Want to know how intense it’s getting around Carver High School in Columbus? So intense that the Muscogee County School District has had to step in to handle the media blitz inundating head football coach Dell McGee.
Of course, McGee’s star player is none other than running back Isaiah Crowell, the number one prospect in the state. And everybody in the world wants to know where Crowell is going to play football in college, yours truly included.
Crowell, understandably, has closed off all communication with media as he tries to make this very difficult decision Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. So with Crowell’s cell phone turned off, we’ve all turned to Coach McGee to answer our questions (the latest one being whether Crowell had canceled this weekend’s scheduled visit to Auburn).
But when you have on the average of 10 media outlets covering the three schools Crowell is considering, that’s a lot of calls McGee is having to field. Apparently it finally got to be too much. He texted me Wednesday to “call Dr. Gibson for answers to your questions.”
Not to be confused with Dr. Phil, Dr. Gary Gibson is the director of athletics for Muscogee County. He could not, however, tell me whether Crowell was still going to take his trip to Auburn.
Gibson, in turn, referred me Valerie Fuller, who is the director of communication for Muscogee County. I left a detailed message on Ms. Fuller’s voicemail as instructed. But something tells me she’s not going to know whether Crowell’s making his official to Auburn this weekend or not.
So that’s where we stand. I’ll let you know if and when I get a definite answer. In the meantime, Dr. Gibson told me a little about the school district’s decision to step in.
“We’ve got a new policy,” he said. “We’ve actually had it for a couple of years when we brought in Ms. Fuller as a communications specialist. We’re just trying to make sure academic time isn’t troubled. We didn’t make [the policy] just for [Carver], but it has been a crazy time for them lately. Really since they started winning.”
And, of course, producing Division I football talent. In addition to Crowell the Tigers feature defensive tackle Gabe Wright, the state’s 16th-rated player; No. 43-ranked Quincy McKinney, who is committed to South Carolina; uncommitted defensive back Riyadh Jones; and numerous underclassmen who are attracting regional and national recruiting attention.
But make no bones about it, it’s the 5-star running back Crowell who’s creating the buzz at Carver. Thankfully for him and for them, it’ll all pass like a summer thunderstorm on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. when Crowell makes his announcement along with the other college-bound Tigers at the local community center.
Afternoon update: I spoke with Ms. Fuller, who said was filling out an interview request form and e-mailing it over to Coach McGee and the folks at Carver. I had to tell her it was Isaiah Crowell, c-r-o-w-e-l-l, not Kell. But she says she’s on it for me.
By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog