This Ain’t Yer Grandpa’s Recruiting

If you are like me, you like the process of building something and enjoying the planning and execution.  That’s why recruiting appeals to me…it’s the process of taking so many prospective concepts and putting them in place.  Also, if you are like me, you like big natural boobs, but I think we’ve covered that before.

Back to the topic:  recruiting, free agency, trade deadlines, DIY house projects, before/after pictures of chicks who lose a lot of weight and are suddenly hot…those are all examples of those things that are so fun to watch and follow because you are literally getting a chance to see the process go into effect.  However, as a fan of recruiting, I’ve got to admit to something here:

It’s not as fun as it used to be.

I remember the days of Jonathan Cornwell and Tony Hooten when the internet was a young nymph and old people were still talking about computers like they were robots out to steal their prescription drugs.  Those were the days when, instead of a message board update or a massive database of high school recruits, we were treated to conversational updates very similar to the weekly “Tidbits” that recruiting sites offer now.  Those were the days when we didn’t know all the gory details of the recruiting process like we do now.  We didn’t know which coach was recruiting which kid, who had offers, and we didn’t get to experience the wrath of some crazed parent who decides to take on an entire message board because someone criticizes their kid. 

It’s almost too personal now, and it’s just not quite as enjoyable.   Granted: having a service that offers videos so that you can watch your new players is pretty fucking cool.  Admittedly, it’s nice to have that sort of insider info because it used to be that the only people who had videos of players were coaches who traveled to games and shot the video themselves or whose coaches were nice enough to send it in.

Back to ten years ago…let’s hop into the Wayback Machine and take a look at what I’m talking about.  From Cornwell’s old Texas A&M Recruiting page hosted on myriad.net, we find this wonderfulness:

1/7/98
This is the time of year when the recruiting rumors go wild. There are conflicting reports between respectable recruiting services on where a certain prospect will visit and when and who leads at this time. The only way you know your school has a chance with a recruit is if he visits your school. You have to take everything with a grain of salt until a prospect commits, and even then you can’t take that as final until signing day (remember WR Robert Williams?). Anyway, here’s some current news:

QB Adam Dunn has dropped A&M from consideration and will probably not visit. DB Tyrone Jones has A&M leading big and should commit during his visit (A&M wants him at LB). A&M still leads for Ath Dwain Goynes, who is still expected to sign with the Aggies. WR Raphael Freeman has narrowed his list to Baylor and A&M, with the Aggies having a great shot because of the baseball program (he may get baseball scholarship instead so he won’t count against the football total).

1/6/98
The Texas Top 100 is revised and updated.

A reliable source has told me that it is becoming a really tight battle for TE Patrick Hughes between LSU and A&M. His coaches are encouraging him to stay in state and his dad really likes A&M. His visit to A&M will probably decide the fate of this talented prospect.

A sports reporter from NBC in Beaumont told me that QB Chip Ambres will not make a decision between Oklahoma and A&M until Feb.3 at 10 PM during a news conference. Apparently he will take all his visits before committing to any school. That will certainly be an exciting and anxious moment for the schools involved for this All-American.

This coming weekend is obviously a huge one for many schools competing against A&M for many of the state’s top recruits. Since A&M has no official visitors this weekend, all we can do is wait and see what happens. Top recruits such as Chip Ambres, all the prospects from Texas City, Lee Jackson, Evan Coleman, Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Hughes, Eric Heitmann, Mike Clay, Sean Phillips, and Rod Sneed are all making trips this weekend.

1/5/98
Texas seems to be on the rebound with Mack Brown at the helm as several top recruits are setting up visits with the Longhorns this month. They could rebound enough to sign a nice class after being way behind A&M and Baylor just a month ago.

FB Darche Epting has committed to Memphis this past weekend as several schools including A&M backed off Epting a little. It will be interesting to see what the A&M coaches are up to in regards to the FB position. They may be making a big push for RB Josh Reed from LA or Evan Coleman instead.

The Chip Ambres debate may be settled this weekend when he visits Oklahoma. He is currently leaning to the Sooners over the Aggies, and may go ahead and commit after his visit after seeing Vance Smith commit to A&M last week.

RB Josh Norman will not visit A&M.

DL Kendrick Allen has finally made it official and committed to LSU. I think that chapter is finally closed after many rumors of where he’d end up. It makes sense for him to stay close to home and play for the Tigers. 

**********************

That’s all we’d get and we liked it.  We liked it because it was fun and there was an element of excitement to it.  I’m not sure if I’m jaded by five years of Fran or yearly asswhippings by Mack Brown since he’s been at t.u., but it’s just not that fun anymore.

Maybe we just know too much.  Maybe having the “inside” info means that we lose a bit of the innocence we all had when we thought that college football was sacred.   Now we know all the bad stuff as well as the good stuff and we know it as soon as it happens.  Admittedly, I’m still a recruitnik and probably will be for a long time, but long gone are the days when I could rattle off 40 times or bench stats.

Of course, maybe winning a few  recruiting battles for a few of these five stars might help, too. 

HA

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