You'd be hard-pressed to find an on-the-record quote from a coach saying he loves the current state of recruiting. "Offering 15-year-olds, non-stop Twitter direct messaging, I love it all. Don't change a thing," said no one, literally, ever.
There are, however, scores of quotes from coaches criticizing the culture and calendar around recruiting. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer joined the fray on Monday.
"People offer scholarships now like Pop Tarts. It's unbelievable," Meyer told Eleven Warriors. "This kid's like ‘this school's offered me, and this school. This school’s offered like 40 kids in the state of Ohio,' and I’m like (jumps back a bit). I don't know where you get 40 times whatever and have 120 scholarships to give out."
(As an aside, I'd like to go to this mythical place where Pop Tarts are passed out freely. I'll take one cinnamon and one s'mores, please.)
So how would Urban change the current landscape?
"I’d like to slow down, the recruiting process," he said. "I want to watch them go to camp. In a perfect world you watch them go to camp and see them play three or four games their senior year and say 'we'll take you. He's a perfect fit,'" Meyer said. "It's just, the calendar's been pushed up so far."
Though he didn't say so himself, Meyer sounds like a proponent of Bo Pelini's idea to eradicate National Signing Day by making every offer be accompanied by a National Letter of Intent. “Make [the offer] mean something,” Pelini said last June. “People will be like, ‘Whoa, I’ve got to take this kid now.’ It will slow things down for the kids, for the institutions. There will be less mistakes... “Things would slow down dramatically. Some of these kids get 60 offers. Some of these people don’t even know who a kid is. The whole thing gets watered down. There’s no way some [team] can take that many guys.”
Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson came out in support of the Pelini Plan in February.
“It would cut all the (crap) out of it. All those people who think they have offers would find out that they really don’t have offers," Johnson said. You know, if somebody walked in your school and said ‘You have an offer,’ the kid could say ‘OK, where is it? I’m ready to sign it.’ This would stop all this foolishness."
So has Arizona's Rich Rodriguez. “I’ve been thinking about that ever since I read Bo’s comments,” he said shortly after Pelini announced his plan. “I’m thinking, boy, that’s really way out there, and then after I started thinking about it, I thought, you know what? That makes a whole lot more sense than anything I’ve heard of. You say, ‘What happens if you offer freshmen or sophomores?’ That’s on both sides, whether it’s the school offering or the kid and his family deciding to take it."
Meyer didn't specifically state he's in favor of Pelini's idea, and he's certainly not leading the charge. But he did sound like a guy willing to sign a hypothetical petition if someone were to be put in front of him. Especially if they threw a free Pop Tart in as well.