Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ESPN's Recruiting Update, Old People

Change of plan. Penn State will be given it's own post because, well, this is a Penn State blog. Part II, seriously, will be later today.

Penn State"Unfortunately, the stagnant class could stem from 81-year-old Joe Paterno still hanging in there and not offering the spark often needed to relate to the younger generation of prospects. However, tradition still sells and no one coach in college football represents more tradition than Joe Pa himself."

Big Eleventh says... This is really all a ploy to talk about JoePa's age and, separately, his marketability.

The MSM has reminded us, almost weekly during the season, that Joe is old. They do it again here. Reporters love to comment on how Joe can't "relate to the younger players these days" because it seems to make sense. Problem is, it just isn't true. This years class lacks flash, but just in the last 5 years, off the top of my head, Joe has been able to relate to Connor, Scott, Morelli, Williams and King. All very highly ranked and talked to by dozens of other younger coaches. All chose Penn State. It's not Joe's age that is the problem, it is his style. The problem with saying he's too old is that he has been doing things the same way for 30 years. Almost nothing has changed since his first winning season. His name alone can be enough to win over a recruit, but his style is no longer mainstream and some people just aren't interested. The prospect of waiting 2 or 3 years is becoming more and more of a problem when there are coaches who are willing to plug guys in right away.

As for the marketability comment, I think this guy is on line but his comment is a little misleading. Joe and Graham get along great. Joe likes to coach, and Graham lets him do this. Graham like to make money, and Joe makes this happen. It's never been about football for it's own sake inside Old Main. Each game is really just another fundraising event and if people keep donating regardless of the scoreboard then the scoreboard doesn't matter.

Oh, recruiting, right. We are loaded at linebacker, have a couple of decent RB's out of Ohio, and probably aren't getting Pryor. Ohio State has been to two MNC games in a row and Michigan just landed a very high profile coach...all while we finished our second very average finish in a row. These are our recruiting problems, not old age.

Not that any of you care, but there will be a Part II, I promise.


Lowcountry Lion said...

I think his age is definitely an issue as well as his style. At this point, what could Paterno, a teetering and increasingly frail grandfather-like shell of a football coach, possibly tell a recruit that would sway him to choose Penn State over USC/Carrol, UofM/R.R., Texas/Brown, etc.?

I realize that that question has been posed countless times but as each mediocre season passes and Penn State finishes in the midlle of the Big Ten and JoePa ages another year and Penn State is not ranked among the top 25 recruiting classes, I feel that it must be asked with greater urgency.

In the meantime, to sate the loyal fans (NOT the well-heeled Nittany Lion Club doners), we are treated to (and distracted by) lame articles about stupid subjects like Spread HD offenses and upcoming out-of-conference opponents.

Paterno may still be able to bleed the doners of their hard-earned cash, but I doubt he's still able to charm multiple, out-of-state, 18-year-old recruits who are dreaming of playing on Sunday afternoons.

Paterno Lives! said...

The Spread HD stories were my favorite so far this offseason, mostly because they included JayPa saying things like "I don't think there is not confidence in me."

Paterno is headed down to see [recruits name redacted per title of last post about him]. The kid is a total long shot, but if Paterno somehow brings him we are going to have a lot of interesting things to write about for a couple of weeks.