Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
"Remember, don't say a damn thing."
It's been barely 36 hours since National Signing Day, and it's clear the top question on everyone's mind is this: What should we be outraged over?
Since message boards (yes, including ours) seem to indicate EVERYTHING, I'm here to attempt a more even-handed approach.
RAGE ON: Bait-and-Switch Coaches
Seth covered much of this in today's Dear Diary, so I'll keep this short. Yes, it's grossly disingenuous for coaches who've spent years selling recruits on the prospect of playing for their program to take other jobs the moment the ink dries on their letter of intent. I was not born yesterday, and therefore refuse to believe that now-ex OSU RBs coach Stan Drayton just happened to field an out-of-the-blue job offer from the Chicago Bears yesterday, or that UCLA DC Jeff Ulbrich is still wrestling with the decision of whether or not to take a job with the Atlanta Falcons.
Mike Weber got unlucky; he found out about Drayton after he'd signed his LOI. Roquan Smith was fortunate; Georgia coaches—out of the purity of their souls, I'm sure—alerted him to Ulbrich's potential flight before he'd put pen to paper, and now Smith will take a week to reassess his decision.
The lesson here isn't that recruits shouldn't go to a school based on their coaches. That's just stupid. They'll spend more time with their coaches—and specifically, their position coach—than any professor or faculty member over the next four years. Having a good relationship with their coaches is hugely important for their sanity; getting quality coaching equally so for their dreams of making it to the next level. Yes, they should take into account potential flight risks and hopefully choose a school they'd enjoy attending regardless of sports, but it's hard to see the bait-and-switch coming when a coach is telling you stuff like this and this.
Just as I was finishing up this post, news broke that Texas' D-line coach took the same job at Florida, despite assurances from Texas head coach Charlie Strong to just-signed recruits that he wasn't going anywhere:
Getting off the phone with coach strong "coach rumph did not accept the offer"
— Call Me Deebs‼️ (@DeeChilllin) February 5, 2015
A day later, not so much.
The real lesson here is to not sign LOIs. They're binding only from the prospect's end, and while everyone signs them, they're totally unnecessary; a financial aid agreement serves the same purpose while giving a prospective student-athlete the ability to avoid just this situation.
[Hit THE JUMP for sketchy media members, sketchy greyshirts, unfortunate fan reactions, Thomas Wilcher's strong words about OSU, and something we actually shouldn't be harping on the Buckeyes about. Oh, and Graham Couch being Graham Couch.]
Michigan has accepted a greyshirt commitment from KY S Jeremy Clark. Clark impressed the coaches at camp, but not enough to earn an immediate offer. Should he pick up a number of mid-level scholarship offers, I wouldn't expect this one to stick.
|2*, NR S||NR S||NR S||NR S|
Since Jeremy is effectively a member of the 2013 recruiting class (pending a decision from OH S Jarrod Wilson) and also very under-the-radar, this section should be brief. HOWEVA, with Brian unavailable, why not profile a guy who's basically a preferred walk-on at this point?
As you can see, the recruiting sites aren't so high on Clark. Scout is the only site with a ranking for him, and even that is a lowly 2-star. The sites are in accord there, and also on his size: He's a consensus 6-4 (ESPN says 6-2), with two votes for 205 pounds and two votes for 185 pounds. I'll go with 195 then.
Since there's nothing out there on the free webs, a paid article from Scout:
This 6-4, 175-lb. safety was the surprises of the day. He flashed good speed and EXCELLENT ball skills. He is a bit of a sleeper on the national scale because he grew four inches since last fall. Just as impressive was the fact that he soaked up the coaching like a sponge and just seemed to really be relishing the overall experience.
Of course it's in their best interests to talk kids up as sleepers, so take it as a grain of salt. It's sleeper bluster, but in the parlance of sleeper bluster, height, ball skills and coachability are nice compliments for any system.
Clark aso drew "plenty of attention" from Ohio State's staff at their camp ($, info in header), but apparently they didn't see enough to offer him. He is pictured OMG SHIRTLESS at right.
Most of Clark's full scholarship offers came from the MAC. Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Ohio, and Toledo were his offers from the Big Ten's JV league. NC State was his only other BCS-level scholarship offer.
His Rivals profile has junior year stats: 75 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 8 pass breakups. That's not a ringing endorsement of Scout's "ballhawk" characterization, but it's certainly not bad either.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals says 4.47. That is very fast. A kid with Clark's size is not an unranked prospect at this point in the recruiting cycle if he's actually that fast. I'm going to have to go with 4 FAKEs out of five.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
This guy is a greyshirt prospect for a reason. At one step ahead of preferred walk-on, it's tough to see him accomplishing much until very late in his career, as is usually the case for these guys. He'll greyshirt the fall of his first year (pay his own way and, if I'm not mistaken, not practice with the team), then join the squad as a redshirt freshman in the spring.
I see him being a special teams contributor as a redshirt junior and senior, and the type of guy who gets a few plays in the secondary, but not much more.
Of course, if he is the level of sleeper that Scout's recap above seems to imply, he could also blow up once he gets into college, and absorb all the coaching (and weight training, etc.) available to him, becoming a contributor by the time he leaves campus.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
As a greyshirt, he doesn't affect much about this class. The needs are still offensive line, defensive tackle, wideout, and - with lesser emphasis - quarterback/running back.