On Monday, I profiled the incredible performance put on at the Orlando Nike Camp by little known offensive line recruit Ira Denson of Madison County (Fla.) High School. In that piece, I predicted that interest in Denson was about to soar.
It didn't take long.
Florida State called Denson's coach, Mike Coe, before 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Other schools quickly followed:
Alabama has just entered the picture for Ira Denson— Coach Coe (@zacdawg54) April 25, 2012
USF, South Carolina, Louisville, UCF all called or came by to see Ira Denson or Sheddrick Williams today.— Coach Coe (@zacdawg54) April 25, 2012
Alabama is gonna offer Williams as well if he passes the "eye" test.— Coach Coe (@zacdawg54) April 25, 2012
The opportunity for other prospects to be recruited when a school stops by to see a star recruit is an underrated aspect of recruiting.
So how did every school but Western Kentucky and Florida International miss Denson? I've spoken with multiple people who saw Madison County play last season. The Cowboys were a good team and made a deep playoff run. Although coach Coe says Denson played well last season, those I've spoken with say that he did not stand out as a high-level BCS kid.
The difference has been Denson's excellent off-season. Coach Coe indicated that Denson has worked very hard to reshape his body and is now seeing the results.
Denson is another reminder of how early April really is in the recruiting process, and how recruiting rankings in April shouldn't be taken all that seriously.