Following Jim Mora’s tough-love outburst at freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, those not in the know have become acquainted with a new term in the past week: derecruiting. It’s the process of forcibly yanking freshmen out of the you’re-the-man clouds of the recruiting process and into the realties of college football.
ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren gathered a few anonymous quotes from FBS assistants for a piece on derecruiting:
“With all the attention kids get, sometimes it’s hard for them to accept not being the man when they hit campus,” said one coach. “Some guys understand it and adjust accordingly, some do not, unfortunately, and that is where you see problems.”
Said another: “It’s 100 percent more apparent now than ever before. Kids expect spots to be given to them rather than earning them. Our society now makes it too easy for them to just transfer.”
Added a third: “At some point they will get yelled at during practice for the first time, and some will think they don’t need coaching. Normally the strength coach cleans that up before camp. Best part of it all is the strength coach normally is not recruiting the guy … they never were loving him up to begin with.”
While the process of derecruiting is understandable – the more highly-touted a recruit, the more unrealistic picture of real life in college football he may have – reading VanHaaren’s piece reminded me of hearing David Shaw speak on recruiting at the 2013 AFCA Convention. According to Shaw, there is no derecruiting season at Stanford because Stanford recruits have a realistic picture of expectations from day one.
Here are Shaw’s quotes from that January day two years ago:
A good reminder that bad habits can calcify before a player even steps on campus.