Early Offer: Lots of negative recruiting


The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Numerous coaches at the American Football Coaches Association convention agree negative recruiting happens more than most people think and some of the stories are too good to be true; NC State has a top-40 class, but Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren is working to ensure they finish strong; and Larry Johnson recruiting for Ohio State could only mean big things for the Buckeyes.

Negative recruiting at its finest

There are numerous tales about negative recruiting tactics on the recruiting trail. So while at the AFCA convention, I asked coaches how much really does happen. The answer: a lot. A Utah assistant coach said rival Pac-12 schools do all they can to convince prospects Salt Lake City is a desolate place and try to confuse the Utes in-state rival BYU. “We get recruits that ask all the time about the Honor Code,” the coach said. “We have to constantly tell them ‘That’s BYU. That’s not our school.’ We also have had some kids tell us other schools said we don’t even have TVs in Utah.” Yes, it does get that bad when trying to sell a prospect during the final few weeks of recruiting.

Doeren not done yet

NC State coach Dave Doeren said Tuesday he’s pleased with the class he’s assembled so far, but he isn’t satisfied yet. The Wolfpack have the No. 40 recruiting class in the nation and it features in-state defensive end Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose), the No. 7 player at his position. But Doeren said he plans on “burning the candle at both ends” to ensure the Pack finishes with a flurry instead of limping home to signing day.

Johnson big for Buckeyes

The biggest buzz Tuesday was about Urban Meyer’s move to hire longtime Penn State assistant Larry Johnson as the Buckeyes’ defensive line coach. Johnson is widely respected as one of the best recruiters in the nation, and his hire would only solidify an already impressive recruiting staff. Three Big Ten coaches all agreed it would be a recruiting boon for the Buckeyes. “The rich are getting richer,” one coach said. Another coach said Johnson would likely bring No. 3 defensive tackle Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) with him to Columbus. Holley is one of Penn State’s biggest recruits, and Ohio State was hot and cold with its interest in him during the process, but adding Johnson to the mix could change things. "It’ll be a lock," the coach said. "Count on it."