Jackson coach Mike Parris is about as experienced with the recruiting game as any high school coach in the state. While at Forest Park High in the early ’90s, he got an up-close-and-personal look at the phenomena as schools clamored for the services of two of his players, first safety Corey Johnson and then a quarterback named Hines Ward.
Parris has seen a lot of changes since then, and a lot of them he doesn’t like. There’s one recent trend that really bugs him.
“Schools are offering way too many kids,” said Parris, whose latest recruit, Neiron Ball, committed to Florida earlier this week. “Some of them are worse than others, but they’re all doing it. None of them can sign more than 25 but I hear about some of them offering 40, 50, 100 players. Inevitably you’re going to have a lot of disappointed kids.”
Scout.com keeps track of such things and, according to its websites, Georgia offered more than 100 prospects for the 2010 class. Georgia Tech, which has only 12 open slots for 2010, has offers out to 40 recruits. Qualifier here: That’s according to Scout, which gets its info from recruits. Schools can’t comment on prospects by NCAA rule, so it’s impossible to know exactly. And just because a prospect says a certain school offered him doesn’t make it a fact.
In any case, high school coaches say it’s definitely a trend, and definitely a problem.
“The ones that I feel are the worst are the MAC schools,” said MLK coach Corey Jarvis. “They’re offering everybody. It’s hurting those guys that are late bloomers. There’s a lot of kids that don’t get a chance to play until their senior years. It’s just moved the whole process up too much.”
I’m not going to take a stand on this right now. I’m just starting to look into it and will eventually write a story about it. In the meantime I’d love to hear from you guys — and from coaches and players — who may have seen some tangible examples of this.
Coaches and players, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with some anecdotes and some contact info and I’ll follow up.