Mickey Plyler's Blog for April 27

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Let’s Get A Grip on It

A couple of weeks ago on the blog I wrote about how recruiting had gotten out of hand. I said the industry had changed so much, and I did not like most of the changes. One thing I did not talk about was how much the announcements for commitments had changed and how much it really bothers me.

Let’s consider what happened in South Bend, IN last Saturday. The nation’s top prospect according to the national services, Jimmy Clausen, held a press conference and here are a few items that emerged from the press conference:

1. His family hired a PR firm to handle the announcement. The firm is from California where the Clausens live.

2. The firm had the press conference at the National College Football Hall of Fame.

3. The family and Clausen’s huge entourage were about 30 minutes late for the affair.

4. The entourage arrived at the Hall of Fame in a white stretch Hummer limo.

5. Clausen was decked out in his three huge high school state title rings and flashed them during the press conference.

I don’t blame the young man for this. It is known that the father orchestrated a huge media blitz with this kid.

How can anyone live up to this kind of hype? One national service called him the “LeBron James of High School Football.” Give me a break. LeBron James will finish in the top three of the NBA’s MVP race in just his third year removed from high school. How would Clausen fair against Dwight Freeney or Ray Lewis in three years? Not to mention the fact that he has held back twice and will be 20 years old as a freshman at Notre Dame. That would be like Clemson commitment Willy Korn being a high school freshman last season.

According to a website, Clausen’s dad wanted Steve Spurrier to hire both of his other sons on his staff at South Carolina. Who does this guy think he is?

Part of it is our fault but what is wrong with how Willy Korn or C.J.
Spiller handled their announcements?

Here is my suggestion to future recruits when they announce their college intentions:

1. Please don’t pull out three hats on a table. If you do please don’t fake us out disrespect the other programs by switching the hats at the last second. Whatever you do, please don not stomp on the rival hat. It is bad karma and may get you hurt.

2. You don’t need an entourage. Don King is not needed nor is any PR firm. Bring your family and a note card.

3. Remember that you did not cure cancer or help solve world hunger. You are a student-athlete. This is your big day, and you should enjoy the attention but humility goes a long way. Handle it the way Walter Peyton or Derek Jeter would.

4. Give thanks to all those who helped you. You would have gotten this far without support. Remember to thank all involved in your success.

5. You don’t have to rent tuxedos, suits, limos, etc. Your clothes and your car are good enough. I am sure your high school coach will help you get a ride to the announcement if you need one.

6. I would love to see everyone do it like they do in Camden, SC. Jimmy Neal is the head coach at Camden High School and their local newspaper gets the story first. When you want to find out where a kid from Camden, SC is going you have to first get it from the local newspaper. Your local newspaper probably reported on your games before you were a star. They might have had your birth announcement and should still be there for your obituary. The local people that supported you deserve to hear it from the local paper. This is a classy move from a classy program.


I wanted to thank Wayne Coffman for stopping by the show on Monday. He came in to discuss his recent news of his Hall of Fame induction. He also talked about his career as an athlete, coach and administrator. It is Coffman’s hard work and dedication to Clemson that helps so many young people. The next time you see Cheech thank him for his help in graduation rates, GPAs and positive affect he has every day in the football program.

Tye Hill

Saturday is a big day in the life of former Clemson cornerback Tye Hill. However, it is not his first big day. I remember receiving a phone call from one of his high school coaches the day he wanted to announce his Clemson commitment. I was eating at Outback Steakhouse but went outside to call the Hill household. Tye was excited that day and said all of the right things about why he chose his future school.

After his freshman season he was moved to the secondary from running back. That was another big day for Hill but once again he shined through by being unselfish and accepting the challenge.

His first interception came on a big day when Clemson upset FSU 26-14 in the Valley three years ago. Again Hill was dependable and could be counted on by his teammates.

After his junior season his fellow cornerback Justin Miller announced he was going to the NFL a year early. Once again Hill did the right thing and made mature choice.

Yes, this Saturday will be one of the best days in Hills life. It will be one that will rank up there with the day he graduated from Clemson last December. If things go like I think they will, Tye Hill will continue to make the right choices and some NFL team will be lucky to have him.

Random Thoughts

*Being a step dad is easier than I thought because I have two great step-kids but watching the NBA with my step-son still is no fun.

*I miss Jim Phillips’ calling Stacey Driver “The Ricochet Rabbit.”

*There are two other great stories this weekend in sports and both involve children and their dedication to their parents. Dale Earnhardt Jr will race in a paint scheme similar to his father’s black number 3 machine at Talladega. Also Dakoda Dowd has been given an exemption into the LPGA event this weekend. The teenager’s mom Kelly Jo Dowd has terminal cancer and it was her dream to see Dakoda play on tour.

Also, please visit our sponsors, Mr. Knickerbockers and George Coleman Ford. It is their patronage that keeps the blog free. We are adding more sponsors for this month as well. If you are interested in great advertising opportunities on the blog contact me @ mickey.plyler@tigernet.com

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