National Signing Day 2012: Urban Meyer Already Showing The New Way Recruiting Works In The Big Ten

So much for the good feelings.

Urban Meyer, the newly minted head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, made headlines for more than just being Urban Meyer. It has been reported that Wisconsin head coach, Bret Bielema, was less than impressed about some of Meyer’s recruiting practices that differ from the longstanding tradition of recruiting for the conference. From SB Nation:

“One issue Bielema would talk about — and it’s perfectly legal under current NCAA rules — is Meyer’s recruitment of players who already had given verbal commitments to other Big Ten schools. It has been a longstanding “gentlemen’s agreement” in the league that coaches wouldn’t recruit players who had publicly given commitments to schools.”

Michigan State University head coach Mark Dantonio agrees calling Meyer “unethical.”

It sounds to me that longstanding rule only served the best interests of Universities who had something to sell. I have no problem with what Meyer is doing because as Bielema said “it’s perfectly legal under current NCAA rules..” The ultimate goal is building a championship program and that really should be all other coaches care about.

Brady Hoke, Michigan’s head coach, sees no problem with Meyer’s style:

Too much stock shouldn’t be put on this. Just sounds like a few coaches who have issues working a little harder. If anything Meyer should be a wake up call to them and their programs. They only have to look at his fingers to see what is actually working in college football these days. 

Video Source:

National Signing Day 2012: Top Five Recruiting Classes; Best And Worst Of The Rest

These are my top-5 recruiting classes of 2012:

1.) University of Alabama: Impact Player-Landon Collins: Sadly another case where “parents gone wild” overshadowed a recruits hard work. In any case Collins (ESPN150 #6/Dutchtown High School, Geismar, LA) has off the charts ability in the secondary and is a huge pickup for the Tide who took the #1 recruit out of the state of Louisiana

2.) Florida State University: Impact Player- Mario Edwards: It seems Florida State is selling something serious about Tallahassee because the Seminoles very easily could have been number one after signing Edwards (ESPN150 #1/Billy Ryan High School, Denton, TX) but were second due to some commits who chose elsewhere.

3.) Ohio State University: Impact Player-Noah Spence: Urban Meyer welcomed himself to Columbus in a big way. His impact is felt immediately with a top-five class that included defensive end Noah Spence (ESPN150 #4/Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg, PA). Spence will have an immediate impact on a defense that should be much improved with the addition of defensive minded Urban Meyer calling the shots. Sprinkle in a slew of four-star recruits (including ESPN150 #65  defensive end Adolphus Washington) and you have the makings of an SEC team in the Big Ten. Scary stuff.

4.) University of Georgia: Impact Player-Keith Marshall: Mark Richt and his group are back at it. Most people don’t realize that Richt has produced top-five or top-10 recruiting classes just about every year he’s been in Athens. Problem is Steve Spurrier said it best when asked what happens to them once they get there. Well those times need to end in a hurry. Georgia had a nice season and a good run to their division title. Richt, though, is still in need of some big wins next season in order to prove they are capable of consistent contention for not only the conference but the national title. That said Georgia did a fantastic job of filling needs at running back (Keith Marshall ESPN150#5), offensive line (John Theus ESPN150#28), and on defense ( OLB Harvey-Clemons ESPN150#17, DT Jonathan Taylor ESPN150#53, DE Jordan Jenkins ESPN150#67,  and DT John Atkins ESPN150#119). Credit goes to Todd Grantham for the boost he is giving this program.

5.) University of Michigan: Impact Player-Terry Richardson: Brady Hoke, coming off a Sugar Bowl win for “Big Blue” is continuing momentum into recruiting season. He locked up corner Terry Richardson (ESPN150#68/Cass Technical High School, Detroit, MI) as he will slide right into an already stout defense. I am concerned about the lack of a quarterback pickup this class as they ranked 93rd nationally in passing. While Robinson gets it done with his legs they may want to look towards a pro-style quarterback with Urban Meyer setting up shop in Columbus. One dimensional offenses don’t work against his defenses. 

Best Of The Rest:

Texas, Florida, USC, Oregon, and Stanford

Works In Progress:

LSU, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Penn State

National Signing Day 2012: The Circus That Was Josh Harvey-Clemons Recruiting Decision

National signing day is supposed to be the culmination of four-years of hard work by a prep athlete getting validated by an offer from some of the finest institutions in the nation.

That was not the case for University of Georgia signee Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Harvey-Clemons (ESPN150 #17/Lowndes High School, Valdosta, GA) was the number one outside linebacker recruit in the country and the number one recruit in Georgia. He was pretty tight-lipped about his commitment status until 2 p.m. yesterday when he announced on ESPN. What everyone didn’t expect was his choice: Georgia.

That set off a chain of events that were as inexplicable as they were confusing.

You see Harvey-Clemons legal guardians are his grandparents and in order for the deal to be official he needed both grandparents signatures on the letter of intent (LOI). Problem is his grandfather, Woodrow, went missing right after the announcement. The interesting part is he  meant to do so.

Yep. Grandpa went AWOL.

You see his grandfather decided to take this kids opportunity and make it about himself and his desires rather than what his five-star grandson wanted which was to play in Athens. Because of proximity he didn’t like the idea of Georgia because it was two hours further for a drive. So we’re talking about giving up a chance to play for a great program and a coach who coaches who know how to get their guys ready for that next level for two hours and the wishes of someone who didn’t tackle a soul the last four years (although as a bail bondsmen I could be wrong on that second fact).

Listen, family is family, but understanding that when a kid makes a decision that he feels is best for him and his future in life (be it in football or otherwise) I think that should be understood. Especially considering the myriad other things he could be doing instead of the right thing.

it is unfortunate that his day will be marred by the actions of an overbearing guardian but I wish him all the best from here on out. Lets just hope this isn’t a precursor of things to come and its a smooth ride from here on out.

National Signing Day 2012: Les Miles Needs Another Lesson In Humility

Obviously things have been rough the last four weeks for Les Miles.

After getting thumped in the BCS National Championship game by Alabama you would think he would have gained a little bit of humility. They, for all intents and purposes, did win the Southeastern Conference and their division all while holding the number one spot in the country for most of the season. 

That being said his bravado (and grass chomping mojo) ran out when he ran into the crimson wall that was the Alabama defense. Heading into recruiting Les could have been poised to sell prospects of a National Title season on the Bayou in 2013.

Then he stuck his foot in his mouth. 

Gunner Kiel (ESPN150 #52 Columbus East High School/Columbus, Indiana) pulled the old wool over the Tigers eyes by saying he would commit then changing his mind at the last minute and bolting for Notre Dame. LSU needed a quarterback and didn’t get the one they wanted. That left Miles slightly ticked off. From the USA Today:

We needed a quarterback in this class,” Miles said. “There was a gentleman from Indiana that thought about coming to the Bayou State. He did not necessarily have the chest and the ability to lead a program. Just so you know.”

While they did end up with Jeremy Liggins, the 6-foot-3, 270 pound monster out of Mississippi (and by monster I’m talking size wise), the tone doesn’t match up with the rhetoric. Miles came off as petty and childish in his assessment of Kiel. The Jilted lover talk will only go so far as Miles needs to know Its unfair to go after an 18-year old for changing his mind because, well, he’s 18. I understand both sides of the coin and the frustration Miles has for losing out on what he thought was his future starter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if future recruits catch wind of the clip and don’t give him the time of day for fear of being lambasted by him and a fan base over their decision not to enroll at LSU.

I guess the real question is whether Miles’ frustration is from the decision of Kiel or the Tigers less than stellar showing in recruiting this year.

Either way, old less is getting large helpings of humble pie in 2012.