So I come across this post at Field Street Forum about a disgruntled former Vol commit and see a term with which I’m not familiar.
The Vols are getting into the habit of taking an early commitment from a recruit, just to recruit over them and ask them to ‘blue shirt’ when national signing day approaches.
A blue shirt is a way to get a recruit on a team without spending a scholarship this year and promise to put him on a scholly later.
So I Google “what is a blueshirt” and find this.
South-Doyle High School athlete Joc Bruce told the News Sentinel on Wednesday morning that he will be a blueshirt at Tennessee. That doesn’t change his status with the program much, but it does change the class against which his scholarship will be counted.
Blue-shirting is an approach pioneered by New Mexico State, which used it recruiting junior college players. The NCAA allows athletes who were “not recruited” to arrive on campus as walk-ons, accept scholarships at the beginning of preseason practice and be counted against the next recruiting class instead of the incoming one. An athlete is only considered to have been recruited if he takes an official visit to campus, accepts an in-home visit from the coaching staff or signs a National Letter of Intent or other athletic-based financial aid agreement before arriving on campus.
By blue-shirting an athlete, teams can take in more than the 25 scholarships allotted each season for “initial counters.” Programs can have 85 players on scholarship at any point in time, but are only allowed to have 25 players as part of any individual signing class. Blue-shirting allows some relief from that. The Vols took advantage of the loophole last year and are expected to do it more this year. Vincent Perry, an all-purpose back from Hillsboro High School in Nashville is also expected to blueshirt.
I’m amazed to discover there’s cutting-edge envelope pushing out there in the recruiting world that didn’t originate with Nick Saban, or even the SEC. Has anybody told Jim Delany about this?