Thursday, February 08, 2007

So Are They Saying Zook Is a Crook?

How bad does a recruit get badgered by coaches, even after making a commitment? Arrelious Benn, a receiver from Washington's Dunbar High, provided an account of the hounding he took from Notre Dame assistant Peter Vaas after he made a commitment last December to Illinois. Vaas left this message on Benn's phone: "You don't want to do anything except bury your head in the sand. ... I guess you're not tough enough to compete at the big level." Vaas, who was let go by Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis after the 44-14 loss to Louisiana State in the Sugar Bowl, did not deny making the calls when asked by Alan Goldenbach of the Washington Post. "There's an awful lot of rumors or innuendo out there ... and kids change their minds after they do that. A lot of times, it depends upon what kind of conviction a kid has about a place." One thing is certain: Illinois appears to have upset a lot of people this recruiting season. Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans of the New York Times report on Ron Zook's recruiting haul, which got the attention of former Michigan State coach John L. Smith. "If they had a winning program and all of that, it would be a different deal. If they had the greatest facilities in the world, then maybe they could sell them. But what are they selling?" Smith added, "Where there's smoke, there's probably fire." ... Thanks to Kevin of We Are Penn State.

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