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Like Miles, Franklin And Mullen Takes Shots At De-Commits; All Need To Grow Up

Earlier today, we gave you our take on Les Miles’ decision to publicly badmouth former LSU commitment Gunner Kiel.  In summary: Millionaire adults shouldn’t insult teenagers publicly.

Well, it seems that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and MSU’s Dan Mullen have some growing up to do, too.  (There may be more across the SEC, but those are the three cases we’ve come across so far.)

In the cutthroat world of recruiting, coaches rise and fall on the commitments and de-commitments of teenage boys.  Naturally, when a coach loses a player, he’s going to be a) ticked and b) hurt.  But as adults representing major universities, they need to show a bit more maturity than the kids doing the flip-flopping.

Especially when coaches have no problem talking recruits into flipping and flopping to their programs.

On Wednesday, Miles questioned the heart and leadership capabilities of quarterback prospect and Notre Dame signee Gunner Kiel.  In contrast, he talked up the “style” of Jeremy Liggins, a Mississippi quarterback who inked a last-minute deal with the Tigers.

Liggins had been a top target of Mullen’s Mississippi State program.  So when he lost out on Liggins, he offered a scholarship to quarterback Nick Schuessler instead.  And here’s what he had to say about that move:

“It was actually funny.  During that whole weekend (leading up to signing day) we were sitting there with Nick, I kind of came to the conclusion Nick was the better quarterback.  Then it kind of became real heavy that he was the much better quarterback.”

Funny how that works.  You study two players for months and target one.  That one decides to go elsewhere and suddenly it’s obvious that he really wasn’t that good after all.  The other guy was “much better.”

How childish and small of Mullen to make a crack like that about a teenager who’s was trying to make the biggest decision of his young life.

But the immaturity and pettiness didn’t stop there.  In Nashville, James Franklin told a group of Vanderbilt backers that players who de-committed from his program were “not men of honor” and “not men of integrity,” according to Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean via Twitter.

Hmmm.  Could that have been a shot at last minute flip-flopper Josh Dawson, who decided his skills as a defensive end would be better honed at his homestate school of Georgia?  (It should be noted, Dawson called Vandy’s coaches with the news on the night prior to signing day.  Even VU assistant Sean Spencer said “he was a man” about it.)

What’s ironic is that Franklin’s signing class includes a quarterback named Patton Robinette who walked out of orientation at North Carolina to drive to Nashville and join Franklin’s squad at the last possible instant.

I don’t recall Franklin closing his door to Robinette, do you?  I suppose a player isn’t a man of honor or integrity when he’s leaving you for someone else.  If he’s leaving someone else for you, well, that’s a sign of high character.

I get that coaches like players who sign with them and dislike many kids who sign elsewhere.  I understand that coaches need to spin “lesser” signees to the fanbase when they lose a higher-ranked prospect.  I also understand that coaches like to be applauded and there’s no easier way for a coach to gain applause than by acting angry and wronged in front of his fanbase.  Talk about rallying the troops.

But the fact remains, these coaches are dealing with teenagers.  Regardless of how they might feel post-signing day or what they might say behind the closed doors of the football complex, they need to show enough maturity to not insult and belittle young men who are being pulled in a thousand directions by grown men promising them everything from playing time, to jobs, to an education.

Miles questioned a teen’s heart and talent.  Mullen dissed a teen’s abilities.  Franklin questioned at least one teenager’s honor and integrity.

I wonder if there’s anyone at any of those coaches’ institutions who will question the scorned, schoolgirl behavior of their highest-paid employees?

You’re older than the players, guys.  You’re supposed to be more mature.  Act like it.

 


31 comments
Bayousteve
Bayousteve

When it comes to Miles comments, I think there's a couple of things worth mentioning:
1. Miles was actually using Gunner Kiel as a contrast to QB signee Jeremy Liggins, who had the guts to have a signing ceremony a very short distance from Ole Miss and choose LSU.
2. It seems Kiel enrolled at ND without a courtesy call to LSU, who had lost a 4-star recruit trying to make room for him. Miles ended losing 2 signees over this.

Finally, saying someone "lacked the chest" is so mild that it amazes me That so much fuss is being made over this. Kiel is going to have to handle much more adversity than this.

Bigreb
Bigreb

tradeassociation is obsessed with Mullen. What these other coaches said was way worse. Mullen said he simply liked this kid better. So what if he was lying? He didn't say anything bad about Liggins like Franklin or Miles. The fact that you don't even mention these other guys shows what your agenda is. Walk outside and take a deep breath.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Mississippi State fans:The fact that Liggins never committed to Mississippi State makes Dan Mullen's comments even more unjustified. Liggins did claim that he was going to stay at home and work on building up the in-state schools rather than being yet another Mississippi athlete to leave the state. But Liggins was as likely to go to Ole Miss - and play in a more passing style offense that would have been better for his NFL potential - as Mississippi State. I mean, did Mullen rip Gunner Kiel too? Maybe he should trash Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III for not going to Mississippi State. While he is at it, go ahead and criticize Peyton Manning for not going there back in the day, and also Dan Marino and Jim Thorpe.

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

Mullen did not belittle the kids ability... Not sure if you read what Nick's coach said about him being under rated because they are not allowed to run up the score... So Nick was a lot better than he thought and thinks he is a better QB... Seriously? The growing up is Less and the writer of this article... Seriously...

SEC fan
SEC fan

Which is worse, to publicly belittle or ridicule a player for changing his mind on signing day or telling a kid on signing day, who has been committed to your school for months and not visited other schools as a result of his commitment, that you no longer have a scholarship for him and that he will have to wait to enroll later or go somewhere else? I know which seems worse to me and to most people not living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama or writing for MrSEC.com. What do you think?

TwistDawg
TwistDawg

Dude, give it a rest on Mullin. We all get (by now) that you have it in for him. Just let it go.................he's a coach and you're not.

Old Timer
Old Timer

Is the Franklin story based on anything more substantial that a Twitter posting? Was Lockridge there, for example, or did he get it second-hand?

Bigreb
Bigreb

Mullen is the only one that really doesn't fit into your criteria. The other coaches clearly badmouthed a recruit who had been committed to them previously and changed his mind. Mullen badmouthed nobody. He only said that he ended liking this QB better. True or not, he didn't cast Liggens in a bad light.

honestabe
honestabe

Liggens never committed to Ms State. He is 6' 4' and 292 lbs. I'm sure the more anybody looked the less he looked like a QB. Mullen gave an honest answer about an evaluation process that evolved. You're analysis about what he said and who he said it about doesn't add up. What's your agenda?

Voloptimist
Voloptimist

Could not agree more- glad you're pointing this out. Great work.

Hank
Hank

In contrast, here is how Petrino responded to a question about loosing out on top target Dorial Green-Becham:

“Well, we wish him good luck,” Petrino told the press. “Like I said before, we're really fired up about our class and what we've got coming back. We've led the SEC in passing the last three years. So we feel good about not only how we recruit, what we do recruit at the quarterback and wide receiver position. A lot of it is development. When they get here, they've got to be able to get in the weight room. Get in the offseason program and grind and improve physically. We've been able to do that very, very well this year.

CrossroadsDawg
CrossroadsDawg

You have no idea what you are talking about. Dan didn't even Liggins name. His comment was "then it kind of came real heavy that he was the much better quarterback " IN OUR MINDS" ! THE LAST THREE WORDS WERE LEFT OUT OF THE ARTICLE !! You need to take a look at the total transcript or watch the video. Dan NEVER mentioned LIGGINS NAME !! If Liggins ever plays at LSU, it WILL NOT be at QB.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

"“It was actually funny. During that whole weekend (leading up to signing day) we were sitting there with Nick, I kind of came to the conclusion Nick was the better quarterback. Then it kind of became real heavy that he was the much better quarterback.”Yeah, as if a 12 year old can't tell when a "compliment" to one guy is really intended as a backhanded slap at another. Look, Mullen BADLY wanted Jeremy Liggins, a poor man's Cam Newton, for his spread option offense. (Liggins' biggest flaws, arm strength and technique, aren't issues in Mullen's system just as they weren't for Alex Smith and Tim Tebow.) Instead, he got a 2 star QB whose only other offers were Colorado State (not Colorado, but Colorado State) and Middle Tennessee State. What is more, Schuessler is a pro-style QB who doesn't even fit Mullen's offense. Sure, he ran for 300 yards and 5 TDs in high school, but a running QB in the SEC? Come on. Where Liggins might have made Mullen's program, if Schuessler even gets on the field at MSU, it means that the Mullen regime is in big trouble. Look, if Schuessler were even a decent dual threat QB, Georgia Tech would have offered him. (And don't kid yourself: had Georgia Tech offered him, Georgia Tech is where he would be going.) So ... a kid that Georgia Tech showed absolutely no interest in is better than the #7 player in Mississippi and the #19 ranked QB in the country. Yeah, sure ... and look even if it is true (and it isn't) it doesn't matter because the kid doesn't fit MSU's offense.

Mullen was indulging in sour grapes. As Liggins never misled Mullen or MSU at any time, there was no reason for Mullen to say anything at all about the kid. All Mullen did was reveal how badly he wanted - and needed - a 3 star in state recruit that he wound up losing anyway to a school where he isn't even guaranteed to stay at QB.

Dynamite fan
Dynamite fan

Doesn't matter to this site any opportunity to bad mouth a Vandy coach esp. Franklin. Wow Vandy is no longer competing with the Troy St. and Jacksonville St's of the world for recruits. This site sounds like all the UT fans I live around he's Satan and should be banned from the SEC because he's trying to win at Vanderbilt. He is getting recruits that UT, and others wanted. He should just keep his mouth shut when talking to Vandy fans (comments in private) about recruits de-committing. We get it MrSEC you have nothing good to say about James Franklin (no need to disguise you disgust). Who got the worst comments of the 3 coaches in this article from this site, who comes off sounding like a hypocrite because he got a player from UT's backyard?. How do we know he was refering to Dawson?? How do we know Robinette didn't give UNC the proper thanks but no thank you?

According to this site he lies to recruits, he doesn't run up to other coaches after a tough losses and kiss them in their rear, he runs of underperforming players for no reason (even if they have their degrees). He sounds like every other SEC head coach except so far Vandy hasn't been investigated by the NCAA, and Players actually go to class and get degrees. One Player was arrested (only 999 more to catch up with the rest of the SEC) under Franklin and he was dismissed from the team. I'm not asking this site to love the guy or Stallings for that matter just treat them like you treat every other SEC coach and write one good article about them when they deserve it (not one loaded with backhanded compliments or suggesting that they leave).

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Like I said above, Mullen had no reason to even talk about a kid who never promised anything to MSU to begin with. Second, if you believe that Mullen actually likes a 2 star mid-major caliber pro-style QB that doesn't fit his offense better than a major college talent dual threat QB who does, then I have some premier swampland in the Sahara - prime real estate! - to sell you. Beachfront property with a bridge over it and everything.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

@honestabe Seriously, you are insane. It is easier for Liggins to lose weight than it is for Schuessler to become 1) a major college QB (his only other offers were Colorado State and Middle Tennessee State) and 2) become a dual threat QB (Schuessler is a pro-style QB who has no chance running the option in Conference USA, let alone the SEC).

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

@honestabe According to the writer of this article... He was suppose to LIE and prop the kid up... Liggins is not going to play QB at LSU anyway... He will be just like another Russell Shepard... Top rated QB not playing QB...

Mith242
Mith242

Yeah, you know Petrino was really disappointed to lose him at the very end like that, when everyone had him going to Arkansas till the last few days before signing day. Petrino gets a lot of flak for things in the past. But since he's been at Arkansas I think he's been very good and been very respectable. The only issue that's really come up since he's been at Arkansas is that incident at the LSU game.

Fayettechill14
Fayettechill14

I was very impressed with Coach Petrino's response to that one. He had to know it was going to come up and he handled it well.

Bulldog
Bulldog

It's good to see Petrino show some class at something. Maybe he's trying to clean up his image.

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

First off, if you don't follow MSU recruiting... Or read anymore than headliners here and there and form your opinion, you really shouldn't be commenting on things you know little about...

Anyone who knows Dan Mullen knows that he speaks his mind...

Another thing, I am not sure if you know anything about HS football in Georgia? Do you or not? Things that were found out closer to the end of the recruiting... Nick's coach mentioned that he didn't have the luxury of running up the score... Here is a statement from Nick's coach... "There’s a rule in Georgia. With a 30-point lead, they just run clock." and that happened a lot for his team... And of course your numbers aren't going to look as good when you can't throw the ball anymore...

Here is more on what Nick's coach said: http://blogs.clarionledger.com/msu/2012/01/31/coachspeak-a-qa-with-qb-nick-schuesslers-coach/

See... It is really easy to be cynical when you don't know all of the facts... Did MSU want Liggins? Absolutely... Is Nick the better QB? No doubt... Is Nick possibly a better QB than Dan Mullen originally expected to be? Absolutely...

I believe the scenario went down like this... And just to let you know, I am an MSU fan and read everything I can get my hands on...

MSU wanted Liggins because of his size and definitely not his natural throwing ability... MSU did want Liggins... Gave him a deadline to confirm he would be a bulldawg or we would go elsewhere... He didn't commit to MSU before the deadline given and MSU offered Nick... Nick accepted...

After talking to Nick's coach, thinking about it after the fact... Dan Mullen realized that Nick is better than he thought... And realized he is a better QB... And voiced what was on his mind...

Now the media gets involved... And try to blow it up to something it really wasn't... Was there sour grapes? I am sure there was a little... But give me a break... To try and lump Dan Mullen in there with the baby Les Miles is just plain MORONIC...

CrossroadsDawg
CrossroadsDawg

Why are you keeping up with Mississippi State Football ?? Are you a "Closet Fan" haha LOL

CrossroadsDawg
CrossroadsDawg

HEY - HE NEVER MENTIONED THE KID's name - COMPRENDE ?? You need help !!

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

@honestabe Not sure if you knew about this... But if you are basing Nick being a "Major college QB" based on his scholarship offers... You are not that bright...

Before you think I am comparing this QB to anyone in the pros... Pay close attention to this statement... Scholarship offers are exactly that... I think Nick's biggest problem is his weight at 190lbs and that will limit your offers right off the bat... Second, Bobby Petrino was said to be looking at this guy because he liked him... But didn't offer...

Did you know that Drew Brees only had an offer from one D1 school? Purdue? So according to your logic, Dree Brees is not a major college QB because he wasn't offered a scholarship from a major football school... Same thing goes for Brett Favre...

Again... Since you are quick to jump to conclusions before you can investigate... I am not saying Nick is Dree or Brett...

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

@honestabe Liggins may not play QB at LSU, but he would have for Mississippi State, and as early as this season.

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

@CrossroadsDawg Wow... That is pretty sad... I guess SEC Pennington has problems reading the transcript... I also read it... Not sure why people with common sense can't read things for what they are... Sheesh... Some people are just clueless... And looks like Mullen haters are always trying to read between the lines even when there are no lines...

CrossroadsDawg
CrossroadsDawg

@ezfreeze I had e-mailed this guy, Pennington and tried to explain to him that I watched the Press conference and later got a copy of the transcript because I was AMAZED that he "quoted" what Dan said. It was a "PART" of one sentence that Dan stated. He left out the last part of the sentence, plus if you read all the comments Dan stated about Nick earlier in his speech, he (Dan) was only expanding on how they really felt about Nick. Richard Cross has him on their Head to Head Radio Program as "MR SEC"- You gotta be kidding me!!. Matt Wyatt is also on the Program. R. Cross "ate it up" because he is "obsessed" with Dan Mullen !!!! BTW, he (MR SEC Pennington) stated to me (by e-mail) that anyone with a 5 IQ could figure it out !! What a "classy guy" !!!!

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

@CrossroadsDawg No COMPRENDE here... He has no clue whatsoever... He just reads headliners and runs with it... Obviously not a lot of thought or looking into to go as to say, "Mullen had no reason to even talk about a kid"... He didn't mention the kids name... But it is understandable that only MSU fans would know that...

ezfreeze
ezfreeze

@honestabe You are slightly correct... You said may not... I will say it... He will NOT play QB... At MSU, he would definitely have played QB as a run first...

Mith242
Mith242

When LSU scored that last TD Petrino was pissed and he said a few things which the tv camera caught. So if you could read lips you could tell he used some 'colorful' language. Other than that though, I think he's been pretty respectable while he's been at Arkansas.

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