Football Recruiting War


There are basic elements required to develop a competitive college football program. Sincere commitment by university administration tops the list. Secure a head coach who will represent the school appropriately is clearly the next, and perhaps greatest, need. The head coach is the face of any collegiate program.

With the first two elements in place, building a program requires filling your roster with talented student-athletes. That happens best when effectively managed by the head coach through the process of recruiting.

Coach Chip Kelly is leaving the University of Oregon to accept the top job with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. Kelly is also leaving a football roster loaded with guys who thought they would be playing for him. Sure they are attending Oregon for an education, but the reality is most were significantly influenced by Coach Kelly convincing them they would enjoy the chance to play in his hugely successful system. Well folks, that isn’t going to happen.

More than a dozen of the top high school prospects in the nation verbally committed to Oregon. Sorry guys. If you honor your verbal commitment to Oregon you will be playing for a new head coach.

Fortunately for verbal recruits, they can have a change of heart and opt to attend any college of their choice up until the moment they sign their National Letter of Intent. This year the first day football student-athletes may sign a NLI is February 6, 2013.

Make no mistake, many of the verbal commits to Oregon will once again be approached by numerous coaching staffs to make another pitch for their school/program.


Coach Kelly has created opportunity for renewed recruiting interest for some very talented guys thought to be headed to Eugene.


USC Coach Lane Kiffin has subtly creating similar opportunity for some very talented young men thought to become Trojan football players.

In a widely publicized gaffe, Coach Kiffin apparently changed his mind about a scholarship offer to high school prospect Kyle Fitts. Just days before Fitts was prepared to enroll early at USC to jump start his college football career Kiffin has changed his loving embrace of Fitts to, “Whoops!” Seems what was verbally confirmed as late as January 5th had to be amended on January 7th, according to Paul Myerberg of USAToday. Early enrollment is off the table. The offer has been switched to fall enrollment despite assurances since last April that Fitts would be welcomed into the Trojan family this month.

Do you think Coach Mike Leach and his staff are buoyed by these developments? You better believe it.

Between now and February 6th, Coach Leach will be in a position to continue selling his Cougar football program in earnest. A couple of important factors for high school prospects and their families to weigh are front and center thanks to Coach Kelly and Coach Kiffin. Leach has established a record of keeping promises, including loyalty to the university he represents and coaches for. Loyalty and integrity. Two important factors when student-athletes are deciding where to attend college with anticipation to play football.