The 2010 Recruiting Class lived up to all the hype we had hoped for but not as we had expected. With the assistance of university administrators and the NFL, the Coaches Carousel waited until late December and early January to get us all excited.
Notre Dame started the coaching changes as expected before the New Year Bowls; but in the end, USC showed everyone how to upstage everything. It all played out more like an episode from IT TAKES A THIEF, with Florida’s Urban Myer resigning for health reasons (since they weren’t going to be in the National Championship game), causing a shock-wave that startled the CFB Nation.
Tennessee, feeling robbed, continued with episodes of wild rumors, clandestine phone calls, car crashes and great escapes while at the same time scaring away Lane Kiffin to Southern Cal, where such movies bring world acclaim.
Gerald Myers, AD at Texas Tech, refused to be outdone yet again by another bright coach; putting the wild west plains of Texas to shame with his whispers of deceit, foul play, malicious intent, abuse of power and shameful gun slinging. No doubt the losers in the aftermath of that fall out will be… We the fans.
Before, during and after all the coaching shuffles and the drama that went along with it, recruits were in harm’s way, dodging cheap shots and trying to figure out if they’d been kidnapped or hoodwinked.
What follows are 10 Top Recruits that dodged bullets and kept everything rolling en route to the institutions that pulled off their latest great grabs at each other’s expense.
Some would say... IT TAKES A THIEF
Not that LSU or Kadron Boone did anything illegal; more that Texas Tech AD Gerald Myer's careless gun slinging out in the west Texas prairies let more than just a fine coach get away!
Kadron Boone committed to Texas Tech and Coach Mike Leach earlier last year. At wide receiver he was touted as a smart catch and good fit for the Red Raiders.
Some thought he might stay close to home and check in with the Gators. Boone would be an asset to any program, with his football skill sets, mental toughness and the smarts to know when a good deal is going bad.
I'm not certain who was kissing who, but it's certainly not bothering the throngs of Trojan fans in LA.
Seantrel Henderson, ranked as the No. 2 Blue Chip Recruit nationally, held out to the last day in making his announcement. Many believed that the 6’8”- 301lb. offensive lineman from Minneapolis was a “shoe in” for the Buckeyes.
Heck, even the Leprechauns in South Bend thought he might be heading their way.
Now both teams know what a good pucker can do for your program.
Les Smiles, I mean, Les Miles, is smiling all the way back to the Swamp like a hungry thieving cat in the wild that can't wait to get back into the national championship mix.
With 6'2", 240 lb weak-side defensive end, JC Copeland finally decided to follow his highly touted, fellow LaGrange, Georgia mate, Brandon Worde. The Tigers will be in great shape sooner than expected to challenge both Alabama and Florida for all of college football's jewels. Grrrrrr
Shakespeare hit the nail on the head!
The Lobos are making more than just a "deformed fashion" statement.
Highly anticipated recruit Calvin Smith, was headed to the den of dejected thieves whistling "Rocky Top" in Knoxville. At 6'4" 265lbs, this 4 Star defensive tackle out of Hialeah, Florida was one more recruit Tennessee couldn't afford to lose and especially not to to New Mexico.
The Razorbacks scored big with the State of Oklahoma's No. 1 recruit, defensive tackle Calvin Barnett. At 6'3", 330 lbs. one's initially impressed by how big he is. However his speed is even more impressive for a guy his size; he clocked in a 5.1 in the 40 yard dash.
After the Sooner's Fiesta Bowl loss not so long ago to little Boise State and last years opener to BYU, it's obvious that at least one team (if not all of them) in the Big XII needs Barnett and a few more like him.
It was just a matter of time before Coach Petrino & Co. figured out that they too can beat Oklahoma!
After experiencing first hand what a difference a great QB can do for a program, a la The Gators at this years Sugar Bowl; the Bearcats yanked this one without artful dodger, Brian Kelly.
At 6'4",185 lbs, Munchie Legaux of New Orleans is not only big, fast and strong —he can pass. He's at the right place at the right time and in a few years, if we hear it enough, we might learn how to say his name.
Nobody knows for sure if Saban and the Crimson Tide saw this one coming.
Though not a major dent for wins and losses on the field, it shows how vulnerable the Tide and most of the SEC is when all you have is the beauty of a football program but not the gold that can come with a degree from a real University, like The University of California at Berkley . Especially if you have a bright future on the horizon. Yes sir, they'll never be able to compete for the real gold just brag about winning.
Keenan Allen is as good a safety as they get at his age for any recruiting year. At 6'3", 195 lbs., this kid exudes beauty from many angles. He's fast, he can jump and has arms that can baffle his opponents. He clocks the 40 at 4.56 and exudes athleticism that isn't even close to peeking.
Don't be surprised if Coach Tedford puts him to work immediately. But be really surprised if he gets that diploma.
Since leaving Cincinnati fans and recruits wondering what to believe, much less who to believe, Brian Kelly answered those questions prior to their coveted bowl game with Florida.
Kelly headed for greener pastures with Touchdown Jesus, the Gold Dome, Irish charm and with the hope of a bit 'o luck, Brian Kelly took a play out of the Bible and got the job done shamelessly; stealing what belonged to Ohio State from Ohio State.
Call him what you want. Accuse him of everything in the books that's illegal. Say what you may, but Lane Kiffin and USC surprised many in the college football world who are in the know. If he keeps this up and returns the Men of Troy back to the National Championship Stage, everyone will agree with his decision to leave Tennessee.
With Seantrel Henderson adding his name into the storied program of the last decade, USC's front line will have the depth, athleticism and the speed to support yet another offensive power.
Rest assured they won't be procrastinating between now and September.
USC has to get an honorable mention for finding the right guy at the right moment with the tenacity, charisma and charm to keep what was already in place.
No doubt the envy of administrations across the land. Especially from Austin to Gainesville and all SEC posts in between.
To many, Lane Kiffin's resume is like a bat out of hell ready to crash yet again. They seem to forget all the fawning given him when he jumped at the opportunity to lead the Oakland Raiders. And from that point on he has been every media outlets whipping boy.
The nay sayers kept picking at him while at Tennessee and when he jumped at possibly the best position he could dream of, where he could make a significant difference, they still continue bashing him.
I can't say that this recruiting season for Kiffin will shut up his detractors. Their time would be better spent if they focused on those honorable institutions that continue to bribe our young people with the hopes of a national championship while at the same time cheating them of the reward of a college diploma
The leaders in the good old boys club are shaking their heads in amazement.
Oh, to be so honored!