‘We’re excited about this recruiting class…blah, blah, blah…”

Feb 2, 2012, 4:46 PM | Updated: 11:00 pm

Let’s play a little game.

I’ll supply you with quotes that were made at the twelve
different press conferences held by Pac-12 coaches about
their recruiting classes, and you match them with the
coach who said them.

Good luck.

A: “Our staff did a tremendous job of putting
together this class.”

B: “We feel very good about the class we just
signed. We took care of our needs.”

C: “When I look at this class, it’s a very complete
class. I think it assesses a lot of our needs but yet
brings in some very talented kids that aren’t just about
filling a need, that are going to have some special
qualities that will elevate our football team that make us

D: “I am really excited about this group. It is an
outstanding group of guys.”

E: “I’m really excited about the kids in this class
not only as football players but as people. I’m excited
about the future that they’re going to bring to this

F: “We are confident that we have recruited a class
of young men that will represent (our school) well, both
on and off the field.”

G: “We are excited to welcome one of the best
recruiting classes in school history.”

H: “It has been an awfully exciting day for us – it
has been a whirlwind over the last month or so. We’re very
very excited about this class.”

I: “I’m very excited to welcome this class to

J: “We’re very excited about it. Today we got
better. There is a lot of excitement around our program.”

K: “We addressed our needs with this group, and
it’s a solid class. We signed guys who want to be part of
this program.”

L: “We addressed a lot of needs in our program in
terms of certain positions.”

You got 100% correct, didn’t you?

Of course you did, because these quotes are completely
interchangeable. Every coach in the country who held a
press conference about his recruiting class on Wednesday
all said the same things. They’re proud of the class.
They filled needs. They signed a great group of players.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

What are they supposed to say?

That’s why letter of intent day around college football is
absolutely pointless. Let me explain.

Recruiting has become a big business. Thousands of
regular schmoes shell out good money to websites like
Scout.com and Rivals.com to get the inside skinny on what
their favorite college football teams are doing in the
recruiting world. And these sites do an unbelievable job
of covering the ins and outs of official visits and verbal
commitments, so this is not an indictment of what they do.

This is also not an attack on recruiting — it’s been
around almost as long as college football itself. I do
think it’s become another area that’s being given way too
much media coverage and putting undue pressure on a lot of
young athletes, but again, it’s necessary.

But as I sat at Todd Graham’s press conference as he spoke
in glowing terms about every member of his recruiting
class (even the ones whose names he couldn’t pronounce),
it dawned on me. What a complete waste of time this press
conference is! What’s he going to say? “We didn’t want
this kid, but he seems like an o.k. kid and we had a
scholarship available.” Not likely.

Have you ever heard an actor doing promotion for a new
movie tell a talk show host that the flick is terrible?
Have you ever had a used car salesman tell you the car you
want to buy is junk? You almost never hear a sports GM
admit he got fleeced on a trade (Masai Ujiri of the Denver
Nuggets did last year…turns out he was wrong to feel
that way).

Nothing against Graham; this is an unnecessary position
that coaches all over find themselves in, including those
in the Pac-12. What college coach is going to speak in
less than glowing terms about their recruits?

And because of that, I’ve attended my last letter of
intent day press conference. I’ll catch up on the notes
later on, or better yet, I’ll wait to see the kids
actually play.

Oh, and if you really want the answers to the above quiz,
here you go:
A: Mike Leach, B: Kyle Whittingham, C: Steve Sarkisian,
D: Mike Riley, E: Jeff Tedford, F: Jim Mora, G: DavidShaw,
H: Todd Graham, I: Lane Kiffin, J: Jon Embree, K: Rich
Rodriguez, L: Chip Kelly

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‘We’re excited about this recruiting class…blah, blah, blah…”