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Westsider Rider

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Other side of Recruiting

As many people who know me, or others that love college football, Recruiting has become a year round event that we follow. It's a constant cycle as there is summer recruiting and camps during the off season to help us keep busy when there is no football there is the season where recruits come in for official visits up until signing day in February when letters of intent are signed, after wards the cycle continues again because as soon as signing day ends the focus then turns to the juniors who become seniors of the summer and so on and so on. I started following recruiting closely once I was admitted to the University of Michigan in early 1999. Somehow I stumbled upon The Wolverine, which is slightly different than the current site but that's a whole different story. Anyways after I found this site I was hooked. Being the sports junkie that I am it was a never ending cycle and I loved it, as there's the anticipation of finding out if we made a player's top 5, if we eventually land a commitment, it's like another sport as you win when you get commitments but lose when they commit to other schools. But it's not all fun and games as I have learned throughout following this. There are real kids lives at stake and there are many stories out there about scholarship offers not being honored, being pulled at the last minute before signing day and a lot of these stories are not known to the general public. The reason I'm talking about this today is because I found a story on Justin Forsett, the current backup California Golden Bear running back who is 9th in the nation in Yards Per Game and 3rd in the nation in Yards Per Carry. He was actually initially slated to go to Notre Dame, but he was a backup plan just strung along until ND picked up commitments from Darius Walker and Justin Hoskins so he was without a school since it was so late in the process and not many schools had spots left for him. Luckily there was one at Cal and he got his chance.

Then there is USC, everyone who knows me knows I do not like them one bit and because they are the current back to 1/2 back National Champions they have more leeway than other schools regarding this. USC has done this on more than one occation with Michael Bumpus a WR who ended up at Washington State and Sekeli Faaeteete who signed with California. Both had offers which they accepted and verbally committed to USC, only to have these offers pulled at the last minute. There is also current Michigan Wolverine Eugene Germany who had a similar situation with the USC coaching staff. He initially committed and signed with USC over Michigan only to have the USC coaches continually make excuses about not getting him eligible. First he had problems with his grades so they asked him to take a greyshirt and go to junior college to make up some grades which he did. For those that don't know a greyshirt is when a player commits one year in advance and comes to school the next semester. So in this example Germany was a 2004 signee and was supposed to enroll in Fall 2004 and become a part of USC's class that year, however because he was greyshirting he would now enter into January 2005 and become a part of USC's class in 2005. He agreed to do this and when it came for 2005 so he could be eligible and participate in Spring Practice to get ready for the 2005 season he was told again to go back to junior college for some other classes at which point he had enough and ended up coming to Michigan as a part of their 2005 class. These kind of shady dealings that the Trojans have cannot last as sooner or later, hopefully sooner, this type of behavior will come back and bite them in the ass as it should. It is completely wrong how they have handled these situations and just adds to the reason I can't stand those dirty condoms and their fake ass "fans."


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