I don't do much in the way of recruiting stuff here and mostly leave that up to Jim. And, for those of you that have been reading this blog since the beginning more than five years ago, you know that recruiting isn't really my thing. I enjoy keeping up with commits, decommits, and signing day, but outside of that, there are way too many ups and downs to keep that strong tabs on it.
All of that said, cornerback Lamont Wade, one of the Panthers' biggest targets out there, had some interesting comments regarding Michigan. But I have to say that some recent comments from Pitt target Lamont Wade were ... interesting.
College Spun has it written up already and essentially, Wade talks about what he feels was a level of disrespect shown by Michigan - in his words, his dream school. In case you didn't see what started this all, well, here you go, courtesy of his Twitter feed:
Michigan was my dreammmmm school until they told me I was a second level player n needed to come to camp to get an offer— 38Savage® (@Goony_38) August 3, 2016
He went on to talk about how their tune changed when his stock rose:
Thing is, this was before I was a 5 and I didn't go to camp, then after I blew up a bit they offered and tried to act like that wasn't said— 38Savage® (@Goony_38) August 3, 2016
There's a number of ways you can take this. Some will look at it and say he needs to work for his spot, regardless of whether he's a top talent (which he is) or not. Others will question that method with what you perceive as a star player.
Here's the thing - all players eventually have to earn their spot. Even if a coach gives a kid a starting job immediately just because he's a highly-touted player, eventually that player has to sink or swim. The whole 'You've gotta earn it' deal is sort of a moot point just because that's understood. Look at the litany of top NFL Draft picks that have been given starting jobs right away. If they can't play, eventually, they're gone.
The second tweet also speaks to the need to make early offers and establish relationships with players before others do. It can often make the difference in the end when a player is torn between a handful of choices.
I can't speak for Wade but it sounds like being called a second-level player and the insistence that he come to a camp was what bothered him. It also sounds as if it's more in the way they treated him. Fans don't like that coaches throw themselves at the mercy of recruits and I'd probably say I'm in that group. It's a reason many pro coaches have used when discussing not wanting to go to coach at that level. But Wade's tweet is also a reminder of why coaches go to the lengths they do. Their jobs depend on winning and you generally can't do that without great talent.