"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Ostensibly because they simply don't have the resources to keep Lane Kiffin from tweeting recruits every five nanoseconds, the NCAA this week announced they're getting rid of those limits altogether. They're also planning to let schools send as much mail as they want.
If you're a big school like Michigan who can afford to pay a guy to do nothing but send mail and text people wonderful Michigan facts, this is horray. But if you're a young football player upon whose skills rests the future employment of a hundred highly motivated collegiate coaches, prepare for the USC Legion of Owls…
What can you do to fight back? Well it's not like recruits don't have options, and I'm not just talking about picking a hat. You, young sirs, are for this brief window the sole source of information for a voracious, massive, and more than a little creepy information vacuum. Collegiate hopefuls of America's high school, I tell you today you can approach the recruiting process with poise, intelligence, humility, and maturity, or you could wield that which has ever been the tool of your kind—troll them.
Now some of you have tried this before—demanding your program have a good medical school to sound academically inclined, making up fake visits to Notre Dame, making up fake dead girlfriends, even committing to big schools sight-unseen to drum up internet interest *cough*DeQuinta Jones*cough*—I call such sad attempts sophomoric. Inspired in part by DeAnthonthy Arnett, in part by a conversation with Ace when Michael Ferns announced, and with help from Brian Cook, here follows a handy list of ways the nonpareil prospect can pique the system, discomfit the coaches, and have a little fun at the expense of all those strangers hanging on the bell.
==Idiot disclaimer: I am not actually advocating any of this.==
Remedies for the Coach With the Iron iPhone:
You are a running back whose backflip hurdle over a defender hit YouTube and now Bob Stoops is waiting at your car after the game: "Hello." But wait, now Mark Stoops climbs out of your back seat: "Hello." And now here's Urban Meyer's helicopter landing in the middle of the parking lot with a Corvette and dealer plates: "Hello." Suddenly your lower body trembles and a purple thing emerges, its face reconstituting into that of Brian Kelly: "Hello." Lane Kiffin taps you on the shoulder. "Hello." Lane Kiffin has surgically implanted himself into your shoulder. "Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello." What do you do?
1. Hold "hair ceremony" instead of hat ceremony. Display toupees modeled after your finalist coaches.
2. Skype video invite to Brian Kelly, Les Miles, and Urban Meyer so they all think you're calling to commit to them, then do hat dance between three schools and "lose connection" to video. Repeat following week. (Please record this)
4. Tell him you'll commit, but only because you believe the rumors saying he'll be replaced with Ron Zook in a month.
5. Insist on being called "future major violations case."
6. Claim you're a package deal with your team's kicker, provide name and phone # of least athletic person you know (it's not like anybody ever gets film on a kicker).
7. Invite coach for an in-home visit; once he's seated ask if he'll watch your baby sister while you run out real quick.
8. Demand your final two schools prove they will know how best to deploy your talents by playing each other on NCAA using created teams made up entirely of you.
9. Suggest to Ole Miss that they text your dad to "work out a deal." Provide phone number of friend/co-conspirator/NCAA enforcement agent.
Remedies for the Reprobate Recruiting Reporters
So many sites today promise subscribers instant information on the latest whims of recruits considering their schools. Mention interest in a visit and you'll instantly have seven dudes from seven services camped out in your shower. Here's how you flush 'em:
1. Call recruiting services and continually ask them if they have a top five list. Refuse to offer any information unless the reporter announces his favorite schools. Follow-up: If reporter changes those schools, tell him he's dishonest and drop him.
2. Announce you will only talk to recruiting reporters under 16.
3. Only answer recruiting questions with boilerplate quotes that have strong sexual double-entendre.
4. Pick recruiting service. Respond to all inquiries from recruiting service with quotes from "Baby Got Back". Pick different recruiting service. Respond to all inquiries from recruiting service with quotes from Robert Frost. Pick third recruiting service. Respond to all inquiries from recruiting service with obfuscated C programs that print "Baby Got Back"/Robert Frost mashup quotes.
Describe the recruiting process for you so far? "I'm tired of magazines."
Is distance a major factor for you? "Like men we look too near."
How did you feel when you got that Ohio State offer? "You say you wanna get in my Benz?"
Would you consider other offers if your coach takes that NFL job? "My homeboys try to warn me, but I have promises to keep."
Bonus: "Take the average black man and ask him that" as a reply to most recruiting questions will make an interviewer really uncomfortable until they figure out what you're doing.
5. Insist that your name is Lee Fucking Corso.
6. Insist that people call you Lee Fucking Corso even though they know that's not your real name.
7. Hold hat ceremonies every Tuesday. One of the hats is "Decision Next Tuesday." Eventually you'll call it Walt, so every press conference ends with you pickin' ol' Walt.
8. Commitment ceremony has five hats. Each hat reveals a different cheese. Describe your favorite cheeses. Pause. Say "but I'm going to have to go with.... PORT SALUT!!!!!!!!" and eat 10 oz in one bite. When done, stare at assembled crowd. Pause again. Say... "what, I like cheese."
9. Game of Thrones gambit: Tell five different journalists, in confidence, that you're silently committed to a different school, wait and see which one gets leaked. Follow-up: Announce you are committing to the Lannisters.
Remedies for the Message Board Morans
Who us? We're annoying?
1. Go on message boards to solicit video testimonies from fans as to why you should go to their school of choice. Publish the best of them.
2. Announce press conference for "big announcement," where you play Catlab dubbed over with french noveau vague and film noir soundtracks, occasionally turn back to audience and explain "You see? You get where I'm going yet?"
3. On your announcement day, proclaim you have buried your decision in a box you've geocached based on some obscure statistic, but which coordinates are actually in the middle of the hippo pen at your local zoo.
4. Find some annoying person on the fan site for the top team you didn't commit to, claim it was that person's posts that made you choose the other school, watch that person get devoured.
5. Do the same with whatever the last protest was at that school. "I was going to commit to Michigan but then I saw they were protesting to save the whales, and I hate whales."
6. At your hat ceremony, stick a large wad of cash under one hat you were about to discard. Act surprised, try to cover it, then say you're canceling the ceremony while you think things over a bit longer.
7. Hold your hat ceremony in a hat store.
8. Answer all questions as if you were being asked about your NCAA dynasty.
(Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments)
I like the geocache idea but I was thinking it could instead be a year-long scavenger hunt. Have friends/family across the country hide little clues of who you are choosing and tweet out the location at random times monthly. Then, once someone figures out your lean, change course entirely until they suspect a different school only to announce the original one AFTER signing day.
Excellent post hahaha. Was laughing the whole time. I wish I were a top-level recruit simply for the trolling opportunities.
For the coaches:
Request to communicate only via snapchat; only send close-up videos that appear to but may or may not be body parts.
Request coaches visits to occur in a remote field under high-tension powerlines. Place a box underneath. Tell them they'll find your signed NLOI. Fill the box with dog poop.
Suggest rival school is leading for you because of posterboards on easels with their football majors.
Ask what "thousand dollar handshakes" and "two day drug test warning" means because "I heard an assistant coach talking about it to another recruit." Give vague details describing a majority of the assistant coaches.
Commit, ask for all your buddies to get scholarships, decommit. The Nkemdiche.
For the recruiting services:
Tell each recruiting service you committed to a different school and they can announce an exclusive scoop at X:00 time. Commit to no one. Post on twitter they are all lying and you never spoke to any of them.
Answer all questions about recruiting visits with vague positives then add "If you know what I mean." Can be sexual, bribes, or any other sort of innuendo.
Use multiple conflicting names and schools when giving interviews at camps: "I love the way coach Golden and Florida have that family feel, it really sets the Seminoles a part as my favorite program." Do not clarify.
Answer all questions with "My sources tell me..." or "Word on the street..."
Ask to speak "off-the-record", don't say anything interesting.
Commit to the SEC because "This way I win a national championship every year." Then laugh hysterically.
State that most important factor in your recruitment will be "the abundance of tattoo parlors and car dealerships within a 5 mile radius."
For the fans:
Completely butcher your favorite schools mascots with Canadian football team names: "I'm looking forward to getting down to see Michigan State and Argonaut Stadium. I'd also like to check out the Notre Dame, I know the Alouettes have a lot of tradition."
Post your highlights on youtube. In between each highlight, read a chapter from Shades of Grey.
Claim an interest in an unusual and rare major. List favorites that do not offer that major.
Come to hat ceremony with 1 hat. Hat is custom hat with your 3 finalists on it. Put it on and walk out.
You know, if you didn't hang out with man-eating snakes and go around killing people we might find you much more credible and pay attention to your comments. As it is, you're just making an ass of yourself.
Call an announcement presser. Start by playing Inagaddadavida in its entirety on the banjo. Then announce your commitment to the University of Epsom Salts. Close presser by chanting repeatedly: smokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgoudasmokedgouda
Tell people you want to take official visists. Take them all. Commit to none of the school visited.
For bonus points if a top ranked recruit, officially visit at least one D II school. take the other four to the worst teams from the MAC, Sun Belt, WAC and MWC. After each visit claim you "almost pulled the trigger."
Any recruit who did even one of those things would be labled as a head case or worse. Of course, trolling people who continually call your house, send you mail, text you, google stalk you, and freak out over every twitter you send is the only sane response.
I think it should be standard for a top-tier recruit to refer to themselves in the third person.
Beyond that, I would arrange it so that coaches coming to visit me all had to come at the same time and do their pitch in front of each other to my family and friends -- shark-tank style.
For the reporters that are truly annoying, I would simply keep making arrangements to talk at various inconvient times / places and then cancel last minute as "something came up." Hopefully after 6 times or so they will get the message.
For the fans, man I have to think they already have this covered. What more could they do? Get tatoos of their school and then de-commit to their chief rival? Check. Declare academics are the most important thing and then commit to a crappy school with no academics? Check. Say distance is not a factor and then commit to their local school? Check. I don't know, if we want something novel, how about telling fans of a particular school know when you are taking an official and then announce plans to spend an hour of it doing some sort of local community service and that they are welcome to join you -- do this for real and see who shows up.
Coaches will readily determine the "mature" guys who will set boundaries and then manage the contact correctly.
The "prima donnas" will expect non-stop attention, which probably won't jive with Hoke.
The group that probably gets killed are the 2nd tier schools who feel compelled to do anything and everything to compete for recruits and won't have personnel staffs - they'll explode from the extra work load.
"Master the things that take no talent." - Shannon Turley
Tell coaches from the schools recruiting you the hardest, "I am a packaged deal with my brother, who happens to be 10 years younger than me and will need a scholarship whether he plays football or not in the year 2023."