Category Archives: Recruiting

“The early signing date will become the signing date.”

Let’s just say that any article warning the general population about the perils of an early signing date citing these two paragons of virtue…

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and Sankey of the SEC are the two major conference commissioners against the legislation, united by the belief that academics and recruiting cultural issues aren’t being fully considered. “If you are just looking at it from the recruiting process, that’s not what should be driving our decision,” Scott said. “It should be rooted in values, academic priorities and principles and the long-term interest of the student athletes.”

… is an article I’m not going to take seriously.  At all.  Which is kind of shame, because if there’s anything those two guys are synonymous with, it’s values, academic priorities and principles and the long-term interest of the student athletes.


Filed under Recruiting

Urban Meyer asks, “what about the children?”

When it comes to a proposed early signing period, let no one say Corch’s heart isn’t in the right place.

“I hear the reasoning is because there’s so many de-commitments,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said in September about early signing periods before the Division I Council passed the oversight committee’s proposal in early October. “So because 17-year-olds are de-commiting, let’s give them a legal document so they can’t de-commit. That’s not very smart. Young people have a right to choose where they want to go to school. Period. Let them de-commit 100 times.”

Urbs may have heard that reasoning, but apparently he hasn’t heard the facts.

De-commitments and flip-flopping by highly touted recruits gets a lot of attention, but it is still relatively uncommon. The survey showed 82 percent of football signees verbally committed prior to signing. Of those, 90 percent signed where they committed.

Pesky things, those facts.

Of 55 NCAA sports, football is one of four that does not have an early signing period.

According to the NCAA, 25,316 Division I student-athletes signed a national letter of intent in 2015-16. Of those, 18,103 had the opportunity to sign early and about 66 percent did.

“Why are we treating football players different from all the other students that come to us?” Eichorst said. “There’s no good answer for that.”

Good question, but I’ve got a better one.  If the NCAA is so concerned about transparency, why not give kids and their parents the right to consult with a legal advisor before signing a national letter of intent, so they might have the opportunity to know what they’re getting into before they sign?

Hey, maybe you can have too much transparency.  Eh, maybe Corch and Saban are playing bad cop to the NCAA’s good cop here.  I mean, let’s not forget this little drop:  “And what we constantly hear from our coaches and others is often times I spend more time recruiting my next class than coaching my current.” 

Then again, maybe it’s just about protecting the lazier recruiters.


Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

We suck.

This is the tune you sing after you lose to Vanderbilt.

The last five games this season are looking like ever so much fun.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Sometimes, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Nick Saban, like pretty much every coach at a powerhouse program, doesn’t like the idea of an early signing period.  Kirby Smart, who sat at Saban’s knee for many years — how do you think he feels about it?

“I’m not a big person that’s in favor of moving up the signing day or having an earlier signing period,” Smart said on the SEC coaches’ conference call on Wednesday. “You can argue some positives. Just like anything, there’s good and bad to both. But when the whole thing’s considered in totality, I just don’t think it’s something that going to be good for the kids, good for the players. I just don’t see it that way.”

Ah, yes.  The tried and tested “it’s not good for the kids” defense.  Straight out of the Saban playbook.  Funny how giving recruits more options is a bad thing.  Kirby should ask Roquan Smith how that worked out for him and Georgia.

On the players’ end, if a recruit signs with a school in June or December, the staff he commits to could experience turnover. Those who recruited him to that school could be gone. Ideally the prospect would commit to the school and not the coaches, but that’ll never be the case when dealing with highly persuasive recruiters who do a good job of selling themselves as coaches and their programs.

The same situation creates difficulty for staffs who stay intact. If a top target is a heavy lean to a program when the two early periods come and go and the staff decides to sign someone lower on the board to fill a need, it puts the coaches in a tough spot should the more highly-thought-of prospect change his mind and want to attend their school.

Smart sees the early signing period as merely an acceleration of a process he says he already sees as “rushed” in the first place. Having been an assistant coach for the past nine years gives him an unique point of view in that regard.

“Nobody really knows what will happen if you decide to have an early signing period,” Smart said. “I think there’s a lot of ramifications that we can’t foresee. Sometimes, when you’re not out there in the recruiting world and you’re not day-to-day traveling as an assistant coach, going out and recruiting, you don’t see what happens to kids who change their mind, coaches change jobs.”

C’mon, Kirby.  This isn’t that hard.  If you’re a top tier recruit who’s concerned about possible staff turnover, don’t sign until February.  You know every major program chasing you will hold a spot open for you until the last minute.  But if you’re not that kid and a program you really like extends you its hand earlier and you want the peace of mind a commitment brings, go for it.

The problem with an early signing period isn’t for the recruits.  It’s for the coaches who prefer the flexibility down to the last second of being able to pick and choose.  They don’t welcome the inconvenience an early signing period brings, pure and simple.


Filed under Recruiting

What I did on my day off.

Kirby Smart, always be closing.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

‘If you want me, then sign me.’

Nick Saban ain’t happy about the proposed early signing periods.  Nope, not one bit.

On Wednesday the NCAA Division I Council proposed two early signing periods for football, with the first in late June and the second in mid-December.

Alabama coach Nick Saban was quick to voice his opinion Wednesday evening after practice.

“I am absolutely, positively against any kind of early signing date, especially a June signing date before a guy plays his senior year,” Saban said in a news conference. “If we want to have an early signing date after the season, I would be more for that. We’ve moved the recruiting calendar forward, which creates a lot of issues and problems when it comes to evaluations, not only of a player but of his character and his academic status.”

I’m not sure that having sufficient time for character evaluation is a place you should be going, brother.  You had plenty of that to assess Jonathan Taylor’s character, but couldn’t even find the time to speak with folks like the district attorney who handled Taylor’s case… or Mark Richt, for that matter.  But I digress.

Because that’s not really what’s got Saban’s ass chapped here.

“From a high school coach’s standpoint, what is really the guy’s motivation to play and really work hard to get better to play for his team in his senior year?”

Uh, no, that’s not it either, Nick.  Try again.

Saban said the Crimson Tide may not have signed freshman tailback Joshua Jacobs had an early signing period been in place last year. Jacobs, a 5-foot-10, 200-pounder from Tulsa, Okla., played in only six games as a junior at McClain High School due to injury but blossomed as a senior, rushing for 2,704 yards and an eye-popping 15.1 yards per carry.

Jacobs rushed 16 times for 100 yards in last Saturday’s 34-6 win over Kentucky.

“We probably would have been full, and that is what I am talking about,” Saban said. “We would probably make some academic, character and maybe evaluation mistakes, because you aren’t even seeing a guy play during his senior season.

Ah, now we’re getting warmer.  Can’t let those late bloomers fall through the cracks; those missed opportunities can be real killers, amirite?  But let’s face it, people — what school has better resources than Alabama to evaluate players, even early on?

So, it still feels like we’re missing something else here.  What could it be?

The SEC has been one of the most vocal opponents of an early signing period in the past, but a conference coach admitted he has come around to the idea and says he thinks it will even benefit the recruits.

“I love the idea now,” he said. “I think it’ll finally make schools think twice about offering kids early with no plan of taking their commitment. If they really want them, they’re going to have to sign them now. That’ll help a recruit truly tell if they’re wanted by that school… “

Congratulations, Holmes, you’ve cracked the case!  Saban wouldn’t be able to bookmark recruits with things like contingent offers or offers made in a kid’s sophomore season.  Instead, he’d have to spend time convincing rising seniors not to commit elsewhere early, so that he would have the full opportunity to decide whether it’s worth extending a binding offer.  Even for Alabama, that’s a tougher sell.

Figure on plenty more angst to come on how early signing periods are bad for the kids.  After all, that’s how these guys roll.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, The NCAA

Making lemonade out of lemons

It’s good that the staff is using Georgia’s inconsistent start this season as a sales tool for recruiting.  It’s even better that recruits are buying that.

… The 2016 results have produced a certain feeling so far among the recruits. Just don’t look for the 3-2 start and the setbacks the last two weeks against Ole Miss and Tennessee to douse the excitement that the inbound talent has for Kirby Smart’s program.

It seems to motivate the current commitments more than anything.

“When Georgia loses, I feel like that’s my high school team losing right now,” Pace Academy senior Andrew Thomas said. “Because I am committed and set to go there, it makes me upset for the rest of the day. But you can’t really get upset because that is a new staff with a freshman quarterback and a pretty young team. They are going to bounce back. I just feel that way.”

Georgia commitment William Poole III probably had the most telling comment during the weekend when he described how he felt about Tennessee’s last-gasp win. He tweeted out that Georgia “had some for that next year,” but he also shared a very real comment.

“I’m hurt,” Poole said. “Feels like I was out there on the field myself. Every year I play Tennessee I’ll remember that exact moment.”

You’ve made your point now, fellas.  No need to oversell the pitch.  Go win some.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting