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There’s Nothing Wrong With Offering A Scholarship To An 8th Grader

gfx - honest opinionAt first blush, the idea of handing a college scholarship offer over to a middle school player is absurd.  Year after year former 5-star high school players wash out of college football programs because they’ve failed to develop physically or mentally as college coaches had once projected and hoped.  Predicting the development path of a middle-schooler would obviously be even more difficult.

That hasn’t stopped coaches from chasing younger and younger prospects.

While at Tennessee, Lane Kiffin reportedly offered a scholarship to then-13-year-old Evan Berry, the brother of current NFL safety Eric Berry.  Upon landing at Southern Cal, Kiffin grabbed a commitment from then-13-year-old quarterback David Sills.  Now 16, Sills is wrapping up his sophomore year of high school and is still committed to the Trojans.

Ex-Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie took heat in 2008 for coaxing commitments out of then-15-year-olds Michael Avery (now at Sonoma State) and Vinny Zollo (now at Furman).  Myles Brand — the NCAA president at the time — said the recruitment of middle-schoolers is “nothing we want to be widespread.”

Last summer, LSU’s Les Miles offered a scholarship to a Baton Rouge eighth-grader-to-be named Dylan Moses.  Nick Saban did the same at Alabama’s Junior Day this past Saturday.  Saban and Alabama are on top of the football world at the moment so the Tide’s offer to Moses is getting much more ink than Miles’ offer.

Moses’ father Edward said of his 6-1, 215-pound son:

 

“For Dylan, excitement spilled over.  When he heard those words from Coach Saban, ‘We’re offering you,’ you could see him light up.  It was shocking because we were going in thinking we were just going to get a tour of what Alabama has to offer.

To hear, ‘You’re impressive, keep your grades up, we want you to come here, and we’re offering you a scholarship now,’ I can even put that into words.”

 

But is this kind of thing good for a young man who’s still three years away from driving?  That depends on the teen, his parents, and his upbringing.  There are countless stories of young players — not necessarily eight-graders, mind you — who failed to live up to expectations… or who allowed high expectations to go to their heads.

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UGA’s McGarity Believes Controversial Recruiting Changes Could Be Undone Before An Override Vote

gfx - they said itGeorgia athletic director Greg McGarity has made it clear that he’s not a fan of some of the NCAA rule changes scheduled to take effect this summer.  After meeting with his fellow SEC ADs last Friday, he “got that sense everyone was on the same page.”

He also seems to believe the changes could be tweaked or ixnayed altogether before a potential vote to override on March 20th:

 

“There could be modifications, or it may not even reach the override vote because there may be enough discussion between now and that period of time, to where they may be some adjustments to amendments, or withdrawals, or what have you.  I think there are a lot of options that will be discussed by the membership in the next three weeks.”

 

McGarity also touched on a topic that we brought up on the site yesterday – what happens to all the folks already hired to be extra recruiters if the rules are changed?  Just as soon as the presidents said an unlimited number of support personnel could call/text/mail recruits, schools like Alabama began adding additional staffers.  So what will those new aides do if things are reversed as expected?

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WOW Headlines – 2/26/12

Tuesday Night SEC Basketball
Alabama 61, Auburn 43…Tennessee 64, Florida 58
Ole Miss cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff has been hired to coach defensive backs for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints
Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham has been hired as an offensive assistant at Florida State
Reports claim that Mississippi State tight ends coach Tim Brewster has been hired into the same role at Florida State
Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman received a raise from $275,000 per year to $500,000 per year when Alabama approached him earlier this month
Follow SEC football, basketball, and recruiting at MrSEC.com or with a MrSEC iPod, iPad, or Android app

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Reports: MSU’s Brewster To FSU

mrsec-breaking-newsFor the third time in two days it appears an SEC school is about to lose an assistant coach on the eve of spring practice.  Multiple internet sites are reporting that current Mississippi State tight ends coach Tim Brewster will be joining Florida State’s staff in the same capacity.

Florida State — which lost a wave of assistants this past offseason — snagged Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham yesterday.  (FSU also scooped up ex-Kentucky offensive coordinator Randy Sanders this offseason and it’s believed he will shift from running backs to quarterbacks to make way for Graham.)

Brewster served as Dan Mullen’s receivers coach at MSU last year.  He was shifted to tight ends and given the title of “assistant head coach” when Mullen brought in Billy Gonzales to coach receivers 13 days ago.

Brewster was the head coach at Minnesota from 2007 through 2010.  Hired last August, he spent just six months in Starkville.  The irony in that — if/when Brewster to FSU becomes official — is the fact that Brewster sent out a mid-January tweet suggesting recruiting rival Chris Kiffin at Ole Miss would be leaving the Rebel program.

As of today, Kiffin’s still in Oxford, but it looks like Brewster’s on his way to Tallahassee.

In addition to Brewster and Graham, Ole Miss cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff was named an assistant coach for the New Orleans Saints last night.

So much for spring football.  It’s still coaching-search season in the SEC.

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SEC Headlines 2/26/13

headlines-tueSEC Basketball

1. Florida is expecting another tough road test when it plays at Tennessee tonight.

2. Tennessee is hoping its “Make a Statement” motto will show up tonight against Florida.

3. Florida is still a top 5 team in ESPN’s power rankings despite last week’s loss at Missouri.

4. Auburn is desperate to win as it prepares for a rematch against rival Alabama.

5. Kentucky has plenty of young talent, but senior Julius Mays has been a valuable asset.

6. One of UK’s talented freshman, guard Archie Goodwin, is showing signs of maturity.

7. Mississippi State coach Rick Ray needs his players to keep buying in despite their continuing struggles.

8. Missouri is “probably in” the NCAA tournament right now, according to CBSSports.com.

9. Patience has helped LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant, who helped lead the Tigers past Alabama on Saturday.

10. Seth Emerson provides some basketball notes from around the SEC.

SEC Football

11. New Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman received a pay bump after Alabama came calling.

12. Tennessee tried to offer a $40,000 raise to running backs coach Jay Graham, who’s leaving for Florida State.

13. Graham was more than a running backs coach for Tennessee, writes John Adams.

14. The SEC is still chasing Alabama as spring practice begins, writes Chris Low.

15. What’s the top coaching job in the SEC? Not Alabama, according to Athlon Sports.

16. Here’s a spring preview for Georgia’s offense, which will open practice on Saturday.

17. South Carolina will be a national title contender this fall, writes Barrett Sallee.

18. No surprise: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is the SEC’s top player, according to ESPN.

NFL Scouting Combine

19. Push through the pain or wait for Pro Day? Alabama and Auburn players have weighed that question.

20. Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is trying to be the best he can be as a pro.

21. Former Georgia linebacker Cornelius Washington was among the fastest players at his position.

22. Missouri’s Zaviar Gooden was the fastest linebacker, running a 4.47 40-yard dash on Monday.

23. Former Texas A&M running back Christine Michael has impressed at the Combine.

Extra

24. Why did Manti Te’o run a disappointing 40 time on Monday? Stress, according to Te’o.

25. Did QB Matt Barkley struggle last year at Southern California because of bad coaching?

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Musberger Inks A Poster Of McCarron’s Girlfriend

Say this for ABC/ESPN broadcaster Brent Musberger: He seems to have a pretty good sense of humor.  After being dragged over some unnecessary coals for his “wow, she’s pretty” moment during Alabama’s BCS Championship Game win over Notre Dame, the announcer took the time to sign a poster featuring Katherine Webb — Tide quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend — last night.  An Iowa State student brought the poster to the Kansas-ISU game, which Musberger was calling.

Musberger inked the bikini-shot of Webb with the words, “SHE’S A 10!” and his signature.

Since Musberger brought attention to the former Miss Alabama, she’s covered the Super Bowl for “Inside Edition,” posted for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and now she’s prepping for a celebrity diving show — no, really — that will air on ABC.  Webb has also made it very clear that she appreciated Musberger’s comments and did not take offense.

Good to see the announcer realizes just how silly the forced-controversy was as well.

 

brent-musburger-katherine-webb-poster

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How Good Is Bama? Good Enough To Feature In A Prop Bet With An NFL Team

bookmakerNick Saban has built something we’ve never seen before in the BCS era — a year-in, year-out juggernaut.  No other school has collected three national titles in four years or back-to-back titles under the current system.  And Alabama appears to be ready to roll again in 2013.

Just ask the oddsmakers.

Knowing that the betting public is well aware of Saban, the Tide, and the school’s recent dominance, online bookmaker William Hill has posted a prop bet that pits Bama against the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers:

 

Who will have more regular season wins in the 2013-14 season?

San Francisco 49ers: +120

Alabama Crimson Tide: -140

 

The 49ers will play 16 regular-season games while the Crimson Tide will play just 12.  (Thirteen if William Hill counts a possible SEC Championship Game trip as being in the regular season.)

Meanwhile, LVH — the casino formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton — has posted its lines for next season’s national championship race.  Here are there top 10 favorites and the rest of the SEC squads mentioned.  Guess who’s on top?

 

Odds to win 2014 BCS National Championship Game, Rose Bowl, January 6th, 2014

Alabama 5-2

Ohio State 6-1

Oregon 7-1

Texas A&M 10-1

Georgia 12-1

LSU 15-1

South Carolina 15-1

Florida 15-1

Stanford 15-1

Notre Dame 25-1

Arkansas 300-1

Vanderbilt 500-1

Missouri 500-1

Ole Miss 500-1

Auburn 1000-1

Tennessee 1000-1

Mississippi State 1000-1

 

If you’re wanting to bet on Kentucky, you can bet the “field” at 50-1.

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Rebels Lose Assistant McGriff To NFL’s Saints

WESLEYMCGRIFF150With spring practice just around the corner, the SEC’s coaching carousel is supposed to be still and silent by now.  But on Monday, somebody gave the thing another big spin.

Hours after it was learned that Tennessee would lose running backs coach and solid recruiter Jay Graham to Florida State, Ole Miss also took a hit.  And the Rebels also lost a good recruiter.

The New Orleans Saints announced late yesterday the hiring of Wesley McGriff, Mississippi’s cornerbacks coach and co-defensive coordinator last year.  As a recruiter, McGriff led UM’s efforts in landing 5-star prospects Robert Nkemdiche and Laquon Treadwell.  Rivals.com named him as one of the 25 best recruiters in the nation for his work.

McGriff will serve as the Saints’ defensive backs coach.  Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze will now begin his search for McGriff’s replacement.

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Thought Of The Day – 2/26/13

Country.  Rock.  Bluegrass.  Hillbilly.  Electric.  Twang.  Nasal.

Mix it all up and you get Dwight Yoakam, an immensely talented musician who’s always worried more worried about creating his own sound than mimicking the more popular, cookie-cutter sounds that offer an easier path to commercial success.  The world needs more artists like him.  And if you haven’t heard his latest album — released last fall it was his first studio album in seven years — then you’ve missed one of his best albums to date.

Kudos to the MrSEC.com iPod today.

 

“All I have to give is nothing less than one or two more.”

 

Dwight Yoakam – "3 Pears" captured in The Live Room

 

A little something extra:  US Route 23 runs from Jacksonville, Florida all the way to Mackinaw City, Michigan including a stretch that’ll take you from just outside Pikeville, Kentucky up to Columbus, Ohio.  Yoakam was born in Pikeville and grew up in Columbus.  He also wrote this song about that road. (If you want to see Yoakam in his early, early days… click the link.)  In Columbus, Route 23 used to run right down High Street, and yours truly used to live just one block over from High in the city’s once-thriving Brewery District.  For that reason, “Readin’, Rightin’, Route 23″ is a personal favorite.

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WWE’s “Big Show” Plays Villain To A&M Hero Sumlin At Wrestling Event

Over the weekend, Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin was presented with an honorary heavyweight championship belt by WWE.  In typical wrestling fashion, the villain du jour — a massive character known as “The Big Show” — interrupted the presentation and proceeded to insult Sumlin and the crowd cheering him.

The Big Show went so far as to refer to Texas A&M as a “second-rate university.”  This particular WWE event took place in College Station, so you can imagine the fan reaction.

The best part?  A quick round of the now familiar “S-E-C, S-E-C” chant briefly reigned down upon the leotard-wearing baddie.

 

Kevin Sumlin at WWE in College Station

 

Anything for recruiting.

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