Recruiting Article: Tom Lemming on Prater and committing

Submitted by Hoken's Heroes on January 10th, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Tom just posted an interesting piece about Prater and USC. One thing Tom points out is that kids, contrary to what they say publicly, do not care about tradition or especially academics. It's something, specifically the academics, I've always stated was a bogus quote from kids. What kids really mean when they say they care about the academics means , "how is a school going to help me pass my classes?" I don't blame them and god knows I wish I had the type of academic support these kids have when I was at Michigan. But let's get real, the vast majority of these kids want to use college ball as a launching pad to the NFL.

Anyways, whether you like Tom or not, it's a good read…


Hoken's Heroes

January 10th, 2010 at 11:01 PM ^

...I'll defend him here. He's being creative and mocking NCAA rules but he's not breaking them. He's toeing the line for sure. But damn it, the guy brings his whole staff and sets up shop across from where the kids are staying. That's strategically smart if you ask me. Would you be mad if RR did this? I wouldn't.


January 10th, 2010 at 11:19 PM ^

I'd be angry because it seems like you're inviting the NCAA to give you a close look when you do that. And since everybody has violations, whether large or small, I don't want that.

I'm just generally not a fan of pissing off the NCAA, doing so reminds me of the quote, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." My fear would be that doing such things would make them look for violations and then punish them to the full extent of the [NCAA] law.


January 10th, 2010 at 10:36 PM ^

I definitely think some kids care about academics. Maybe not all of the top tier athletes, but there are definitely guys out there that care about academics. Obviously these guys understand that they aren't all going to get into the NFL. I know I would care about academics at least a little bit as an aspiring D-1 player. I don't understand how there would be literally to players that care about their academics. That statement is ridiculous.

Hoken's Heroes

January 10th, 2010 at 10:48 PM ^

...i stated vast majority...not saying none of them care but I would wager that the majority in the top 300 only care about academics in the sense that they want a school that will carry them through the class so they can really focus on what they really want to do and that's play football for a living. Again, I don't blame them but just look at how these kids do in HS and you'll see that academics isn't a priority for many of them.


January 10th, 2010 at 10:54 PM ^

Thanks for clearing that up. I just disagreed with the part where you said when you see a quote from a kid saying academics are most important or important that you thought it was a lie. I definitely don't blame the guys that don't care about academics either, but I think there are some guys that do at the same time.


January 10th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^

Who the hell knows what exactly goes through a kid's head when he chooses a school? There may be other, more heavily favored factors that drive a recruit's choice, but i don't know how anyone could say one way or another what a kid takes into account to make his decision, even if they're not a great student.

Just because a guy may choose Florida State over Michigan, as an example, isn't de facto evidence that he's doesn't care about a school's academic reputation at all (cough...Myron Rolle...cough).

I also find the sanctimonious hypocrisy of a guy like Lemming saying top ranked football recruits should choose schools based on "what the diploma will mean in the next 40 years" to be nauseating. He wouldn't have a career without big-business college football, and he finishes his article hyping the kid currently headed to Dartmouth in the hopes he'll get to switch to a bottom tier Big 10 school.


January 11th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^


I think the OP put in the disclaimer of "vast majority" and not "all" in his post, but with that being said and while I agree that we can’t read these kids minds, I would tend to agree that the OP is spot on with his assessment that “the vast majority” of top talent are concerned more so about getting into the league as opposed to the long term benefits of a college degree. If we blindly polled these kids I feel their top (2) reasons for selecting a school would be #1 programs that will aid them the best in attaining their NFL aspirations…i.e. positive exposure…i.e. winning and then #2 proximity to home. Is this really any different than us factoring pay and benefits as the (2) leading reasons to accept a job or change careers?


January 11th, 2010 at 9:04 AM ^

One of those kids that really care about academics is Stephen Hopkins. He seems like smart kid and probably realizes that his chances at the NFL are slim and one of the reasons he choose M was because of their business school. He is probably my favorite recruit so far and I really hopes he succeeds at M both on and off the field.


January 10th, 2010 at 10:55 PM ^

Michigan sells and relies on that rich tradition as does ND. It has seemed for years that kids don't relate to that very much. Although this article is not well written, he gets the point across. As we all know, but seldom want to admit, these kids are using college as a minor leagues, a "prep school" to the pros.

The traditions of Schembechler, Hayes, Bryant don't mean shit to the kids of today. Because of the instant wealth and fame of the pros, college is just the vehicle to get them there.

It's too bad. Now it's all about snake oil and Meyer seems to have more than anyone else. A stadium of 107,000+ and the winged helmets don't carry the weight they used to. Now it's all about who won the last MNC. That puts Michigan in a tough spot.

As we all keep saying, winning cures all ills. From what I have been reading, the rumors of RR's win or else situation is making kids think twice.


January 10th, 2010 at 11:04 PM ^

I think tradition is important because that usually means you have a well established program and are a consistent winner, otherwise you wouldn't have much tradition to be proud of. Weather will definitely always be a negative to a certain extent, but enough guys don't care about that to make up a football squad of stars. I'm thinking RR does get it going at least a little this year with a bowl game, at least.


January 10th, 2010 at 11:01 PM ^

The last couple of paragraphs talks about Meyer and Kiffin calling these kids every day last week. Is that against the rules. I know the SEC doesn't care, but the B10 and other conferences can't compete if they follow the rules when the SEC completely ignores them.

And RR is being investigated about practice time!! BS


January 10th, 2010 at 11:10 PM ^

from a recruiting strategy standpoint. Line up at the edge of the rules and go gangbusters. I don't want RR to ever get the headlines Kiffin gets, but I'd like to see some of those athletes come to AA. (Not necessarily the legal issues)

The weather affects UM and ND, but it doesn't affect OSU and PSU, how is that? It's no colder in AA that State College or Cbus.


January 10th, 2010 at 11:54 PM ^

If the Carroll situation has taught us anything it's that everything falters eventually. If you're skirting the rules to get to the top it'll catch up with you, or at the very least you'll always feel the Damoclean Sword of NCAA sanctions hanging over your head and won't ever feel relief.

Would you take a national title or two in return for probation a few years later? Some might. Personally, I would give back the 89 basketball title, my fondest sports memory, in a heartbeat to avoid the destruction the NCAA sanctions wrought (absolutely not implying that the 89 title was ill-gotten, the timing just works out for my example)


January 11th, 2010 at 9:22 AM ^

I believe what you are describing is the old axiom,"Live by the sword, die by the sword." If you run your recruitment in the grey area and pushing the limits, eventually it will catch up to you. In the end, I don't have a problem with how we recruit. Winning does cure all ills, remember the recruiting bounty we got after winning the National Championship in '97? I'm not able to find a list right now, but I think our success in 1997 helped us to draw in guys like David Terrell and Justin Fargas (amonst others) in subsequent recruiting classes.

OSUMC Wolverine

January 11th, 2010 at 4:00 AM ^

Cbus has a million people in the metro area 90% of who think you walk on water as a football player at TUOOS. They can get away with a load of stuff and have plenty of things to get into for free. Also, TUOOS has the largest alumni base in the NCAA and as a result the percs can come from far and wide. I'm not saying that no one else does it. It is just that there are a whole lot more people available to worship these kids and a million people around to hide within when you're up to no good. If TP was found in possession of a firearm in Franklin county, it would be brushed under the table because you would have no chance of being reelected as Sheriff if you did...its just the way it is. Its also a large enough city that the gang bangers and thugs that are occasionally also good athletes, can still do what they do. As far as Penn State goes, we beat them in recruiting on a fairly regular basis. This year just happens to be unusual.


January 11th, 2010 at 12:23 AM ^

and there are more Michigan games shown out here than any other team except ND. That includes the Oregon schools, and we don't have the Big 10 Network. While tradition doesn't matter to these kids in terms of Bo, they know how many Wolverines are in the NFL, they know that our school is bigger than any other, and they know that every one of their games will be seen around the entire country.

Hell, when Tate strung together a couple games, he was a national phenomenon, yet he was probably the fifth-best freshman quarterback.

When we turn this around and RR is going neck-and-neck with Florida for the top spread athletes ... sorry, I just wet myself with delight.


January 11th, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

Wow. I'm glad that Tom Lemming knows what every kid thinks and that football recruits aren't more complex than that. Believe it or not, not all recruits mean the same thing when they say something, and on a serious note I wouldn't generalize to that extent either.