Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Signing Day Event Report

So, the whole thing is in the books now.  The first signing day for Coach Babers...which consisted of mostly players who were retained from the previous staff.  Anyway, here are the appropriate links:

First, you can watch the video of the presser.

Second, you can read about our players.

And third, you can watch the highlight video.

I watched the whole thing online.  The format was that they played the video and then Coach talked, so we didn't get a player by player commentary on the recruits.  Nonetheless, Coach Babers had some very interesting things to say.

Let me say this on a big picture level.  I don't know Coach Babers and have never met him, so I don't know what kind of person he really is.  However, he seems to be somebody we can really get behind.  He has an electric personality.  Definitely seems like someone people would want to follow.  I was very impressed with him at the opening and then again today.  I recommend watching the video so you can judge for yourself.

He said some interesting things.

First, he had the class to compliment Coach Clawson and the previous staff, since they recruited most of the players we signed.

Second, he said that when Kingston interviewed Babers, he asked Babers if he would be willing to honor the commitments made by the previous coach.  Babers said he would and he says he did, 100%.

Two things.  First, based on what I have seen, Chris Kingston is the right guy for us.  He is just starting, but this is not the first time I have seen something like this which suggests he gets the culture of what we want to stand for.  Those young men made a commitment to BGSU--not Coach Clawson--and the University should honor its word.

Second, you may have heard one player and his coach complaining about his treatment at the hands of BGSU.  Just a reminder that when those charges were levied, BGSU was not able to comment, based on NCAA rules.  So, an accusation that can't be answered should be taken with a grain of salt.  Which is why you didn't see it here.

We had a couple guys de-commit for their own reasons, but Coach says he honored all of our commitments.

Babers gave much of the credit for keeping the recruiting class together to Kingston.  As expected, "latecomers...were trying to disrupt the class."  Kingston got the players together during the interregnum, and created camaraderie among them as a group, using social media.  Babers said that when he arrived, the recruits were telling him about BG.  They included him in their fold, and not the other way around.  They were committed to BGSU and stay committed to the University.

So more points for Kingston.

Moving along, four of the new players are in school now.  They are:  Roger Lewis, Marcus Milton (both prep players), Nick Johnson (HS) and Clayton Nichols (Texas Tech transfer).  Especially for Johnson, this is a huge advantage.

Coach talked a lot about recruiting Ohio.  Coach Clawson did too, so we will see how far this actually goes.  89% of the players in this class are within 3 hours of BG.  Coach Babers said that we want to "live off Ohio," and that our recruiting patterns will be like a spirograph, which is something us older guys did for fun before there were video games.  That means that your start your efforts near home and go out from there, but that the most effort will be near home.

Finally, he had very interesting things to say about how young players will interact with the system.  He said that his system is "simplistic."  Which means that it doesn't take players a long time to learn it.  So, they will start camp off with the players in the depth chart as expected, and then they will stop and force the younger players onto the first strings to see how they do.  If they can play, he doesn't want them to languish on the depth chart coasting toward a predetermined redshirt.

Worked correctly, this makes everyone better, including the incumbent players.

Finally, he said that he looks for three things in players.

First, players who are leaders and (usually) Captains.  "Most people are followers," he said.
Second, players from winning programs.
Third, players who are capable.  And that requires good evaluation.

Anyway, really good stuff, I thought.  Check it out for yourself.  Whether Coach Babers wins or not is still to be decided, but I don't get the sense it is going to be boring.

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