OT: Highly rated 2014 OT recruit Damian Prince receives death threats via FaceTime (!)

Submitted by Victor Hale II on July 18th, 2013 at 2:12 PM

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/top-10-prep-football-recruit-receives-recruiting-related-150128186.html

From the article: 

 

“They were like, ‘If you don’t come to our school, we’ll kill you and your family,’ and, ‘We know where you live,'” Prince told The Post. “Somehow, they got my number and FaceTimed me, flashing guns and saying stuff. But they didn’t block their number or anything, so they weren’t too smart. 

 

Prince wouldn't name the school he nearly committed to, either, but he did narrow his lengthy list of offers down to 10 potential schools on Monday: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. 

 

I have to wonder which school's lunatic fringe did this, whether they're on this list or not.  Regardless, it's absolutely mind blowing to me that these things actually happen.

 

I also have to wonder if he or his parents ever called the police about this.

Comments

1464

July 18th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

Three thoughts:

1. I guess recruits have bigger things to worry about than snarky MGoBlog users (RE: the Canteen thread).

2. These guys likely had the exact opposite effect.  Who wants to go to a school when these crazy people are lurking nearby?

3.  That being said, who wants to bet that it was a situation where a bunch of Auburn fans POSED as Alabama fans (or insert other equivalent rival teams) to make the fanbase sound super crazy?

mGrowOld

July 18th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

Before we get too high and mighty here let's see if the tactic works.  I mean we are talking about a HIGHLY RATED OFFENSIVE LINEMAN so we might need to consider more "aggressive" recruiting methods in the future.

I'm sure we have our share of nutjobs that would be willing to "take one for the team" to get a stud player like this guy.

#I'mbettingsomebodyisactuallyconsideringthis

stephenrjking

July 18th, 2013 at 2:31 PM ^

1484's third point sounds quite plausible. Frankly, I think it's just as likely that a spineless coward would choose to imitate another school's fans and troll that school's recruits as a fan threatening someone to make them come to your own school.

Either way, this is another symptom of a culture of internet trolls that have simply abandoned any real moral boundaries in their digital behavior. If they track down these people (and, if the description of their actions on Facetime are accurate, they should be tracked down and prosecuted) I'll bet you'll find that they and people around them think of them as not altogether bad people. "He seemed like such a nice guy" and all that. 

I would caution against drawing any larger conclusions from this about a school or even a fanbase. This is pretty outrageous.

His Dudeness

July 18th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

If you are a regular of this blog (and I know you are) you would have read on one of the "twitterverse" posts that this (albeit much less major than a death threat) happened to one of our very own recruiting analysts on twitter.

Some moron was tweeting various quotes alledgedly from a Michigan recruiting guy  (at a loss for his name/handle right now) to the recruit about how the recruit wasn't very good and wouldn't get a Michigan offer, etc. and it was completely made up.  

Pretty crazy that blatent liable can happen so frequently on the twitterz and what not and go completely unchecked. Surprised this doesn't happen more often.

There was a story out a few weeks back (Bleacher Report) about how some crazy Michigan fan called 2015 uber-QB-recruit Rosen after getting his number off a youtube highlight vid and yelled at him to go to Michigan and he didn't appreciate it. Needless to say it could have been anyone.

MGoShoe

July 18th, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

...Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247, AKA Aquaman, AKA TremendousUM.

The offending OSU fan acct appears to have been suspended. Or at least the guy took his act to a different acct.

Victor Hale II

July 18th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

That is why I wondered if they called the police or not.  Also, while I do have an iPhone capable of FaceTime, I don't actually know if you can record what's on-screen during the call.  If you can't, I'd have to imagine that is an upgrade that is on the way at some point.

Bando Calrissian

July 18th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

I wish there was a way to make recruiting a completely confidential process. No blogger interviews with high school kids, no parents calling sports radio to talk about official visits, no ratings websites, no highlight videos, no mouthbreathing adults salivating over a teenager.

This stuff is the worst. The absolute worst. These are kids. Let them be kids.

WolvinLA2

July 18th, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

I agree that this is the worst, but the "let kids be kids" argument is not a good one. When you're an elite athlete, you don't get to "be a kid." That's just part of the deal. I got to be a normal high school kid, but I also didn't get attention, recognition and free college.

This is a choice. No one is forcing these kids to play football or pursue a scholarship to continue playing it. But if that's the position you're in, you get some awesome benefits most of us would love, but you also have some sacrifices, one of which is being a normal kid.

GoBlueInNYC

July 18th, 2013 at 3:11 PM ^

I think his whole point is that that isn't a choice that kids should be forced to make. He's wishing that the system didn't force kids to make that kind of decision all. And for some, probably a lot, it's not much of a decision. "Should I put up with creepy levels of attention and attend college or should I just skip college altogether?"

Not to mention, they aren't even college athletes yet. They haven't even started getting that free education they're sacrificing privacy and young adulthood for.

WolvinLA2

July 18th, 2013 at 3:58 PM ^

I agree that life would be better if getting a good thing never meant giving up another good thing, but it often does. That's the world we live in. Whether it's him or his family, there was a choice between free school and being in the public eye or neither of both. Maybe that's not much of a choice for some, but that's also a part of the world we live in. Some people have more options that others.

I wish I could support my family without working all the time, but I cannot. That's life. I made the "choice" to get a job, meaning I wouldn't get to spend the day with my wife and kids, or to go golfing or go to the beach or whatever. Like many of these kids, it was an obvious choice, but it still means I have to take the good with the bad.

If the post above was "I wish bad things didn't happen" then yeah, I obviously agree.

GoBlueInNYC

July 18th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

I think the difference between people threatening (or more frequently, just creeping on) 15, 16, and 17 year old high school kids is that it's a recent phenomenon (or at least the intensity and pervasiveness of it). And it's one that's entirely avoidable if people had the slightest sense of priority and social tact.

Equating a kid who might play a game for school with you having to hold job to support a family are very different things and a huge false equivalency. Dismissing the treatment of high school kids as "bad things happen" is cold, crass, and grossly dismissive.

WolvinLA2

July 18th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

Good or bad (mostly bad), big time football recruits are public figures. For that, they get notoriety, attention and free education. They also have to deal with fans who don't behave. I'm not saying it's OK and if you threaten a player like this you should be arrested. But it's all part and parcel.

Of course it's avoidable. Just like paparazzi following someone around is avoidable.

Maybe I'm missing your point. Is your point anything other than "it's bad and I wish it didn't happen."?

GoBlueInNYC

July 18th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

If you want to boil it down, yes my point is that it shouldn't happen. Being good at football shouldn't entitle strangers to your life. They aren't millionaire NFL players. Hell, they aren't even college players getting a free education yet. They are high school kids who are picking a school to attend and play a game for.

People have such weirdly cold-hearted entitlement to these kids' lives. "Oh, you're good at football? You are now labeled 'public figure,' and your life is no longer your own." It's so cynical to simply declare that a kid accepting a college scholarship somehow necessitates that they lose their privacy.

Is your point "sure, the system sucks but what are you gonna do? It's those kids' own fault for wanting to do things like go to college."?

WolvinLA2

July 18th, 2013 at 5:11 PM ^

My point is that becoming a public figure has benefits and drawbacks, and if you feel the latter outweighs the former, stop doing what makes you a public figure. But because that almost never happens, no one ever does. He absolutely has the choice between being who he is, and being a normal kid. He made the same choice almost all of us would make too, and unfortunately that brings some negative things along with it. That's just how things work.

No one person labels someone a public figure, it happens by being very good at something people enjoy, like football. If that's not worth it, stop playing football. But no one does because as annoying as it can be, it's totally worth it.

The OP I replied to said "let him be a normal kid." But he doesn't want to be a normal kid becuse normal kids don't get courted by major football programs and interviewed by national publications. Normal kids won't get to play football in front of 90k for the next 4 falls. You may think my opinion is cold, but I think suggesting these mega recruits are "normal kids" is naive.

Bando Calrissian

July 18th, 2013 at 6:07 PM ^

My point is that the whole circus sideshow of college recruiting is what makes these kids public figures when they're 14 year old lighting up an inner-city gym or a 15 year old with a rocket arm. There are infinite venues for mouthbreathing recruitniks to turn these kids into mythical figures before they've even gone to prom, which then makes these idiots think they have a right to interact with a kid and form some kind of misguided emotional attachment.

So all your pontificating about a kid being a "public figure" is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about. When a kid is in high school, he should be a high school kid. Let him, his family, his coaches, and the colleges deal with recruiting out of the prying eye of bloggers and recruiting "gurus" who think they have a right to take ownership in that process.

WolvinLA2

July 18th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

You know who you should blame for recruiting being a circus sideshow and for these kids being public figures?  You.  And me.  And all of us who follow it.  Derrick Green was a public figure because I cared a whole lot about where he went to college.  So did thousands of other people, and that applies to hundreds of other kids each year.  The bloggers and recruiting gurus don't create the demand, they just profit from it.  

We don't care about recruiting because Rivals exists - Rivals exists because we care about recruiting.  So you can blame the mouthbreathing recruitniks if you want, but if no one cared about the info they gathered from recruits, they wouldn't gather it.  

Mr. Yost

July 18th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

I get what you're saying, but I definitely disagree.

Everyone doesn't come from the same upbringing and background you did...how can you say what their options are? If they want to better themselves, live a happy life and/or better their situations...how can you comment on it when it's not your circumstances?

If a kid is tweeting and putting himself "out there" then I get what you're saying.

But for some kids playing athletics isn't really an option. It's a way out of a life or maybe it's a way to provide for their families. Maybe they're just naturally better at football than they are at anything else and see a future in it.

I can't blame anyone for doing what they're good at, especially if they like doing it. So no, the attention isn't always justified if it's only brought on because they're good.

In the end, no one can sit here and generalize...because it's a case-by-case type situation. The whole "no one is forcing you to play football" argument is weak. Not too many of us have 5* talent as a HS senior. Or maybe you don't have a choice...some of these kids have parents, friends, coaches, communities ALL OVER THEM TO PLAY.

You remember that crazy mom who wanted her son to go to LSU when he picked Alabama? This is an assumption, but I'd be willing to bet he didn't have much of a choice on whether or not he was going to play football.

Anyway, in this situation there IS a middle ground. That's all I'm saying.

Space Coyote

July 18th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

Damnit Magnus! Quit FaceTiming Recruits!

/ JK

// Checks phone just in case Magnus facetimed him with death threats

/// Realizes he doesn't have FaceTime on his phone

//// Realizes he doesn't even know what FaceTime is

///// Now doesn't know if he's threatened or not

///// Possibility he's threatened by the thought of feeling old and death looming

////// Continued snowball affect