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'04 Academic Casualties and why team rankings can be deceiving



Florida's incoming freshman football class projects to take a considerable academic hit, with four players expected to fall short of qualifying.

Wide receiver Derrick McPhearson, cornerback McIntosh Nicolas, defensive end Mike Mangold and fullback Eric Rutledge have failed to gain a qualifying test score and will not be eligible this season.

"We're not anticipating any of them qualifying," UF running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Mike Locksley said Monday. "This sort of delays the recruiting class. Unfortunately, this type of stuff happens. That test (ACT) has been a nemesis for quite a few kids in recent years."

UF is planning to set up McPhearson and Mangold in a prep school, likely either Fork Union Military Academy or Hargrave Military Academy , both in Virginia. Nicholas is expected to go the junior college route, probably Dodge City Community College in Kansas.

Rutledge, the former P.K. Yonge standout, is expected to remain in Gainesville this fall and continue trying to pass the test in the hope of enrolling in classes at UF in January.

Rutledge is still awaiting the results of an ACT test he took several weeks ago, so there is still an outside chance he could qualify. He is enrolled in the Summer B semester and will start taking classes with the rest of the freshman class Monday.

UF is hopeful McPhearson and Mangold will qualify academically this fall, then enroll at Florida in January.

Nicolas will attempt to graduate from junior college in 18 months, which would make him eligible to enroll at UF in January 2006.

Nicolas, one of the state's fastest prospects out of Immokalee, and McPhearson, one of the nation's top wide receiver prospects, were expected to compete for possible immediate playing time for the Gators had they gained their eligibility for the fall.

The 2004 recruiting class, which had a consensus top 10 ranking nationally in February, will be down to 19 if Rutledge does not get a favorable result in his last attempt on the ACT.

When judging recruiting classes we should probably wait to see what prospects actually play. Same thing happened to Miami last year.

Another '04 tOSU recruitBrandon Barrett is also having trouble qualifying

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Former Martinsburg wide receiver and West Virginia recruit Brandon Barrett has his high school diploma but has yet to gain initial college eligibility requirements.

Barrett was the Mountain State's lone Parade All-America selection and the winner of the Kennedy Award given to the state's best high school football player of the year.

When the rest of the North-South football players were reporting to the West Virginia State campus on Saturday, Barrett was in Hedgesville, taking the ACT -- again.

Talk about Barrett's graduation revolves around confusion over a summer-school class. Last week, even WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez wondered under what circumstances the recruit needed the class.

"I need a half-credit in Algebra II," Barrett told the Charleston Daily Mail. "I didn't need it to graduate, and I did graduate last week, but I need it (to play) in college. I didn't know I needed it for college.

"I had the class for the second semester (of his senior year), but I dropped it, and then didn't find out until the end I did need it."

It's a mess, it seems, for a player who in his final two high school seasons, caught 153 passes for 2,645 yards and 50 touchdowns.

"My guidance counselor said that I didn't need it to graduate, but she didn't tell me I needed it for college, either," Barrett said. "I mean, I kind of dropped it, but it's my fault for dropping it, and I've got to pay for it now.

"I'm not blaming anyone else."

Barrett said he also is chasing an elusive test score. His best SAT is a 750, and he needs 820, he said. He's gotten a 17 on the ACT, which is one point shy of what he needs to be eligible through the NCAA clearinghouse.

"Maybe I got it (Saturday), but I won't know for another couple of weeks," he said. "I just hope it works out and the best happens for me to get to play."

Barrett knows that as the premier prospect in a state that doesn't produce many Division I-A players, the state-pride factor is built into the attention to his playing career. He also said he's not thinking about options, like prep school or junior college.

"I want to play this season at West Virginia," he said.
No wonder OSU cooled on Barrett last year.

I'm glad that OSU does a much better job of pre-screening its recruits. It wasn't too long ago that the Bucks lost three or four players a year to grades.
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it is nice that we look into these things, i just hope we can avoid future miles williams/da'juan morgan situations. and as a guidance counceler, you have to know better than that. i mean yeah he shouldnt have dropped the class, but its your job to know what is necessary to play D1 sports, know it, dont jepordize someones future.
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Different Take

Before I read this thread, I thought that it was talking about the recruits that wait until Signing day to commit. My feeling, and Tressel intimated this in some comments he made right after signing day regarding rankings, is that Recruit Rankers keep raising their rankings of the guys who wait to commit.

That might be a reason why FSU always does well in "rankings" because they seem to get all their committments right at the end- at least officially. I wonder if coaches would tell commits to drag their feet "officially" to increase their rankings. Sounds preposterous on the surface, but who knows?

Regarding how Tressel and co. screen their recruits to ensure their eligibility, I can't really comment, but I would guess that he recruits a slightly different type player than Coop or Zook.
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As an educator, I have to say that Barrett's Guidance Counselor didn't do his/her job. I have worked at 3 schools and would have to say that Guidance is quite possibly the shittiest run department in all 3.

By the way, I'm on vacation until the last week in August. Grammar, punctuation, and professional behavior be damned!
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Couple of points
1-Someone needs to knock Martinsburg's guidance counselor upside the head. They should be 100% aware of what all the in-state schools require for frosh eligibility and such.

2-It doesn't sound like Mr. Barrett is very academically inclined, given that he dropped Algebra II-certainly not the hardest math class in the world-as a senior. With his SAT scores, I'll bet he will struggle big time once he hits campus. Maybe its just as well he didn't commit-we would have had to yank his scholly in March as well.................................

3-Florida,FSU,Miami,Alabama, etc. all oversign knowing that 4,5,6 etc. recruits will not make it. This is par for the course for these schools. Tressel doesn't want the headaches, so he makes sure everything is kosher before signing the kids, although you will still see Buckeyes who struggle-Hiley,Smith.. I don't think FSUBama,etc. are doing it for rankings, they are simply trying to get as many talented kids in their programs as possible, and know things will work out that way. Burger King Bobby would probably have a heart attack if every single recruit qualified.
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Mightbeabuck-I changed jobs because I wanted to. The first was a little close to home, I didn't like trips to the supermarket turning into Parent/Teacher conferences. The other two schools are in the same district. One a middle school, the other a high school. No real change there.

As far as professional behavior, etc. I find all that stuff way overrated. At work, I always am professional. Bob Marley shirt tucked in, visine and ozium, I'm all set.
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LordJeffBuck said:
No wonder OSU cooled on Barrett last year.

I'm glad that OSU does a much better job of pre-screening its recruits. It wasn't too long ago that the Bucks lost three or four players a year to grades.
no sh--... the '99 recruiting class lost SIX(!) recruits due to inability to qualify...
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Four non-qualifiers at WSU, including Randy Estes (#1 safety who was caught selling weed)
Football recruits fall short in academics
WSU Daily Evergreen

Waylon Safranski
July 1, 2004

When the Cougar football team announced its recruiting class in February, numerous recruiting publications ranked it in the nation's top 25, and head coach Bill Doba gave it an "eight or nine" on a scale of 10.

But the class has lost some of its immediate luster, as some signees won't qualify academically and, therefore, will not compete with the Cougars this fall.

Robin Pflugrad, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, said high school signees safety Randy Estes of Long Beach, Calif.; defensive back Michael Willis of Lincoln High School in Tacoma; defensive lineman Lawrence Ball of Fresno, Calif. and receiver Benny Ward of Van Nuys, Calif. did not qualify academically.

Letrell Myers, a junior college signee defensive end, is also "98 percent done" Pflugrad said.

They are still waiting for test scores from running back J.T. Diederichs of Ballard High in Seattle and receiver Charles Dillon of Oxnard, Calif., and Pflugrad said there is only a slight chance they will qualify.

Pflugrad said the coaches can only do so much to help the recruits get qualified academically.

"We can't go over (to the schools) and make sure they get to every class," he said. "Geographically, it's difficult in Pullman to keep in touch. And there are a lot of distractions during your senior year (of high school). You get pulled in a lot of different directions."

Doba's staff will have their hands full as they try to help these players get into a junior college and keep them off the recruiting market. The players who did not qualify are not bound to their letter of intent after the start of fall classes, Pflugrad said.

"That's when the piranhas come out," he said. "Other schools try to eat the flesh off of someone else's program. We want to avoid another school scooping them up - but it's always a concern."

Pflugrad said the coaches will attempt to keep a line of communication with the players, but the process can turn into a wild goose chase.

"We are dealing with a new can of worms," he said. "They have to pay their own way and we tell them to do stuff, but it's tough. Sometimes they'll want to stay close to home, but that can be the worst thing to do. They got their buddies around who might not be going to school, and the environment is usually not about studying."

The losses hurt even more because the coaches anticipated Estes, Willis and Myers all had the ability to not only play, but contribute this fall.
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Olu Hall

remember him??

UVa recruit Hall to enroll at Hargrave

By Jay Jenkins / Daily Progress staff writer
July 7, 2004

Two weeks ago, Olu Hall said that redshirting his freshman year at Virginia would not be an option.

Hall was right - kind of.

On Tuesday, Olu Hall’s mother confirmed that her son did not qualify to play this year as a freshman at Virginia and that he will enroll this fall at Hargrave Military Academy.

“Olu will be going to Hargrave,” Hall’s mother said on Tuesday. “He talked to Coach [Robert Prunty] at Hargrave and it seems like we have known him for a long time just like [Virginia coach] Al Golden. I know there is a plan for Olu and it’s going to work out fine.”

Hall, who was rated a four-star recruit by Rivals, was the top prospect in the Commonwealth this season and was expected to fight for playing time at outside linebacker this year in UVa’s 3-4 defense.

In high school, Hall played defensive end. During his senior season, he made 93 tackles and had 11 quarterback sacks.

Hall becomes the third straight top-ranked player in the state to attend Hargrave. Ahmad Brooks and Phillip Brown, a pair of Cavaliers, attended HMS in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

Hall’s mother also said that the family is approaching the situation as “a blessing. It’s a blessing in disguise. I am very honored that they accepted him [at Hargrave].”

Hall’s mother said that she is certain that her son will not waver on his decision to attend UVa. She said that the UVa coaches have supported her son and the family throughout the process.

“They still are [supporting us]. Coach Al Golden and Coach [Mike] London are really supportive of Olu. It is beyond just a game so I am very grateful.”

As far as her son goes, she said that the news was not unsettling:

“He wasn’t really upset … but I can’t speak for him and I don’t like speaking for him. As I told him, ‘God works in mysterious ways.’ I am grateful for whatever reason. The outsiders looking in may say it is a detour but it’s really not. The plans have already been ordered. I told Olu it is not a bad thing at all. He knows it.”

It remains uncertain if Hall will follow in the footsteps of Brooks and enrolls at UVa in time for the spring semester and the Cavaliers’ spring practice period if he qualifies. Hargrave’s policy is to allow students out of their one-year contract after one semester if they have received a letter of acceptance from a college or university.

Hall was unavailable for comment since he is in Hampton preparing for Friday night’s Virginia High School Coaches’ Association football all-star game.
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God works in mysterious ways???

Buckskin86 said:
“He wasn’t really upset … but I can’t speak for him and I don’t like speaking for him. As I told him, ‘God works in mysterious ways.’ I am grateful for whatever reason. The outsiders looking in may say it is a detour but it’s really not. The plans have already been ordered. I told Olu it is not a bad thing at all. He knows it.”
Of course it's not Olu's fault that he didn't qualify. God didn't want him to qualify because he has a plan. Hey, whatever makes you feel better.
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