18.Jan.2011 Recruiting Strategy (& 1/21 Visit List)
Wasn't January 21st supposed to be the biggest recruiting weekend in Oregon State history, with a chance to land the vaunted "Grant 4"? That dream has been picked away at during the past two months. It began with Grant advancing in their playoffs and having to cancel their Civil War trip. Then Sample committed to Washington, and shortly after that Moala pledged Cal. Recruiting services began to subtly break the news to Beaver fans. There were no threads about it, no outward declaration, no definitive answers to inquiries. They want you to buy memberships, after all, and bad recruiting is bad for business. We've been lead on once again.
So, here we stand, three days before another supposed huge recruiting weekend, and without a peep from anyone Moala disappeared from the visitor list at both Rivals and Scout. Sample remains on the Rivals visit list, but he's missing from Scout. The visit list is much smaller than originally planned, and barring last minute changes, it's been whittled down to:
- Torian White (*possibly changed his visit to 1/28)
- Puka Lopa
- Darryl Paulo
- Jaswha James
The newcomer offensive guard from Hawaii, Samson Kaleikin, will also be in town, in addition to two committed athletes, Larry Scott and Kellen Klute.
The fact that we had a viable chance to get all four Grant preps in town the weekend of the Civil War and failed to do so brings up what I feel is a great point of discussion: do you agree with the staff's strategy to bring recruits in late in the year so they can spend more one on one time with them?
Evidence clearly shows that recruits, especially from urban settings, are swayed by game day atmospheres, bustling social opportunities, and weather. "What evidence?", you might ask. Well, read quotes from commits to other Pac-10 schools to see what won them over. That's better than my trying to pursued you. Sure, some guys love the "family atmosphere", but they're not the type of players who can get the program over the hump. They are the complements to the cornerstones.
The staff needs to recognize the trend. The bottom line is that they had a chance to get all four of these athletes to Corvallis and by all reports have struck out. How many other athletes have they missed out on because the staff scheduled visits after the Army All American game? I do not know, but I think we fans need to start paying more attention and keeping track. Maybe Moala is keeping his visit quite because Cal is hanging a scholarship over his head. It's ugly out there, so that is a possibility. Or maybe all four claim publicly that they are in fact visiting. It doesn't detract from the fact that this strategy of last minute shopping is nerve-wracking, flawed, and based on the results benefits the competition more than it benefits Oregon State.
If our model is to be the Minnesota Twins of college football, as I claim it should be, is this the wisest and most efficient way to go about recruiting?