Coach's Powers of Persuasion Fail to Convince That His Powers of Persuasion are Convincing

It's okay; you can read it again if you need to.  ↵

↵South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing, on the "star system" promulgated by Scout and Rivals: ↵

↵
↵⇥I can take a three-star and make him a four-star, and I can take a four-star and make him a three- or two-star with the contacts I have," ↵⇥Lawing said. "That’s how ridiculous recruiting on the Internet is." ↵
↵

↵That's quite a claim, one that, if verified, would do considerable damage to the reputations and bottom lines of the star-purveyors. Assistant coaches waving their hands and saying "these aren't the droids you’re looking for" would rock an industry to its core. Verify away, Mr. Lawing: ↵

↵
↵⇥"I took Chris Culliver (South Carolina safety) from a three- to a five-star in three weeks. All you’ve got to do is talk to the right people." ↵
↵

↵Okay, let's check it: Culliver was a four-star safety to Scout and about a four-star guy to ESPN (qualifier because ESPN doesn't use a star system, instead ranking on a 100-point scale), but he was a five-star to Rivals. This must be where Lawing worked his magic. ↵

↵

↵Culliver earned that fifth star somewhere between January ↵15th (subscription link) and January ↵19th. Before that he was ... uh, a highly-recruited member of Rivals' top 100 with offers from virtually everyone in the south, including Alabama and Florida. Hmmm. Er. Well, maybe the rating boost was wholly unexplained? Not so much. Culliver attended an All-Star game and was subsequently named the best overall player in attendance (subscription link). ↵

↵

↵That three-star stuff doesn't even come close, either. Culliver had been a four star since at ↵least June (subscription link), when the sites re-ranked after Culliver murdered a combine, stuffed it into a plastic bag, and put it in his freezer. ↵

↵

↵Again, we can either believe that Lawing's magic site-wooing skills were the cause of the re-rank, or we can attribute it to a 4.37 40. I'm going with the 40. ↵

↵

↵Claim: decidedly unverified. Falsifiable, in fact. What's behind this, then? The usual: ↵

↵
↵⇥"There are a lot of staffs getting fired for unrealistic expectations," Lawing said. ↵
↵

↵Blame the media on one hand for increasing the pressure to win; fail to mention that the attention and interest generated are paying for your double-decker pool. There are a lot of staffs who aren't  being paid to go 7-5, including South Carolina's, and some guys ranking recruits don't have anything to do with it. ↵

↵

↵Heck, even Lawing doesn't believe his own premise: recruiting sites create unrealistic expectations, so I called them up and got my safety recruit a fifth star. Er? ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.