roquan, come on down! We would love to have you in the Red and Black. Regardless, you seem to be a young man that’s going to do well wherever you go. I know you’ll make Montezuma proud.

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    • ee, well said and I agree totally. I’ll bet the adults on Georgia boards criticizing him for taking time to think through a decision about where to go to college to play football encouraged their daughters to thoroughly think through their decision as to where to go to college. We adults bitch about kids not thinking before we act but put football in the equation and they bitch about a kid thinking before he acts.

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  7. doofusdawg

    agree… leaves me thinking that he wants to spend a year in LA then if he doesnt like it he wants to play his sophomore year in Athens… without sitting out a year.

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  8. Cojones

    Well, Lordy. My interpretation of where he is going resides in his omissions and secretive statements, plus his intelligent interview. Michigan and A&M are out. UGA and UCLA are still in. UCLA has two negative strikes and UGA has none. UCLA is more attractive as an escape (but I’ve amended my thoughts as to how much of a factor this will be) and represents a new world of discovery to a graduating HS kid. That’s one helluva pull.

    Proposition: How about I drive up to Montezuma and get a photo of me standing by (beside) Roquon. You could then tweet everywhere:
    “When you have him by the Cojones, his heart and mind is sure to follow.”

    Deal?

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  9. This kid got lied to and conned.

    He seems like a thoughtful kid trying to make a tough decision.

    If he chooses UGA, there’s no reason to think he’d be < 100% committed. At least no more than any kid who always has the possibility of going astray.

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  10. Irishdawg

    I can’t believe he didn’t tell UCLA to go piss up a rope after they lied to him like that.

    LA is a great place to visit, but no way would I live there. This kid would be so culture shocked out there that he would be miserable.

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    • Cojones

      Yeah. All those beaches, babes, and Beach Blanket Bingos will culture shock you into the reality of other parts of the world. Hope he doesn’t weekend visit the wine country or chance into the J Paul Getty Museum while at Malibu(15-20 mins from UCLA) because both would spin his ass like a top. Or find that Vegas is a 2.5 hr drive on the freeway (or less than 1hr from most airports for $60) north while San Diego (and Tijuana) is about an hour south from UCLA or maybe decide on an hour’s drive east to Palm Springs for Easter Break. Maybe someone can loan him a lifetime pass to the Natl Parks for the entirety of his time there. Oh, and did I mention Mexico? Or Hollywood?

      It’s a bitch, but somebody’s gotta do it.

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