Have you ever seen “The Blind Side” movie?

If you've seen this movie, then you know about Ole Miss's new football coach

If you've seen this movie, then you know about Ole Miss's new football coach

“Have you ever seen ‘The Blind Side’ movie?”

That’s certainly one of college football’s most unique recruiting pitches.

And it’s used with effectiveness by Hugh Freeze, the first-year coach at Ole Miss. Freeze has a special connection to the 2009 movie: He was the real-life high school football coach of Michael Oher, the movie’s central character who was a “homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of caring woman and her family.”

Just about every sports fan — including many football prospects — has seen the inspirational Hollywood flick. The film’s popularity helps recruits remember Freeze when they are bombarded with attention from dozens of college coaches.

“No doubt, it helps … it’s an instant icebreaker for our assistant coaches or me, particularly for kids who have not heard of Hugh Freeze outside of the states of Mississippi, Tennessee or Arkansas — places I have coached,” Freeze told the AJC.

“I think everyone has at least knowledge, if not seen the movie ‘The Blindside,’ the story of Michael Oher, which is a great introduction to who we are and how we want to go about treating your young son if he joins us. I definitely think it’s something we should use [in recruiting].”

Freeze said if a recruit doesn’t bring it the topic in the initial conversations with a blue-chip prospect, he will. “It’s going to get discussed.”

Why not carry around DVD copies of the movie when making in-home visits with recruits? Freeze said he has never gone that far.

“I haven’t done that. But Michael Oher did an interview not too long ago, which he gave me an enormous amount of praise about our relationship and how he thinks I will do at Ole Miss. We’re certainly going to have that with us [while recruiting].”

Hugh Freeze

Hugh Freeze on The Blind Side: "The story of Michael Oher ... is a great introduction to who we are and how we want to go about treating your young son if he joins us." (AP)

Under Freeze, Ole Miss has made recruiting the state of Georgia a priority. This past weekend, two of the nation’s top five prospects (and both from Georgia), Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche (ranked No. 1 by ESPNU, undecided) and Milton DE Carl Lawson (ranked No. 5, committed to Auburn), both made unofficial visits to Ole Miss for the spring game.

“There are some players in Georgia,” Freeze said. “I think there are three things a kid should choose a college for: No. 1, your chances for academic success, No. 2, your chances for athletic success. Let’s not kid ourselves, and I’ll probably be the only coach that tells them this: Academically, there’s not a school in the SEC that does not have the resources to be good there. So that’s kind of a wash, unless a kid wants to do a specific program that a college excels in.

“Most of the kids we recruit, if they are going to have success at Georgia, they can have success at Ole Miss, and vice versa. Secondly, as far as athletic opportunities, there’s no greater place in the SEC right now to have a better chance to impact than ours right now. But I think the No. 3 thing they should consider that really makes you the best at items 1-2, is choose the right environment for you. The reality is, we’re probably not going to be the right fit for everybody, and they’re probably not going to be the right fit for us. I really believe strongly in getting the right fit for your core values, who you are, and the philosophy to which your program is going to build on.

“You’re not going to be 100 percent in that. But I firmly believe that. I think the environment that we are going to create will attract a certain type of kid. That, combined with an athletic opportunity to compete early, be a trendsetter and trailblazer, and help us do something special here … hopefully will attract some of those Georgia kids to come with us.”

HOT OFF THE PRESSES …

SPRING FEVER

AJC’S INSTANT RECRUITING CLASSICS

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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114 comments Add your comment

nh gamecock

April 24th, 2012
1:41 am

nh gamecock

April 24th, 2012
1:42 am

I think a lot of kids should put schoolwork first when making a decision.

Location also comes into play

And freeze is right there’s no place like s.e.c. football

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
2:04 am

No place like Special Education Conference football but Academics leave a LOT to be desired.

Crimson Crush

April 24th, 2012
2:52 am

You have to be a “special” brand of silly loser to keep crying about “academics” on sports forums . My guess is it makes people feel like they are getting some sort of pseudo-intellectual “payback” for not being able to complete a chin up in high school .

Gravy Train

April 24th, 2012
3:05 am

A person, you sure are quick to throw out the “special education” term. Well, the fact is that most SEC guys are going to get an education. Not every school can be like Tech, were only a handful of players actually go to class and even fewer graduate. Then there is the “special” remedial studies program that Tech has for their athletes. Based on the quality of your posts, I would venture a guess that you have been a member of the remedial studies program. Don’t give me the regurgitated academic superiority of Tech’s athletes. Tech tries to recruit the very same players UGA does, they just aren’t very successful at it. A situation much like you probably have with coeds. You just are not successful. It’s a bonus of being a member of the Nerd Herd. Now go find some fish to fry and get a life.

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
3:27 am

Gravy Train
Many 9th grade private school students could be eligible in most class offered to freshmen SEC athletes. Tech doesn’t make it easy on ANY students or Athletes. You know the majority of SEC schools can’t say that.

The Coach in the article says Academics should be #1. I didn’t Bring it Up the COACH did; therefore, I made a comment about the content of the article. I see how that could be confusing to you 2 posters. Tech may recruit many of the same players but many will not make it in TECH. Funny that the SEC schools are LOADED with Special Admits to fill the Football team, then those players start making dean’s list. Alabama comes to mind.

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
3:34 am

Crush you should READ the article cause it is almost Slapping the SEC schools in the face.
“I think there are three things a kid should choose a college for: No. 1, your chances for academic success.”

CHANCES for academic success. In other words where the Athlete can find the EASIEST classes to take so he can do his best at #2. #2 being eligible enough to be on the field to get better at football.

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
3:44 am

Definition of UNIVERSITY

1
: an institution of higher learning providing facilities for teaching and research and authorized to grant academic degrees; specifically : one made up of an undergraduate division which confers bachelor’s degrees and a graduate division which comprises a graduate school and professional schools each of which may confer master’s degrees and doctorates

I don’t see anything about Sports in that Definition.

University of Georgia or University of Alabama EXIST to EDUCATE not play sports.

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
4:11 am

I thought UGa had Educated people but reading the opening statement about the UGA charter I am not sure. It says the Charter shows a commitment to education and to advance democracy. Democracy was not even considered as Valuable at the time UGA was chartered. I see the liberal idiots are trying to Change History again.

“Just in time for its 220th anniversary, the original charter of the first state university returned home, following restoration thanks to the generous funding efforts of Ms. Swann Seiler and the Savannah Bulldog Club. Once more Abraham Baldwin’s brilliant Enlightenment prose can be seen on this cherished contribution to our country’s tradition of supporting education to advance democracy.”

The Charter of the University of Georgia is one of the most significant documents in the history of America . Dated January 27, 1785, nine years after the Declaration of Independence and two and a half before the Constitution of the United States, it marks the earliest American example of the putting into practice of the principle that education is the responsibility of the state and should be state controlled.

The principle had been stoutly stated by the Georgia Legislature on February 25, 1784, in an act granting forty thousand acres of land “for the endowment of a college or seminary of learning” and appointing seven Trustees “to do all such things as to them shall appear requisite and necessary” for the establishment of the institution. One of the Trustees, Abraham Baldwin, Yale graduate and former teacher there, set about preparing a charter. He wrote to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale, asking for a copy of Yale’s charter, and there is unmistakable evidence that Baldwin had Yale’s charter at hand. The Yale and Georgia charters, however, are as widely dissimilar as were the purposes for the founding of the two institutions. Whatever his model, Baldwin held uppermost the advanced principle that the state should care for the education of its citizens, even to the extent of having all public schools organized into one body and “considered as parts or members of the University.”

Read the Charter and explain to me were giving a free education to someone because they play a sport is mentioned.

http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/archives/exhibit/charter/

Crimson Crush

April 24th, 2012
4:30 am

Sports DO educate . You can find that under “extracurricular activities” . If you were as “smart” as you apparently like to THINK you are … you would know that .

Your attempt at aparticular brand of convenient snobbery is no different than liberal arts people who sneer that engineers , scientist and mathematicians are not truly “intellectuals” because they don’t sit around coffeehouses figuring out the existential meaning of sticking their thumbs up their a**

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
4:36 am

Sports teach some lessons. Sports is not an Education. If that is what people study then the US is going down the drain faster than it truly seems.

Maybe you should Learn the meanings of words before you use them.

ex·tra·cur·ric·u·lar adj \ˌek-strə-kə-ˈri-kyə-lər\

Definition of EXTRACURRICULAR

1
: not falling within the scope of a regular curriculum; specifically : of or relating to officially or semiofficially approved and usually organized student activities (as athletics) connected with school and usually carrying no academic credit
2
a : lying outside one’s regular duties or routine

That means SPORTS isn’t part of the education because it is NOT for Academic credit. You really should stop while you are behind.

A person SMART enough to know......

April 24th, 2012
4:39 am

If you can get a degree in football then that is because it is to ALLOW Stupid athletes attend school just to play a game and nothing more. What JOB do you get with that degree if you don’t make it to the NFL?

bitter "spoiled recruit"

April 24th, 2012
6:08 am

what happened ==DUMB???———–Your nite off from wal-mart————-hahahahah

—All recruits with alot of tallent could play for coach PJ, but most chose not too—fact

———-So stop hatte-in, just because tech is being out recruited by “OLE” MISS

————-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

————–Evan GA ST is off to a better recruiting year——hahahahahah

bitter "spoiled recruit"

April 24th, 2012
6:11 am

“OLE”–I like tech—but something needs to change on 14th st—besides the tranny’s that hang(haha)out.

—————Sorry butt the offence has allowed tech to scare away all top 100 georgia recruits

——————————————sad dumb————–pull for diem—–DAWGS

bitter "spoiled recruit"

April 24th, 2012
6:14 am

sPEAKING OF 14TH STREET I have a class tyo teach———–bee (hahah) a vol fan “Dumb”–haha

Destin Dawg

April 24th, 2012
6:45 am

Physical Education has always been a degree offered a many Universities.. look a obesity in America.. many opportunities in nutrition and health in general ..

Will

April 24th, 2012
7:56 am

Hey, SMART…Go preach it somewhere other than the SPORTS page. Deaf ears here, and rightly so. The athletics programs at a University do not hinder, but rather help uplift the academic resources of the major programs. They also give dummies who would be stuck packing boxes for life an additional 2 chances at doing something more with their life, either academically or athletically. Now as for Democracy…we should start treating the Democrats like we treated Communists in the 1950’s. The majority/mob rule society they want is every bit as dangerous to our future as Communists because a true Democracy where the majority votes for what they want will always result in a Socialist State, where others take from others to provide for themselves. Democrats are all either SELFISH, STUPID, or BOTH.

FL Jacket

April 24th, 2012
7:58 am

IIRC…didn’t this movie paint Freeze as a bumbling HS football HC that needed Leann Tuhoy to step in and straighten out Michael Oher?

matt

April 24th, 2012
8:30 am

What’s this guy’s story? A high school coach less than 10 years ago and now he’s the HC at Ole Miss??

Colonel Rebel

April 24th, 2012
8:35 am

Yes it did, but according to Michael Oher has said it isn’t an accurate portrayal of what happened. Nonetheless, I think Freeze should use anything he can to get an advantage. He was the Recruiting Coordinator for Ed Orgeron when we actually brought in some great players. We’ll never stockpile like the top 3-4 schools in the conference, but we should be able to put a competitive team on the field every week like we used to. We’ll see, I’m cautiously optimistic. It will help when Texas comes and takes Saban away from Tuscaloosa.

FL Jacket

April 24th, 2012
8:37 am

“Democrats are all either SELFISH, STUPID, or BOTH.”

Will…Thanks for keeping it politics-free…and reminding us that the real reason our political system is rife with gridlock is because people with polarized, extreme, and demonizing viewpoints that you hold your elected officials to as well.

Jim Grabasski

April 24th, 2012
8:48 am

I did better than see the movie. I read the book. The book, which is usually the case, revealed a lot more than the movie did about this guy getting into Ole Piss. To make a long story short, there appeared to be some recruiting shenanagans between an alum….Mr. Tuhoy…and the school. Not to mention the fact that the kid was admitted with a terrible GPA. He erceived a LOT of extra ‘help’ to qualify academically. Truth of the matter is this….Oher had no business even going to Blinn Junior College, much less a D-1 school like Ole Miss, where, coincidently, his rich benefactors both graduated from. Hell, he never even should have been allowed to attend that private prep school in Memphis….his GPA was THAT bad. Just another instance of a football player given things he didn’t earn. Inspirational story, my butt. The wheels were greased for this kid from the get-go.

Big Crimson 75

April 24th, 2012
8:52 am

Ole Miss needs all the help they can get.
Remember when Coach O was gonna come down South & out recruit every Coach in the SEC??!!

Smart must have gotten in to some good dust last night!!
posts @ 2:04 – 3:27 – 3:34 – 3:44 – 4:11 – 4:36 & 4:39 !!
I’m sure it just helps the Bumble Bees study harder. :-)

FL Jacket

April 24th, 2012
8:53 am

BC75…Don’t generalize :)

intheknow

April 24th, 2012
8:55 am

Definition of a person most people try to avoid = Crimson Crush and a person Smart enough to know……have you ever seen two more egotisical people in your life….I’ll bet they don’t have many friends ..who would want to hang around two bullsh_ters all day!

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

April 24th, 2012
9:20 am

Saban has already turned down Texas,Dallas,PSU, and Tampa but keep dreaming over at Ole Miss. Is Robert’s father going to play for Ole Sissy as well? The old adage is still true today…”you bait a trap with Pxxxy and you will catch the most outstanding citizens in town everytime”. Some players regardless to talent are just not worth the risk for your program.

Big Crimson 75

April 24th, 2012
9:25 am

From my boy Andrew Gribble @ Al.com —-

Saban was asked by Mich State people after CapOne Bowl how Tide lost 3 games in 2010. His response: “How did you win 11?”

GeezusDawg

April 24th, 2012
9:26 am

Ga Tech isn’t a university, it is an institute.

Les W. Moore

April 24th, 2012
9:44 am

I thought Hugh Freeze was depicted as a goof-ball. This article strengthens my perception that he is a goof-ball.

Regardless, it’s still Ole Miss.

slydog

April 24th, 2012
9:50 am

The ‘Blind Side’ is absolutely pathetic and false. That’s about as neutral as I can put it. The fact that Hugh Freeze is using it to “great” effect produces, IMHO, two conclusions: 1.He is a subconscious bigot 2. The players (along with their families) who are falling for the “effect” are ignorant of themselves, their history, and society at large. I agree that Oher had no business going to Ole Miss, but wait, isn’t that about 50% of all the elite players? These folks care absolutely about these players, their lives, their families, and especially their education. It’s pathetic. And they wonder why these players get on campus, do drugs, don’t attend class, bully women, use twitter like little girls, and quit when the going gets rough. There is no goshdamn ACCOUNTABILITY!!! As soon as they see a talented player in the 7th/8th grade, he/she is immediately separated, place above and advanced over everyone else, and then the “financial aid” kicks in by 10th grade. How many elite athletes ride a bus to school? Wear old tennis shoes to school? Anyway, you get my point.

slydog

April 24th, 2012
9:51 am

I meant “care absolutely nothing” about these players

slydog

April 24th, 2012
9:56 am

@Big Crimson 75

Coach O DID almost out-recruit everybody. He just was not a good head football coach. And that’s why Nutt is gone. Ole Miss thought with their collection of talent and better coaching, they would at least win the West once, if not twice, while Alabama and Auburn were down. But when talent goes pro early, you must replace it. And he didn’t. Ole Miss, because of Ogeron, has gotten more players drafted in the NFL the past 5 years than they have the previous 20 years combined.

slydog

April 24th, 2012
9:58 am

@Will

April 24th, 2012
7:56 am

“Hey, SMART…Go preach it somewhere other than the SPORTS page. Deaf ears here, and rightly so. The athletics programs at a University do not hinder, but rather help uplift the academic resources of the major programs. They also give dummies who would be stuck packing boxes for life an additional 2 chances at doing something more with their life, either academically or athletically.”

You sir, are pathetic.

Ogeechee Dawg

April 24th, 2012
9:59 am

Interesting thread going here …….. my thoughts:

1. Coach Freeze is correct – now is the time that an athlete can make an impact on the Ole Miss football team.
Definition: We ARE that bad and do not have players or depth to compete in the SEC!

2. Regarding Academics – I kind of agree that college athletics and education pose and interesting debate.

However, College athletics is doing a better job of policing themselves with minimum standards. As a whole – college athletics in regards to academics is more restrictive and focussed than they were in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

For example – Look at UGA.
Athletes need minimum scores for acceptance. If they do not have the scores – the program can petition the school. Upon entering the school – the students need to show progression toward a degree to maintain eligibility. UGA academics board has denied admission to kids the athletic department has recruited due to academics. Also, UGA , in particular Coach Richt, has revoked scholarship offers to kids that did not perform academically or later displayed character issues.

No doubt, a high number of these athletes would have not been accepted to UGA if not for their athletic skill as compared to the student body.

But who is to say that this is not a bad thing for kids that do have enormus athletic talent – be admitted to develop their skills – and work on the academic side with tutoring and mandatory attendance if the objective is to make them the best athlete in their sport as possible, to perform at a high level, to enhance their education to where they are a better product and have a better chance at pursuing life, liberty and happiness. I doubt my kid would have been accepted into the pharmacy program at UGA – but she certainly was accepted into the business school where she maintains a high GPA. Can you apply this logic to athletics? Of course you can – unless you are being a total academic snob.

UGA does NOT accept non-academic qualifiers. There are schools in the SEC that do.
The system is not so finite – but does have some flexiblity built in to reward athletic and academic talent.

Again – not all schools take this approach. There is so much money and college sports has turned into such a large business. However, I assure you that today’s athletes enjoy the incredible assets the Univeristies have to offer. And by Athletes being so successful – it has spread the wealth to other sports – just look at womans softball facilities at UGA, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee. Look at the basketball and soccer complexes, etc. The money does trickle down to facilities, employers, and athletes (scholarships, facilities, opportunity).

Georgia Tech is similiar to UGA – they do not accept non-qualifiers and have excellent facilities.
Most of their scholarship athletes are not in academic standards with the general student body.
But I guarantee you – there are an aweful lot of success stories of kids that went to UGA or GT – and walked out with a degree and are now better of because of the athletic opportunity granted to them by these schools.

Case closed!

Big Crimson 75

April 24th, 2012
10:04 am

sly — only Ole Miss would use a racially insensitive movie to “entice” recruits to join their klan!!

I saw the Movie, which of course is probably only about 30% accurate, and immediately felt sorry for the guy…….not b/c He grew up poor, He couldn’t read or write, or his Mother was a crack-head, but b/c He got adopted by Sandra Bullock!!!!

slydog

April 24th, 2012
10:04 am

@A person SMART enough to know……

Save your energy and save your breath. Any grown man who can think for himself knows this is not a Democracy nor was it meant to be. Why the hell would a government, any government, who wields power and want to maintain power, educate and empower their citizenry to the best of their ability? The only true education in the United States is the study of power,how to acquire it, and how to maintain it. Now get back to sports and relax. People are going to see things their way and their way only, even if it is biased, bigoted, prejudiced, totalitarianism, etc.

Crap

April 24th, 2012
10:11 am

I thought Sandra Bullock looked REAL good with her hair lighter.

slydog

April 24th, 2012
10:13 am

@Big Crimson 75

What I’m about to say, most will disagree with:
1. For the most part (a generalization), when people feel like they are not part of the “game” or there is no stake in it for them, they turn to drugs. Again, a generalization on a blog.
2. I am sick and tired of Black folks (I am Black BTW) not helping themselves and each other.
3. I am sick and tired of some White people who feel they need to save the “less” fortunate people they helped impoverished in the first place. Bleeding heart liberals are pathetic.
4. A bigoted conservatives are just as bad (see @Will comments), feeling like only they can teach anybody anything and they did the “less” fortunate a favor.

Big Crimson 75

April 24th, 2012
10:21 am

crap — Sandra Bullock hasn’t looked good since “A Time to Kill” — speaking of whitey doing the black man “favors” — sly.

George Stein

April 24th, 2012
10:23 am

Is it against the rules for him to point to the “talent” on campus? I think most of us can agree that’s Ole Miss’ biggest advantage.

Judge Smails

April 24th, 2012
10:23 am

If I was living in a house with Sandra Bullock, I would have stayed as llllooooonnnnnggggg as I could.

slydog

April 24th, 2012
10:26 am

@BC75 You see how in that movie, he had to flip the script in order to get a “just” result? I feel like, if anyone does your child like that, regardless of color, you should hunt their arses down and return the favor.

Spanky

April 24th, 2012
10:29 am

Ditto that one, Judge!

Big Crimson 75

April 24th, 2012
10:31 am

y’all are nuts. Sandra Bullock is not that good looking.
Maybe 15 yrs ago.
She couldn’t even keep that nim-rod Jesse James in line.
He chose obscurity(Again) over Her!!

Stein — Remember, not all co-eds are as easy as the lady pups!!

Krystal Burger Association

April 24th, 2012
10:36 am

Bullock has some booty on her.

Normal Bama Fan

April 24th, 2012
10:37 am

That football player has some booty on him!

dawgfan

April 24th, 2012
10:43 am

For the life of me I do not understand how admitting 100 football players in any way diminishes the academic opportunities or accomplishments of the other 30,000 people who attend the University of Georgia. That is the most mindboggling thing about Tech fans and their excuses. I know for a fact that Ivy League schools like HARVARD and YALE admit football players who otherwise probably could not get in to those schools. Is anyone complaining? Is a Harvard degree worth any less for the rest of the students? Of course not. So Tech doesn’t want a bunch of “special admits?” Okay, good for you. We don’t care. I also happen to think its a bold faced Techie lie, but even assuming its true why are we supposed to care? That’s your perogative. You can run your football program the way you see fit and everyone else can run their’s the way they see fit. As long as everyone is playing by the rules what is there to whine and moan about Tech fans?

I just do not understand Tech fans. They have to be the biggest bunch of crybaby sore losers in all of sports. That’s all there is to it.

JM

April 24th, 2012
10:47 am

I’ve seen the movie. It was pretty good.

islander

April 24th, 2012
11:13 am

lets face it, if these kids cared about degrees in the sec they would all be going to vandy or florida. those are the two strongest schools in the sec. both should probably be in the acc and let fsu and nc state come to the sec. the coach in the movie seemed kinda nerdy.

harold

April 24th, 2012
11:19 am

Fulmer was great in that movie. The other coaches said: Oh No….Here comes Fulmer we can all go home!” Fulmer was a great recruiter. Bet UT wishes they would have kept him.