Waiting game is sign of recruiting times

Kudos to Bryce Brown, Kwame Geathers, David Oku and the other handful of prospects who have delayed signing their National Letter of Intent until, well, whenever they feel like doing so.

Those prospects have learned the greatest secret in college football: coaches need players more than players need coaches - especially when those players are prospects.

Case in point, would any coach tell Brown, who some think is the best prospect in the nation, that he can't attend their school because all of the scholarships are taken? Uh, no.

Yet that's what so many coaches told prospects over the years. "Sign it now or it's gone" is as old and untrue as promising a prospect playing time.

Any coach worth his multi-million dollar contract is willing to boot a lower-level player to clear room for a top prospect.

Some have clamored for a second signing day so coaches can better focus their recruiting efforts. Truth is, college football has had two signing days for decades.

You know about the one in February when bleary eyed recruiting fans stare at computer screens, clicking and refreshing as if they're out to crash computer servers.

But what about the one in August? That's the one that really matters - the first day of classes.

Top prospects can wait that long and have the same options they had in February. Just show up, enroll and watch the coach find a scholarship faster than Nu'Keese Richardson can run the 40-yard dash.

I have an idea for undecided prospects. Why not wait to see how spring practice shakes out, find out if anyone gets hurt in summer workouts, even check the weather report for preseason practice among your final list of schools.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is the leader of this revolution. By delaying his decision last year, he told every elite prospect that national signing day was just a day on the calendar.

Perhaps the NCAA should try to stop the trend.

What if a prospect has to sign on signing day or he can't enroll during summer school?

Or how about giving prospects who sign on signing day the same freedom that coaches have? Players can leave school at anytime without having to sit out a year of competition - just like coaches.

Something tells me the coaches wouldn't like that, which leads to another recruiting secret: once you sign that letter of intent, the power you so proudly wielded is completely gone.

Predictions: I've been told that Geathers did not sign to play for the Vols during his official visit Wednesday as some had predicted. However, I see that happening soon, giving UT another signee for the 2009 class and a lineman with great potential.

Oku is a tougher call. I think the top-flight tailback will end up at UT, but Auburn is still in the hunt.

Brown is also a tough call. With a great visit this weekend, UT could still land him but I say the nation's top tailback ends up at Oregon.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He may be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 36

BillsBrother writes:

Hmmmmmmmm. August? So these guys could apply and get accepted at many schools and get all their fans worked up?

RockyTop1 writes:

98th

Triton1 writes:

in response to chuck0303#1342365:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

that's good chuck.

smashmouth98 writes:

Hook you are mad b/c it makes you work harder/longer. I see your point. Who cares it passes time & allows players to be sure of their decision. Oku however has no clue what he is going to do. Hopefully he will guess right & go with the VOLS!!! I hope Geathers signs with us. We need help ASAP!!!

MikeTheVol writes:

Dudes and dudettes, we better hope MR. BROWN becomes a Vol. Check out these highlights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW2EUb...

Layla_Kiffin_is_hott writes:

Oku just put Nebraska on his list of schools he might pick. I don't think he is going to pick UT. I believe Bryce Brown was thinking about playing for a CFL team for 5 million a year, the problem with that is CFL teams have a salary cap of 4 million a year. I wonder if his academics would be an issue....

MrBamSeydu writes:

172nd

surfmaster writes:

in response to JohnAdamsIsTrash:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Drew Edwards also mentioned in his last article the April 1 deadline to sign a letter of intent, so not sure what Hooker is talking about.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

If you check out the following free video on Rivals posted on Tuesday, you'll see that Brown is leaning towards the Ducks. He doesn't sound very interested in UT. If Kiffin can change his mind, this would be big.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/recruit...

hotrodvol writes:

What about Orsen Charles?

BillsBrother writes:

in response to JohnAdamsIsTrash:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't be so quick to trash Hooker. He got it correct.

You do not have to sign scholarship papers to attend the university. You just have to be accepted as a student.

Hooker simply said, that if you don't sign a letter of intent then you can just show up as a student on August 1. If you have skills like Bryce Brown, any coach in America would fall all over himself looking for a scholarship for you.

TxFatBoy writes:

Hooker is an idiot! I'm sure he's right about being able to show up in August, but who wants to deal with THAT garbage? And to suggest that they should wait until after spring practice to see who gets injured...great idea! Let's just drag this out forever! Hey Hooker! How about this, let's allow a prospect to just play wherever he wants one week and then transfer to another school the next week? That way, they can see who got hurt the week before and transfer there as a starter! No one has to sign at all...just go where you want when you want. If a coach makes you mad go play for their rival next week! What a fool you are Hooker!

Voluvr writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

What about Orsen Charles?

Orsen Charles broke the Gators championship trophy on a visit. Knocked it off of a table and it shattered. Meyer said, "how does it feel to be a gator?" as if. They assured him the insurance would cover the 35,000.00.
See gator links for story.

SEAL_9821 writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree, we do need Gaithers. When I look at our running backs returning, I think of Lennon Creer. I'm not sure how much of you view him, but this kid is a stud. And with the new conditioning prgram and fighting for a starting position, he will be that much more hard.

UTVolAlum writes:

Geathers received an offer from Georgia today, so it will be interesting to see if he signs with the Dawgs.

teampenny#658108 writes:

character does not matter--can you play the GAME OR will you play for us! You can win games like this but can you come together enough to win championships with players like this --not usually!

BigOrangeBrain writes:

Signing a LOI only commits prospect to school. School not committed til fall when schol. papers signed. A one sided contract. This is how schools oversign. If a prospect is in much demand, only smart to delay if not sure. BigOrangeBrain told me to write this. Brain do not lie.

VolunteerMan writes:

in response to MikeTheVol:

Dudes and dudettes, we better hope MR. BROWN becomes a Vol. Check out these highlights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW2EUb...

Whoa. That looks like a bad high school football movie. This dude is unreal.

GREATVOLSAFIRE writes:

in response to UTVolAlum:

Geathers received an offer from Georgia today, so it will be interesting to see if he signs with the Dawgs.

I thought they were saving their last scholarship for Orsen Charles, anyone know?

jimr07 writes:

in response to JohnAdamsIsTrash:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

maybe brent needs to get his straight.

lomas98 writes:

This trend is going to get worse. I know the decisions these kids make really effect the rest of their life, but I think they need to stick to the deadline. The juniors today should know that the deadline for next year is the first week in February.

ethanfrome writes:

in response to chuck0303#1342365:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cat Island?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Do prospects with gymnast girl friends get an extra visit or is Dupree worng about that?

JLeon04 writes:

Predictions (not that hard):

Geathers- Have a great shot for Geathers because we put him at DT.

Oku- Goes to Auburn

Brown- Goes to Miami to play with his brother.

Charles- SoCal/Georgia to play with McCarron

Regulator writes:

in response to lomas98:

This trend is going to get worse. I know the decisions these kids make really effect the rest of their life, but I think they need to stick to the deadline. The juniors today should know that the deadline for next year is the first week in February.

While I agree that this is a trend that is probably going to get worse, but the first week of February is not the deadline. National Signing Day is not a stand-alone day, and also is not only for football. NSD is just the first day of the period (I don't pretend to know the cutoff date) where high school athletes in various sports (again, I don't pretend to know all of the sports, but Track & Field is included) are allowed to officially, if you will, sign a LOI with a university. If the NCAA would set a non-contact, rigid time frame, i.e. March 1st-31st, for prospects to sign a LOI, AND the universities would place no more emphasis on the first day of the signing period than the last, it could take care of the problem. Allow recruiting up through the end of February, but at 12 am on March 1st, no more contact allowed until April 1st at 12 am. If recruits don't sign during March, they have to wait until the fall signing period and would not have eligibility until the following spring semester. That gives them an entire month after their recruitment to decide where to go to college, FOR FREE by the way. I think that should be sufficient.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

I'd like to see athlets be able to move each and every year, as soon as post-season hits for their sport.

Coaches will hate this, but screw'em. Those guys ALL make more than they should for coaching a damn GAME, I don't care how many hours are involved. We pay soldiers and policemen squat, we pay coaches out the nose???

Anyway, enough griping by me. I have believed in this for years: the games are for the palyers first, fans second, coaches last. If a player sees a better opp at another school, let him/her go, no questions, no restrictions. Hell, let coaches recruit each others players when the season is done. Tampering?? bull. Employers do it all the time. why not schools??

A little wakeup: big-time college sports is ALL business. Time to treat it for what it is.

TxFatBoy writes:

in response to Regulator:

While I agree that this is a trend that is probably going to get worse, but the first week of February is not the deadline. National Signing Day is not a stand-alone day, and also is not only for football. NSD is just the first day of the period (I don't pretend to know the cutoff date) where high school athletes in various sports (again, I don't pretend to know all of the sports, but Track & Field is included) are allowed to officially, if you will, sign a LOI with a university. If the NCAA would set a non-contact, rigid time frame, i.e. March 1st-31st, for prospects to sign a LOI, AND the universities would place no more emphasis on the first day of the signing period than the last, it could take care of the problem. Allow recruiting up through the end of February, but at 12 am on March 1st, no more contact allowed until April 1st at 12 am. If recruits don't sign during March, they have to wait until the fall signing period and would not have eligibility until the following spring semester. That gives them an entire month after their recruitment to decide where to go to college, FOR FREE by the way. I think that should be sufficient.

Here's how you stop this problem. Institute an early signing day/period. Allow those who want to terminate the recruiting chaos to sign early. Then set a date as the FINAL signing day. Anyone who has not signed by then can still walk-on but cannot receive a scholarship from ANY school for athletics until the next year.

Basketball_Jones writes:

in response to JLeon04:

Predictions (not that hard):

Geathers- Have a great shot for Geathers because we put him at DT.

Oku- Goes to Auburn

Brown- Goes to Miami to play with his brother.

Charles- SoCal/Georgia to play with McCarron

I don't think Oku goes to Auburn, he really seems to be avoiding schools that have a bunch of backs and Auburn signed 4.

I think Brown goes to Oregon cause his brother has really been down on things he was told when he was recruited by Miami. He may go to LSU though, he speaks very highly of them

Charles goes to Ga

Gaether a Vol

pms151 writes:

August is too late. If a kid does not get into school for summer school he will not be ready to play in the fall no matter how many stars he has.

VolFanNC writes:

Out of the bunch would like Geathers, Charles, Oku and Brown in that order.

Brown looks like a great prospect, but maybe a distraction and I could see off field issues with him. Would prefer Oku over him.

Geathers is a monster and would be a great addition. Charles would create mismatches for anyone, but sounds like he is leaning to GA. Oku to me would be a great multipurpose back, but we do have some pretty good guys returning, so this isn't as big of a concern to me. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up at the Cuse.

stinky_pinky writes:

in response to VolFanNC:

Out of the bunch would like Geathers, Charles, Oku and Brown in that order.

Brown looks like a great prospect, but maybe a distraction and I could see off field issues with him. Would prefer Oku over him.

Geathers is a monster and would be a great addition. Charles would create mismatches for anyone, but sounds like he is leaning to GA. Oku to me would be a great multipurpose back, but we do have some pretty good guys returning, so this isn't as big of a concern to me. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up at the Cuse.

interseting order...i think we get geathers and oku. that could have an immediate impact too

ALock4UT writes:

Geathers made his decision according to Scout.com, but you have to be a subscriber to view the article. Does anyone know what his decision was?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to TxFatBoy:

Hooker is an idiot! I'm sure he's right about being able to show up in August, but who wants to deal with THAT garbage? And to suggest that they should wait until after spring practice to see who gets injured...great idea! Let's just drag this out forever! Hey Hooker! How about this, let's allow a prospect to just play wherever he wants one week and then transfer to another school the next week? That way, they can see who got hurt the week before and transfer there as a starter! No one has to sign at all...just go where you want when you want. If a coach makes you mad go play for their rival next week! What a fool you are Hooker!

Irony is clearly lost on some people.

TxFatBoy writes:

Irony isn't, having read Hooker's columns before there's no reason to think he isn't serious.

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to Regulator:

While I agree that this is a trend that is probably going to get worse, but the first week of February is not the deadline. National Signing Day is not a stand-alone day, and also is not only for football. NSD is just the first day of the period (I don't pretend to know the cutoff date) where high school athletes in various sports (again, I don't pretend to know all of the sports, but Track & Field is included) are allowed to officially, if you will, sign a LOI with a university. If the NCAA would set a non-contact, rigid time frame, i.e. March 1st-31st, for prospects to sign a LOI, AND the universities would place no more emphasis on the first day of the signing period than the last, it could take care of the problem. Allow recruiting up through the end of February, but at 12 am on March 1st, no more contact allowed until April 1st at 12 am. If recruits don't sign during March, they have to wait until the fall signing period and would not have eligibility until the following spring semester. That gives them an entire month after their recruitment to decide where to go to college, FOR FREE by the way. I think that should be sufficient.

Yes, but you are also unintentionally setting the member schools and players up for more possible situations for rules violations. This should be a time when the NCAA is trying to limit the number of rules for recruiting because coaches are more intent on winning with each passing year and each bigger contract, and will do whatever it takes to win.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to JLeon04:

Predictions (not that hard):

Geathers- Have a great shot for Geathers because we put him at DT.

Oku- Goes to Auburn

Brown- Goes to Miami to play with his brother.

Charles- SoCal/Georgia to play with McCarron

too much competition coming to Auburn for Oku!!!

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