While perusing recent articles today I came across this one from the OC Register regarding Cyrus Hobbi's recruitment. It is an in-depth look at just how involved High School coaches are with the recruiting process, and just how much goes unsaid throughout.
When Cyrus first visited U$C, the day NCAA sanctions came down no less, he felt Lane was "dismissive and rude."
"USC got off on the wrong foot with me and my family," Hobbi said.
"They were not very friendly toward him," Sanders said.
Hobbi’s visit came before Kiffin and his staff were done evaluating offensive line prospects. But the perceived snub was more likely the result of Kiffin being preoccupied. Hobbi said his visit came on either the day USC learned of the NCAA sanctions or the day the penalties were announced.
"Caught them at a bad time," Hobbi said.
Now, you will not that is the coach jumping in right in the middle putting in his two cents. I, personally, have always been disgusted by High School coaches doing anything more than informing and preparing their athletes for the college recruiting process. I will attempt to show, throughout this post, how his coach is not only an asshat, but also far too involved in the process. More after le jump.
His coach, Saguaro HS coach John Sanders, went on the defensive after this.
But Hobbi and his family felt disrespected enough by the Trojan staff that he dropped the USC from consideration.
"Scratched USC off the list," Sanders said.
Sanders, like Hobbi and his family, rebuffed attempts at reconciliation by Kiffin and assistant coach Joe Barry, who recruits Arizona.
"We wouldn’t return their calls," Sanders said. "We didn’t have very many good things to say about them."
Instead Hobbi liked the pitch UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel and Bruin offensive line coach Bob Palcic were making.
"Bob Palcic and Rick Neuheisel did a great job," Sanders said. "Rick Neuheisel was relentless. He went out of his way to show badly UCLA wanted him."
Then there was the non-stop pressure on Hobbi to stay home at Arizona State, less than 20 minutes away from his high school. Sanders made no secret of his desire for Hobbi to play for the Sun Devils.
Ah... therein lies the rub, as the Bard would say. So Sanders wants him at ASU. That, to me, is upsetting.
Apparently, Hobbi came around and visited U$C, and fell in love with their oversized pothole of a stadium.
Eventually, Hobbi’s stance on USC softened, worn down by Kiffin and Barry.
"I’ll give them credit," Sanders said. "Joe Barry and Lane Kiffin were relentless."
A few weeks ago, Hobbi surprised Sanders with his change of heart.
"He said ‘I don’t think you’re ever going to believe this, I’m going to take a trip to USC,’" Sanders recalled.
While Hobbi would not come to a final decision between USC, UCLA and Arizona State until Thursday night, it was a moment during that recent visit to USC that he kept coming back to while trying to settle on one school.
During the trip Trojan coaches took Hobbi and other recruits to the Coliseum.
"When I walked out onto that field at the Coliseum," he said, "I was just blown away."
So fine, the kid is blown away by $C. Whatever. However we still had a chance at this point. And here comes the punchline, and the last overstepping by Mr. Sanders.
But Sanders also hinted that job security for Neuheisel and Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson might also have been a factor in the decision.
"I tell the kids not to go for the coach, go for the school," Sanders said. "If a kid had gone to Tennessee to play for Lane Kiffin he wouldn’t be there now. If a kid goes to UCLA to play quarterback for Norm Chow, you’ll be disappointed. Look at what happened to Brett Hundley."
Hundley, one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects from nearby Chandler, Arizona, enrolled early at UCLA this month.
Ah. Wonderful example Mr. Sanders. Brett Hundley, quoted multiple times that he is "committed to the school and not a coach," and that he "doesn't care if Rick isn't there," must be SO disappointed that Norm is gone! Oh wait, we have a direct quote from him that he knew Norm wouldn't be there.
So what do we have? We have a high school coach in an article about a recruit being quoted 9 times, compared to Hobbi's 5 quotes. We have him pushing a kid towards Arizona State, instead of where his heart wants to go. We have him telling the kid that coaches won't be there at UCLA when he gets there, not to mention practically being a part of the family when he gets all huffy about Lane Kiffen being
an ass himself. We have a kid who in all likelihood could have landed at UCLA, maybe not, but maybe, only to be thrown off course by a douche of a coach. Wonderful. As if we didn't have enough to contend with.
To sum up, High School coaches are not "part of the family". They are there to teach kids fundamentals and when they are good, prepare them to be recruited. They're not there to field questions about their kid or discuss how hurt he was when Lane rebuffed his kid. They're not there to steer a kid one way or the other. Will they? Probably. It's just as likely coaches receive money from any number of schools to sway a kid one way or the other. But conspiracy theories aside, this made my day just a bit worse.