While some college football fiends like to portray National Signing Day as Christmas in February, that's not entirely true.
With the explosion of recruiting information providers such as Scout and Rivals, it's more like the Christmas morning after you figured out where your parents hid the presents. You already knew what was coming, so there weren't too many surprises in store. Of course, if you hadn't seen that official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time, there was always the chance it could show up magically underneath the tree.
Hardcore Sooner fans went to bed on Tuesday night with visions of stud Louisiana receiver Rueben Randle and New Jersey "athlete" Josh Evans dancing in their heads. Instead, though, Les Miles and Urban Meyer ended up adding the coveted recruits to their already substantial hauls.
That doesn't mean Bob Stoops and his staff didn't add a bunch of nice pieces to the OU roster, however. The makeup of the group indicates a clear emphasis on bolstering the defensive side of the ball, particularly at linebacker and defensive back. With so much depth returning on both side of the ball for OU, don't expect many of the newcomers to get extensive playing time right away in 2009. Touted junior college pickup Cameron Kenney could be one exception. With the Sooners losing three 2008 starters at receiver, the fast, physical wideout from Garden City Community College in Kansas may challenge for a spot opposite Ryan Broyles.
Other recruiting news and notes:
*Did Miles make a deal with the devil to lure Randle to LSU? Gannett's Glenn Gilbeau has the details of the whole saga. Basically, it looks like it boils down to this: Randle's father strong-armed the LSU coaching staff into pulling a scholarship offer to one of his son's potential competitors for playing time among the Tigers' receiving corps DeAngelo Benton. Oh, yeah - Randle and Benton just happen to have been high school teammates.
When asked about what went down, Miles answered--over the objections of his athletic director--in his own tortured vernacular:
“I have to be real honest with you, recruiting has its own view,” Miles said. “And I’m not going to dispel or concern myself with how that all fits.”
OK, Homerism isn't even going to bother trying to parse that out.
*Speaking of nettlesome meddlers, check out this New York Times profile of Wichita-area recruiting "mentor" Brian Butler. Of course, it's written by Thayer Evans, so there must be some way that the article is meant to screw Texas.
*Homerism has made his thoughts on trash-talking in the media known before. I'd expect coaches to know better. All that being said, how awesome has it been to see Lane Kiffin set the SEC ablaze with some completely unearned--and somewhat unwarranted--jabs at the conference's leading men?
Is it smart for Kiffin to run his mouth like he has? It certainly won't look that way on September 19, when Florida administers one of Urban Meyer's patented payback beatdowns.
But Homerism suspects there's a little Cassius Clay in all of Kiffin's blustery bravado. The reality in the final season of Phil Fulmer's tenure was that buzz surrounding Tennessee football was sorely lacking. Kiffin's tough talk is giving Volunteer patrons something to get pumped up about. He's also announcing to the nation that he has his sites set squarely on the king of the SEC mountain. That's a story that may sell among the southeast's top talent.
Whatever Kiffin's motives, without a dog in this fight, Homerism can't wait to see more fireworks.