I have wanted to post a basketball recruiting story for a while, but postponed it for several reasons. RamblinRed at StingTalk is doing a wonderful job of keeping us up to date with details. He says he has followed recruiting for a while, and it shows. I have his OK to use the stuff he posted, but some of it comes with a caution. I hope he joins the discussion.
First, NCAA coaches cannot discuss recruits in any way before the athlete signs a Letter of Intent. I think this is a good rule in most ways, but tons of speculative sites are making their living selling information about recruiting to the public. I am sure Red is a consumer of some of these sites and probably has an opinion about their reliability. That said, I have a nagging question. Where do they get their information?
The obvious answer is the athletes talk to the recruiting services and tell them what's happening. I can imagine some kids, or their parents, tire of the frequent (if not almost continuous) tweets and texts asking about the latest schools showing them interest and the priorities associated with each. I wonder also how this affects the kid's ego when he is getting calls from several services. Remember, a top recruit is getting regular calls from schools as well.
Some parents are more than ready to discuss their childrens' futures with anyone who will listen. I think all of us remember the Cam Newton stories regarding his father and Mississippi State. To all you Bulldog lingerers: you did good on Cam Newton.
Another possible source are the AAU coaches and helpers. I wonder if some of these people have personal interests that are not in complete alignment with what is best for the athletes. That is another story, but this information will generally be secondhand, at best.
I bet the recruiting services are also talking to friends of the athletes to find out what is being said among pals. This has to be the least reliable source.
Where does this leave us when trying to determine what these kids are thinking? The best sources are kids and the colleges because they are the parties to the deal. The colleges cannot talk and the kids are, well, kids. Can you help but think they are likely to want everyone to think there is a lot more interest in their services than is actually the case? Clearly, there are a bunch of high school players who are completely forthcoming and honest about the coaches who called and what they are thinking. But, when I hear someone say a player has narrowed his choices to five schools, I think about another high school senior and her college search. There are schools on her list today she never mentioned last week.
My real question is, just how good are Rivals, Scout and ESPN? Are their ratings and possible leanings really all that accurate? I am sure they are better than mine, but always use some degree of caution when reading them. Red may also have a source in the GTAA office that helps filter out the noise in what he reads from the services.
After all that, here are the recuits that appear to be on our list for 2012. Remember, we can sign four. Again, thanks to RamblinRed::
Charles Mann - Union Grove, GA (offer) -
DeOndre Haynes - Calera, AL
James Robinson - Hyattsville, MD
Ian Baker - Jacksonville, FL
Marcus Hunt - College Park, GA (offer )
Kenny Gaines - Dalton, GA (offer)
Chris Bolden - Norcross, GA (no offer)
Armaud Moto - Alexandria, VA
Jordan Price - Lithonia, GA (offer) commited to Auburn.
Jarmel Reid - Decatur, GA (JR Reid's son )
Alex Poythress - Clarksville, TN
Tony Parker - Lithonia, GA (offer )
Justin Tuoyo - Lovejoy, GA (offer) - committed to VCU
Shaq Goodwin - Decatur, GA (offer - wants to play both FB and BB in college)
Ricardo Gathers - Reserve, LA (Greg's little brother )
Robert Carter - Thomasville, GA (offer )
Brandon Morris - Lithonia, GA
Charles Mitchell - Marietta, GA
Robert Guilmette - Kennesaw, GA
Mike Hall - Woodward Academy (likely to get offer once he visits campus )