How do you feel about pick time college recruits who get their butts kissed? Read this before you answer…


1 Response to “How do you feel about pick time college recruits who get their butts kissed? Read this before you answer…”

  1. February 7, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    Lorne Goree was walking toward the Maryland football training facility for a weightlifting session one recent afternoon when he came across Terrapins offensive coordinator James Franklin.
    It was Franklin who did much of the work recruiting Goree, a linebacker who played at C.H. Flowers High in Prince George’s County and later Fork Union Military Academy, a prep school near Charlottesville. Goree had grown accustomed to Franklin’s calm demeanor, and the two had built a relationship. So it came as a shock when Franklin had a warning for Goree, who has been on Maryland’s campus for less than two weeks as part of his early enrollment for spring semester.
    “He was like, ‘If you come late to anything, that’s 5 in the morning, I’m running you to death until you can’t think about being late anymore,’ ” Goree said. The coaches “have become tougher, but it’s college football, so I expected it.”
    Across the country Wednesday morning, the next group of college football hopefuls will start the transition from sought-after, sweet-talked recruits to signed-and-delivered, soon-to-be college freshmen. With the national letter-of-intent signing period beginning Wednesday, high school seniors can sign their scholarship papers and make their college plans official.
    Some recruits such as Goree and linebacker Javarie Johnson of Dunbar choose to enroll at their college of choice, cutting short the wooing period in an effort to be ready for spring practice at College Park.
    It can be a rude awakening.
    “I didn’t know it would be so much of a drastic change in time, everything is on a schedule,” said H.D. Woodson All-Met quarterback Ricardo Young, who enrolled at Virginia Tech for the spring and said he chose the school because its coaches didn’t “create this big old fantasy-land type of dream that is unreal.”
    As much as high schoolers might think they are ready, one of the Washington area’s recent standouts said there is no way to be prepared. Kenny Tate, a two-time All-Met at DeMatha who has played two seasons at Maryland, said the only way to understand the change is to go through it.
    “The [recruiters] are always going to tell you what you want to hear because they want you to come to their school,” Tate said. “Coaches are not going to tell you what is real all the time.”
    Some recruits, such as Good Counsel All-Met cornerback Louis Young (Ricardo’s cousin), believe they know what comes next. They have visited campuses and listened to detailed plans of what to expect.
    “All that smiling” by coaches is done, said Young, who is expected to sign with Georgia Tech. “Once I get to the school, I’m theirs. That school, they’re going to get every last penny out of me.”
    Unless recruits have heard from a former teammate or an older peer who is now in college, it can be difficult to discern fact from recruiting pitch, Tate said. For instance, Goree said he was uncertain what to expect Wednesday when the Terrapins begin five weeks of 5:30 a.m. running sessions. His only knowledge of the training regimen was what he saw on a television show about the team.
    Said Good Counsel’s Young: “They’re there to sell you a perfect car, they’re going to make it seem like it’s a Rolls Royce when it really could be a Honda. . . . I’m trying to look through all that. It’s very flattering to hear everything you want to hear, but in reality it’s their job to say what they have to say and get you to go to their school.”
    College coaches are skilled professionals when it comes to recruiting; receiving additional training in their pitches is becoming more and more popular, while the players they are recruiting are still teenagers.
    “When they recruit, they’re easy-going and friendly, but when they coach them up and have them in weight training and study hall, it’s a shock to” players, Dunbar Coach Craig Jefferies said. “When they’re recruiting, they find out as much about you as they can but they don’t give out a lot about them. It’s all about love and the finer things in life, the peaches and cream and how much fun they’re going to have. They talk about football and schemes, but it’s different the first time you hear a coach being demanding and holding something on you.”
    For many players, reconciling what they are told during the recruiting process with how things are on campus can be a challenge — especially for those who have excelled throughout their athletic careers but now find themselves in a much different environment.
    “When you get recruited, you’re being told you’re the best thing since sliced bread and once you sign, now you’re a player and you start at the bottom rung,” said McNamara Coach Bryce Bevill, a former DeMatha standout who played at Syracuse. “That’s the recruiting game. But the thing is, when young men do sign, they know what they’re getting themselves into.”
    A handful of players have gotten an early start adapting to their new environment, choosing to graduate early and enroll in college for the spring semester. Like Goree — who needed a semester of prep school to meet the NCAA’s minimum academic eligibility standards — they have been on campus only a short time but realized life is much different than it was in high school.
    Said Ricardo Young: “If someone is picking a school based on how the city is or how fun it is around there, they would be clueless because you don’t have a lot of time other than your one day off on the weekends.”

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