We've been following this story all day and Michael Carvell has been on top of it.
To recap, this morning around 8am, Roquan Smith announced his collegiate decision on ESPNU. Shortly thereafter, FoxSports.com reported that UCLA DC Jeff Ulbrich will be the next linebackers coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
That's when all hell broke out.
Smith did not send his letter of intent in to UCLA immediately because his signing ceremony ran long due to people asking for pictures with Smith and questions from the media.
According to Carvell, "So just as Roquan and his coach started finishing up the paperwork to send to UCLA, they noticed their cells were getting blown up by UGA’s coaches."
The UGA coaches had heard the Ulbrich story and were trying to sway Smith back to the Bulldogs.
Carvell quotes Macon County HS football coach Larry Harold:
We just got off the phone with Ulbrich. He said he hasn’t signed any papers with the Falcons. So he talked to Roquan, and he let him know that he was going to check into everything and get back to him....Yes, he did confirm that with us that he did have an offer. He was very candid and honest. He just hated that it broke on Social Media before he had the chance to call.
That brings us to the latest update as of 2:42pm PT. Carvell writes:
Roqaun Smith’s coach told the AJC on Wednesday evening that Smith has re-opened his recruitment, and will take a couple of days to figure things out. "He’s going to open things up with his recruiting," Macon County’s Larry Harold said. "It’s pretty much UGA, Michigan, and Texas A&M – and UCLA is still in it. Coach Ulbrich told him that he hasn’t signed anything yet (with the Falcons), and that he hasn’t made a decision. So I think they are still in it as well. We’re going to sit back for a couple of days and see how this thing plays out."
So, there you have it. At least until Jim Mora's 4:30pm press conference.
Jeff Ulbrich's inability to be straight-forward with a recruit could result in the recruit going elsewhere. Before you defend Ulbrich by saying Smith's coach says Ulbrich was "very candid and honest," the fact is that he wasn't. If he had been, he would have informed Smith before National Signing Day that he had received the offer from the Falcons and that there was a chance that he might not be the Defensive Coordinator next season.
We can argue all day as to whether a recruit should ever put a lot of stock in the coaches who are recruiting him being there in the future, but the fact remains that Roquan Smith announced a decision that was based on the belief that Jeff Ulbrich would be his DC and when that was thrown into doubt, so was Smith's decision.