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Why We Follow Recruiting


  by - Radio Host - Monday, January 28, 2013 11:32 AM
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We We Follow Recruiting
One of my best friends in the world is a big Clemson fan who loves to follow recruiting but this time every year he gets frustrated. The de-commitments and constant switching of commitments drive him crazy. He gets frustrated with the crazy rumors that fly around in the final few days before signing day and every year he jokes, "I am not following this stuff next year."

I can see how some fans don't follow recruiting. There are enough horror stories of overrated prospects to fill up volumes of books. It can also be frustrating to follow a player all of the way until the end and then have your heart ripped out on signing day.

I have another good friend who thinks anyone who follows recruiting is wasting their time but I always throw out a few rebuttals as an explanation to why I love following it.

First, there is a correlation between recruiting and winning. It may not be a direct correlation but there is evidence that links recruiting success to success on the field. For example, Alabama has signed more four and five stars in the last five years than Clemson and South Carolina combined.

This fact should not discount the importance of player development, game planning, play calling, scheduling or any other major aspect involved in the sport but even the biggest skeptics have to admit acquisition of initial talent is a major factor.

The second reason I love recruiting is the competition. Clemson completes in 12 to 14 football games a year. That's it. The other 351 to 353 days each year Clemson does not play football. Recruiting offers a chance for the Tigers to compete on any given day of the year.

Speaking of competition, Clemson does not compete against over 100 FBS schools each year on the football field. This is not the case in recruiting. Clemson has never played UCLA on the football field but those schools are currently the final two in the running for four star quarterback Asiantii Woulard Asiantii Woulard
Quarterback
6-3, 205
Winter Park, FL

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of Winter Park, FL. The recruiting of Woulard provides Clemson a chance to directly compete with the Bruins.

The same can be said for many of the prospects still on the recruiting board. The Tigers don't play Tennessee anymore but are going head-to-head against the Vols for defensive lineman Carl Lawson Carl Lawson
Defensive End
6-3, 251
Alpharetta, GA

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.

Clemson will play Georgia the next two seasons but those games are rare now. However, the Tigers and Dawgs are battling for defensive tackle Montravius Adams Montravius Adams
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 281
Vienna, GA

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.

Cornerback Adrian Baker Adrian Baker
Cornerback
6-1, 170
Hollywood, FL

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has provided a rare competition between Clemson and Oklahoma. James Clark James Clark
Wide Receiver
5-11, 170
New Smyrna Beach, FL

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and Korrin Wiggins Korrin Wiggins
Safety
6-1, 190
Durham, NC

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have Clemson and Ohio State among their favorites with ten days left before signing day.

This is a year long competition between my favorite team and many teams across the country.

Finally, I like the idea of a prospect choosing my team. I look at it as a bigger picture. When C.J. Spiller chose Clemson, I felt a connection with him. I felt he chose to be a part of something that I chose to be a part of.

In the state of Alabama they probably take college football way too serious but I read an interesting article on recruiting in the Atlanta Journal Constitution many years ago. The article was about recruiting fanatics and it had several quotes from some very successful business men in the South. One Alabama grad said that when a player committed or signed with Alabama, that player was choosing the Alabama way of life over the Auburn way of life. He said that player was choosing his way of life over his neighbor's way of life.

I will admit that sounds a little extreme and dramatic but Lou Holtz used to say that when a young man choses a school it is a forty year decision not a four year decision. When a player choses a school he will be linked to that school for the rest of his life.

The legendary college basketball coach Al McGuire used to tell his prospects that where you go to college is the second biggest decision of your life. He would say that the only bigger decision is who you will marry.

Again maybe some of that is a little over the top but a lot does make sense and is a another reason why recruiting has such an audience.

For those that don't follow recruiting, remember that the next time you see Jadaveon Clowney make a big play, ask yourself what that would have looked like in orange. The next time you see a Tajh Boyd touchdown pass, ask yourself what would that have looked like if he would have chosen Ohio State.

If you are not into recruiting, please put up with us junkies another ten days. Then give us a day or two to start laying out the Class of 2014.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency





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