Monday, March 30, 2015

The ups and downs of recruiting teenagers UPDATE

[Of course after I wrote this and went to bed, Dalton made it official and decommitted from BC. If you're listening to whispers, BC wasn't putting up with his flightiness and pulled the offer. As I wrote, BC and this class will be fine. Best of luck to Dalton...wherever he goes.]

In my short stint with, I did my best to avoid interacting directly with recruits. My excuse at the time was that I couldn't because I am a BC booster. But the reality is that I didn't want to go near the potential eagles. I know most are probably good kids, but there are also plenty that would drive me nuts. Recruiting is an emotional roller coaster for the college coaches. Reading the tea leaves, I am sure BC's staff has spent way too much emotion already dealing with current verbal commitment Danny Dalton.

Dalton has been the subject of speculation on various BC message boards, but for those who don't read the boards, here is a quick recap. Massachusetts TE Danny Dalton committed to BC last month. A local product with upside, it seemed like Addazio found good potential and Dalton said all the right things. Of course BC's discovery sent out signals to other programs. Supposedly Alabama had interest. And maybe the extra attention got Dalton thinking, because since committing to BC, he visited Rutgers and raved about it, and visited Penn State this past weekend. Addazio and staff cannot comment publicly on a player, but I can't imagine they enjoy his mini-tour and tweeting about rival programs.

Verbal commitments are not binding and plenty of BC stars of the past were people who changed their mind and flipped to BC (Herzlich and Hilliman are two that come to mind). Addazio might lose Dalton and others in the future. He'll also flip some back to BC. I am not going to lose sleep over it, but I am sure the assistants are. They found and nurtured the relationship with Dalton and now have to fret the next 10 months until Signing Day. Or they can cut their losses and tell Dalton if he keeps looking, his BC offer is gone. Either way I doubt he ends up an Eagle. But because he's local, Addazio has to handle it with kid gloves. Pissing off one local coach or recruit can have a real ripple effect.

At this point I trust Addazio on recruiting. If he can't keep Dalton, he will find an capable replacement. Because if Dalton reminded us, teenagers love to change their minds.


mod34b said...


Matt said...

Agree completely. I think you approach the subject very well.

CT said...

Yep. Seriously. A teenager.

Happens all the time, as your second paragraph talked about. Paul Johnson at Ga Tech is notorious for pulling schollies if you commit to Tech, get offered, then visit other campuses.

Part of me thinks, "that's cool, how about some follow through," then the other part thinks, "who really cares about a 17 yr old brain?"

You know, parental involvement maybe?

I know these guys have jobs on the line but as a fan I just can't get stirred up until you have that 8am English class freshman year. You're 17. You're really not that important.

EagleOutDere said...

And we still have Scooter Harrington for class of 2016.

diabetic tackle said...

the kid who commits and sticks is typically blessed with a nice combination of personal character & parental advice.
Hope Dan has a great career. Sorry he's not going to be an Eagle

BarraCuda said...

Does that imply that a kid who commits somewhere else and then flips to BC is not blessed with a nice combination of personal character & parental advice? Or is that just the kids that decommit from BC?

BarraCuda said...

Admittedly, though, some kids do need more character and parental advice. Back in the mid-90's when I used to follow recruiting fairly religiously, I remember the story of a kid from NC who was being recruited hard by UNC and NC State. NC was considered in the lead by everyone, and while the kid never committed, based on what the kid said it was considered all but a fait accompli that he would play for the Tar Heels. Signing day came, and he signed with NC State. When asked why, he replied that he liked the serve-yourself soft serve ice cream machine in the NC State cafeteria.

ATL_eagle said...


Kids are young and dumb. I blame everyone (including the schools involved) but most of the blame falls on the parent. Don't let your kid commit unless they are absolutely positive. But as I wrote, BC has benefited from kids flipping to us. Hilliman being one of the most prominent examples. Montel Harris and Herzy also flipped to us.

Unknown said...

"Today I just woke up and thought to myself, ‘Why take this process on any longer?’,” said the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Dalton, who gave a verbal commitment to Boston College on Monday. “Because I knew that no matter how many other schools I visited, it was always going to come down to...I was always going to realize BC was the place for me.

“Even if I had offers from, you name the school, it was going to come back to Boston College because of everything they offered as far as education and athletics.”

Hoib said...

This is why Daz gets the big bucks. To put up w/ stuff like this.

WI_Eagle said...

The top basketball recruit in Wisconsin recently committed to Maryland (instead of Wisconsin and others) partially because he liked Maryland's partnership with Under Armour (his AAU team also used Under Armour) -- can't make this stuff up.

mod34b said...

Dear Danny,

I see you are now crowing that you have 'de-committed." You feelin' gooood, Kid??

Many want to see you as a teenager and absolve you of any responsibility for being a flake. I don't see it that way.

As a 17 year old, you should know that your word matters. Loyalty counts. You are not a 10 year old any more Danny.

You say stuff like this: "I knew that no matter how many other schools I visited, it was always going to come down to...I was always going to realize BC was the place for me. Even if I had offers from, you name the school, it was going to come back to Boston College because of everything they offered as far as education and athletics."

All B.S. You did not mean a word of it. You probably never viewed your 'commitment' to BC as meaning anything more than a springboard to a 'better' opportunity. You're not the first to do this.

Your dishonesty and disloyalty will not impact your ability to play football or impact BC or its football team. We will all move on. But it does not serve you well in life. And that's a shame.

jj_2003 said...

This was a great job on the part of the Marshfield coaches and guidance counselors, helping this kid through the process. This is how you play the game. Grab a bird in hand, and then let the others flock to see what's up. Then if something better comes along you jump. Works way better than randomly sending out YouTube links to your first choice schools.

And that's what happened here, just like with Arthur Lynch. If you're choosing between BC and a Bryant or a UMass or a directional state, then sure, take the BC offer and commit to them.

In fact, tweet out your full-throated commitment. Declare yourself an Eagle for life. Change your Instagram account to an UnderArmourRed and Gold background. Get a temporary tattoo that looks permanent in pixels, etc.

The SEC and Big-10 type schools can't bring in a New England kid who hasn't been seen; their coaches will be crucified on the message boards and on talk radio. When you don't just commit but declare your undying love, the real football coaches will think BC must have pushed you to such a vocal commitment to ward off the poachers. So they'll come around to see what they missed, just like hot chicks come by and hit on you when you hire one to accompany you to a nightclub.

THAT'S how you'll get scouted as a Massachusetts kid--not by just sending out dime-a-dozen videos.

And if you're that good, then you'll start getting offers and will get to de-commit from BC. If not, then you've got the BC ride to fall back on. A win-win all around.

mod34b said...

good post jj.

Danny could also wind up like one Graham Stewart -- the highly regarded LB recruit from CT who decommitted in Jan 2011 from BC to take an offer from U Florida.

He did not last as a Gator and transferred to UConn.

He did not get to start as a LB until 2014 -- 3 years from his deceit.