And, in related news, I don’t look forward to getting kicked in the testicles.
One of the more fascinating storylines leading up to National Signing Day was Nick Saban and his former right-hand man. After nine years with Saban at Alabama, including the last eight as defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart struck out on his own to become the head coach at his alma mater Georgia.
As both are part of the SEC, their paths crossed more than a couple of times on the recruiting trail in the two months between Smart’s hiring between the hedges and signing day. As al.com explained…
Alabama and Georgia went up against each other for multiple recruits in the final weeks of the 2016 recruiting cycle. Alabama signed Ben Davis and Lyndell Wilson — two major UGA targets — while the Bulldogs flipped receiver Tyler Simmons away from the Crimson Tide. In the class of 2017, Smart flipped four-star quarterback Jake Fromm from Alabama and landed a commitment from one-time Alabama offensive line commit Netori Johnson.
… both the mentor and the protegé scored wins on the recruiting front.
“It’ll be fun,” Smart said upon his hiring in early December when asked about going up against the recruiting juggernaut that is his former boss; two months later, after Saban had pulled in yet another top-ranked class — UGA was seventh in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings — a couple of months ago, Smart has tweaked his tune.
“I said it would be fun? Oh man, I hope I didn’t say it would be fun,” Smart said on the SEC coaches teleconference earlier today. “I don’t look forward to that because I know Nick does a great job in recruiting. He’s very relentless; he does a really good job, and they have a great product to sell.”
Of course, 2016 wasn’t a one-off battle between the boss and the former employee, with work on the Class of 2017 in full swing. At the moment, both the Bulldogs and Tide have nine commits each to next year’s class, with UGA, at No. 6, three spots behind UA.
Given the fact that the next signing day is still nine months away, Smart will have plenty of time to close that gap — or his boss will have plenty of time to widen it.
With the NCAA’s edict that, at least for now, rescinds the banishment of satellite camps, college football coaches are free to move about the country in the pursuit of recruits away from their own campuses.
The poster boy for these types of “controversial” camps, of course, has been Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. With the rescinding of the ban, Harbaugh and his coaching staff will disperse to camps as far away as California. They are also, in what most certainly can be described as enemy territory, set to invade That School Down South’s state.
— Doug Sangregorio (@DougSangregorio) May 4, 2016
Yep, Harbaugh, the head coach of the hated Wolverines, will be setting up camp in the Buckeyes’ extended backyard, a mere three hours or so from The Horseshoe.
How long before Urban Myer and his coaching entourage shows up somewhere in the general neighborhood of Ann Arbor? Stay tuned…
It appears the battle to back up J.T. Barrett at quarterback for Ohio State has been pared by one.
While there’s nothing yet official from the school, elevenwarriors.com is reporting that Stephen Collier has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the entire 2016 season. It’s believed Collier sustained the injury during the Buckeyes’ spring game two weeks ago.
A program official declined to confirm any information on the player, saying only that an announcement regarding Collier is expected at some point this week.
Collier, a redshirt sophomore, had been part of a competition with redshirt freshman Joe Burrow for the No. 2 job behind the unquestioned incumbent Barrett. Dwayne Haskins Jr., a four-star 2016 signee rated as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the country in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings, will join the signal-calling fray this summer and, presumably, compete with Burrow for the backup job.
A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2014 recruiting class, Collier was the No. 17 dual-threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school in Georgia. Collier took a redshirt as a true freshman, then played very sparingly in 2015.
If some students have their way, Florida State athletic contests, football in particular, would have a different look to them moving forward.
According to FSView.com, the Florida State student government voted in favor of a resolution April 20 that “requests that the wearing of any Native American headdresses shall no longer be permitted into athletic arenas at FSU.” Those arenas would include, of course, Doak Campbell Stadium, the home of the football Seminoles.
“The 68th Student Senate does not condone the wearing of headdresses because it inaccurately depicts the culture of the Seminole Tribe,” a portion of the resolution read, adding that the Senate” requests inappropriate use of the materials as listed above, constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.”
The website writes that “[h]eaddresses usually worn and seen by those at Florida State games are closer to those worn by the Plains region tribes, such as the Sioux, rather than those of the Seminole Tribe.”
University spokesperson Browning Brooks said the administration will give the issue “careful thought and consider some ideas to promote additional cultural sensitivity by our students and fans.” Browning said the resolution is a “very thoughtful and reasonable request. We appreciate the motivation behind it, as well as the tone.”
Even if the administration’s “careful thought and consideration” results in the university adopting the resolution, one former SGA member told the Post, First Amendment concerns could preclude it from taking hold.
“I believe the intentions are genuine, and in the best interest in the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I have a great concern for the fact that this could impede on students’ first amendment rights,” the former SGA official, who requested anonymity, told the newspaper. “There’s nothing in national or state legislation that restricts an individual’s right to restrict clothing or material, and I believe there are certain consequences associated with the bill that could impede on students’ first amendment rights and could introduce trouble for the university itself.”
“I was one of the four senators who voted “no,” second-year criminology major Taylor Ney told the Tallahassee Democrat. “The reason I voted no was I felt it was a violation of the First Amendment. It limits students’ rights to speak their minds.”
FSU has long received the support of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Nation of Oklahoma for their use Native American imagery, including Chief Osceola and Renegade, which the university refers to as symbols and not mascots.