Georgia Tech has lost its fifth committed recruit in two weeks.
Southwest Guilford(NC) QB Airyn Willis confirmed to the AJC late Tuesday that he will be signing a National Letter of Intent Wednesday with (friggin') Wake Forest. Willis had been committed to Tech since April and had shown no public indication before Tuesday of having contemplated the switch.
From the AJC story:
“We [had] a really close relationship with Coach [Andy] McCollum and we hated to disappoint him,” Willis said. “But like my Dad told him, people have to understand we have to do what’s in my best interest. Somebody has to be disappointed and unfortunately it’s Georgia Tech.”
Indeed Coach McCollum was responsible for Willis's recruitment and dropped the ball once again, just as he did with Stephon Tuitt two weeks prior. Rivals also reports that McCollum was assigned, along with A-backs coach Lamar Owens, to the ill-fated recruitment of Tre Jackson. In fact does the above quotation not look all too familiar?
... somebody’s going to have to be disappointed and today it’s Georgia Tech. Tomorrow it’s going to be Georgia Tech and the next day it’s going to Georgia Tech because recruiting stops now.
Is Coach McCollum a crack recruiting coordinator or is he the proverbial "nice guy" who's "going to have to be disappointed" as the girl he loves chooses another man while he watches broken-heartedly from the "friend zone"? Poor schlub.
News of Willis's decision was first broken earlier in the day by the Greensboro News & Record, which cited "multiple sources" headlined by this damning quote from his high school coach:
"He was told in the spring (by the Georgia Tech staff) that he was going to play quarterback," Southwest coach Scott Schwarzer said Tuesday. "When he visited a few weeks ago they told him he was playing receiver."
If this is true, it wouldn't be the first time Johnson and company have lied to a recruit. A month ago, we highlighted a Colorado Springs Gazette piece which documented the negative recruiting and lies sold to recruits by the Navy coaching staff in Paul Johnson's final season at the Academy. This also makes you wonder, for instance, what kind of bunk Johnson has been filling in the head of a young man like Vad Lee, who has openly tweeted his intentions of being the first ever triple-option QB to be drafted in the first round(of the NFL draft, not the CFL, presumably).
Upon being awakened to the truth, Willis was surely met face-to-face with the prospect of being a "2nd receiver," if he was lucky, sentenced to a career of cut-blocking and catching 5 passes a year in the Cheese Ball Offense. He thus chose instead to try his hand at slot receiver in a more balanced attack at lowly Wake Forest. This illustrates yet another profound difficulty in recruiting for Johnson's offense-- while he may be able to advertise the successes of a supremely-gifted #1 receiver like Demaryius Thomas, it will be prohibitively difficult for him to obtain more than one halfway-decent receiving prospect at a time. This means Tech must generally place all its eggs in a single basket at the position, and if that one player turns out to be a dud(a la Stephen Hill), then there is no one else available who is talented enough to develop into a legitimate major league receiving threat.
But has the story been written or will there be further "surprises" as we approach recruiting's biggest day? As Stinktalk poster gtzulu asked, will "NSD" stand for "Now they Stop Decommitting"? Certainly Coach Johnson's bungling must have even the most die-hard of flunkies questioning all they thought they knew about the mechanics of college football recruiting.