Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Recruiting Tale

One of the high school seniors BGA and a few friends who help dig up recruiting information were watching last winter for a commitment was Austin Connor, a South Carolina wide receiver.

Why were we keeping an eye on him?

First, he's a talented player, earning three stars from 247Sports and at one point holding offers from South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.

There are a lot of those types, but in this case  recruiting sites listed Dartmouth as one of his schools of interest, and the Twittersphere (and later the paper The State) noted that he indeed made a January recruiting visit to Hanover.

And last, but not least, his quarterback at Dutch Fork High School had been Cole Douglas, who will be a sophomore at Dartmouth this fall and might have had some influence on his decision.

So where did Connor end up on Signing Day?


The scholarships he'd been offered were scooped up by other players. And for one reason or another the 4.3 GPA student did not punt and commit to either Dartmouth or Harvard, which also offered him.

A story in The State under the headline, Dutch Fork receiver learns lesson about waiting to commit, included this advice from the disappointed high school senior:
"I would say take all your visits early and find out the best place to call home. I took too long. I didn't know much and how fast paced dealing with ACC and SEC (schools) would be. I thought I could wait until Signing Day but a lot of receivers committed quickly."
More than four months after Signing Day Connor has finally found a home and it's not in Hanover or Cambridge. The SBNation South Carolina site reports he will walk on at South Carolina. From that posting:
Connor is not your typical walk-on addition. Per 247Sports Composite, he has a three-star rating and is ranked as the 12th best prospect in the state of South Carolina. Following his junior season, he pulled in Power 5 offers from Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Vanderbilt, among others.
Connor’s mistake was drawing out the recruiting process. He wanted to wait until National Signing Day to commit, but by then all the larger schools he was interested in had filled up at his position.
Essentially, Will Muschamp and staff are adding a scholarship caliber player to the roster without having to use one.
Athlon has named its All-America team (LINK) and it includes Penn wide receiver Justin Watson.

Green Alert Take: Watson is a talented and deserving choice, but is there another position in football that is so dependent on another player for success? It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he posts without Alek Torgersen throwing him the ball.
Maybe the secret is out on why retiring GE leader Jeff Immelt chose to play his football at Dartmouth. Apparently he likes the cold (not a bad thing for someone whose company gained fame for making fridges ;-). Read about Immelt's fondness for low temps HERE.
Back to that advice about taking your recruiting visits and finding a place to call home early. A good friend of BGA has shared a link from ESPN that might be more at home on the Ripley's Believe It or Not site:

Hawaii has "offered" a fifth-grade quarterback and it's serious. Check the story out HERE.
Dartmouth pitcher Michael Danielak was chosen by the Oakland Athletics in the 19th round of the baseball draft. Find a Dartmouth release HERE. Teammate Beau Sulser was selected the day before by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round.