Recruiting Updates 12-27-13
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In one day Wyoming doubled the amount of players they and NDSU have mutual offers out to. Before Bohl took the job, the Cowboys had offers out to Romel Hill, Tacari Carpenter and John Jackson. Yesterday Bohl took time to call 3 current high school athletes who currently have a NDSU offer and offered them full rides to Wyoming. I have had many people ask me how this is possible if it is in Bohl’s contract not to recruit NDSU recruits. Well here is the exact wording in his contract
“Coach shall not for a period of one year after such termination by Coach contact or otherwise seek to recruit any high school athlete previously contacted or recruited by NDSU, unless such athlete had been recruited or contacted by the Coach’s new employing institution prior to the notice of termination by Coach to NDSU or such recruit initiates the request to be recruited by Coach at Coach’s new employing institution.”
So under that wording Bohl is not breaking any rules as he is still employed by NDSU and his contract has not been terminated. So in theory Bohl could contact any player recruited by NDSU whether they have verballed to the Bison or not and he is not in breach of his contract. But even if he was released after the Wyoming presser, he could have his assistants call the players and start the recruiting process.
The 3 players that were offered were David Reese, Sidney Malauulu and Ryon’e Winters. This was the first FBS offer for all three of these athletes. Reese and Malauulu actually visited NDSU during the Furman game (the same weekend the Wyoming job was announced) It makes you wonder how much of their trip they were recruited by NDSU or whether the coaches spent NDSU money to recruit them to Wyoming. Reese verballed to Montana long before NDSU and Brent Vigen came into his recruiting picture. After Bohl decided to take the Wyoming job the possibility of him choosing NDSU were slim. Malauulu only had a NDSU offer, but with Bohl and AJ Cooper (Arizona recruiter) leaving for Wyoming the chances of him coming to Fargo to play in 2014 drop dramatically. The one that stings is the Ryon’e Winters offer. Winters is from Missouri and that is the area Klieman was the primary recruiter. Winters is a top target for Klieman and the offer by Bohl has to make things uncomfortable between him and Klieman. Winters also tells me he had not heard from Wyoming’s previous staff. The first he heard from Wyoming was after Bohl was hired. Most people expected Bohl to go after NDSU recruits but to do it now raises some serious questions. Did Bohl stick around to help NDSU win its third title or did he stick around to help himself and his new school get more exposure? How focused can he be for Frisco if he is spending time at NDSU recruiting against NDSU? Why in the world cant he wait one week to offer Winters, is there some other underlying drama between the 2 head coaches on NDSU’s staff? Winters offer feels like a slap in the face to the coaches who are dedicated to NDSU’s future.
If you want an example of a coach moving on from NDSU and showing some class by focusing on any of the other recruits across the nation, look no further than NIU. Tim Polasek is a recruiting guru and when he left from NDSU to coach at NIU, there was not even a mention of NIU coming after NDSU recruits. Polasek took his skills and went after athletes who weren’t recruited by NDSU. It was a classy move by him and I wish some of that could have rubbed off on the new Wyoming staff.
I am a big supporter of Coach Bohl but I was also a big proponent of cutting him loose when the Wyoming news came out. I was excited at the possibility of this team and this senior class getting out from under his shadow and winning one for themselves. After watching the last 3 playoff games where they have won each one with ease, I stand by my statement that this team could win with a skeleton coaching staff.
None of this should worry Bison fans and the hope for the 3Peat. They will beat Towson no matter what drama is surrounding them. The concern is how quickly can Klieman regroup and fill this class out with top notch FCS recruits to compliment the current 14 verbals.
The recruiting game is dirty and geared towards benefiting the schools and coaches and little protection for the athletes. Many hoped he wouldn’t but expected he would target NDSU athletes. No one predicted he would do that now and not have the patience to wait until after Frisco.
Napoleon Maxwell has also picked up a Wyoming offer. Maxwell is from Florida and at one point had a NDSU visit set up. He is a high target running back who at one point had a verbal offer from Virginia.
In other news, the 3 current coaches who have not been reported going to Wyoming (Klieman, Riley and Goeser) have had their hands full keeping the current verbals intact and keeping the Bison program on the right path going forward, have not had much time to recruit. They did offer a very big and very mobile defensive tackle in Blake Williams who is the first reported offer in Michigan. But the news on the Florida kids is not positive at this point. So if you were hoping NDSU could land some speedsters from the sunshine state, you might want to shift your focus. Only time will tell if Klieman and his new staff regroup and reconnect with some of these athletes. I did speak with Malik Johns who had a visit planned for the Coastal Carolina game, only to have that canceled after the Wyoming news. He told me the last time he heard from NDSU was when they canceled his trip. Instead he took a visit to Samford and gave them a verbal shortly afterwards. In some positive news (even though it might not matter) I spoke with a close source in CJ Jennings camp who reports he did not verbal to Illinois State. He really liked the visit he took to Normal, IL but is keeping his options open.