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For Top Recruits, Choosing to Go Out of State Can Incur the Wrath of Fans

So, I’m on Facebook last night and come across a comment made by top recruit Jeremy Cash in which he asked why everyone is so interested in his life.  Apparently and this is an assumption on my part,  Cash has been getting a little heat from University of Miami, Florida and possibly Florida St.  fans because a talented kid from the state has chosen to be a Buckeye.  This happens all too often.

After reading it,  I impart my wisdom to Cash and make the comment that he’d better get used to it and how I watched top Ohio recruit Latwan Anderson go through the same thing with Buckeye fans when he chose to go to Miami.   This happens for any coveted recruit that leaves the state to play football.  It’s the nature of college football and their fans FROM ALL TEAMS. Innocent enough,  I thought.  Boy was I mistaken.  Within 15 minutes,  there’s a comment to my comment from a gentleman named Cliff Smith who writes for a website I have too much respect for to mention in this light.

“Gridiron, you crack me up. Exactly what did Twan get hard from Buck fans? 90% of what I saw leading up to and after his commitment was about how he is a much better fit at UM and wishing him luck. I saw very little sour grapes (which you’ll have some of with every fanbase),”  he says.

So Mr. Smith wants us to believe that Ohio St. Buckeye fans,  who as he clearly shows are some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and opinionated in all of college football were O.K. with the top recruit in the state heading to The Miami Hurricanes?   What did he have in his brown paper bag last night?   Not only were a few Buckeye fans snippy on Anderson’s Facebook page but the message boards were particularly ugly.  Comments in Buckeye message boards about Anderson not having the grades so he couldn’t get into Ohio St. anway,  to he will be just fine at “Thug U”, to we didn’t need him anyway were commonplace but shhhhh  don’t tell Cliff Smith that.   Mr. Smith was too busy burying his head in the sand thinking that Buckeye fans are somehow going to be different than the fans for all of the other college football programs in the country.  Comically,  not too long after Mr. Smith replied to my comment,  a Buckeye fan also comments with this “Latwan Anderson did not have the grades to get into Ohio St.”  This guy just made my point for me.  It was stuff like this,  Anderson had to and to a certain degree still has to endure from some Ohio St. fans.

Another common occurrence on Facebook are fans having verbal jousts on a recruit’s page that can rage on for 100 comments.  In an effort to avoid this situation,  I replied back:

“Guys, this is Jeremy’s page. Sorry I mentioned Latwan Anderson. Didn’t know it would be a lightning rod. If anyone wants to discuss this, hit me up on my page. I can’t stand when fans and the like have debates on a recruit’s page. It’s juvenile”

This is me clearly trying to kick sand on a small fire and put it out.  I can keep my thoughts to myself and Mr. Smith can keep his opinions in tact so we can all move on but Noooooooo.   Mr. Smith’s reply:

“Agreed. Puzzled why he was brought up in the first place. Nice backpedal and projecting though. Congrats to Ocho!”

Was that necessary?  No.  I’m backpedaling? Was his first comment to me necessary? No.  So,  if you know me then you know that sarcasm is what I do.  I couldn’t help myself,

“Ok, Cliffy thanks. Go have another doughnut buddy!,”  I replied.

Was it unnecessary,  I guess you could say yes.  Was it juvenile,  probably.  Did Mr. Smith,  fan masquerading as a writer deserve it?  Oh hell yeah.

Of course,  his feelings were hurt and he replied stating how my reply was juvenile and that he really didn’t have anything else to say to me.  This is how I wanted it in the first place and it took me getting juvenile to accomplish that mission.   I let Mr. Smith have the last word on Jeremy’s page because it seems that was the only way it could be.  It’s over right?  Wrong.

I wake up this morning to another piece of communication from a “writer” from the same publication I don’t want to mention out of respect for the organization.   His was the most hilarious of all communications I have received in 2010.  The gentleman’s (term used loosely) name is Nick Leach and he said the following in an email to me:

Chad, I just wanted to say I was disappointed with the comments you made on Jeremy Cash’s page. I know you’re saddened he chose OSU over Miami (I’ll wait for you to say you don’t care), but such is life. To make up statements like the state of Ohio turned on Latwan is not only ludicrous but it gives a false impression to a recruit, which for someone that runs a website I find extremely distasteful and upsetting. You are entitled to your opinion, as is everyone, but to make those falsities on his public page was just a low that I did not expect from you.

Let’s break this down.  First of all,  I run a website that aids high school football players from all over the country get into colleges located all over the country.  To stake my emotional state on where a kid chooses to go to school would be ludicrous.  Yes,  I played at the University of Miami.  Yes,  I root for them on Saturdays but to think that I lose sleep over whether or not a talented recruit goes there or not shows how little brain power Mr. Leach is working with.  Gridironstuds.com was instrumental in launching Jeff Luc to superstar status last year.  Not only did I tell Miami about Luc when he first put his video on my site,  I told any and everyone across the country.  In the end,  Jeff went to Florida St. and I am elated for the kid.   I was not saddened, disgruntled or remorseful.  Luc will tell you that himself.  I was the first to congratulate him on that important milestone in his life.  That’s what I started this site for.

For Mr. Leach to be disappointed in me he would first have to care about me and that is clearly not so.  The guy does not know me from a hole in the wall.  Maybe he thinks I am one of these recruits he calls up and tries to pretend he’s buddies with.  He forgets that I had one other piece of communication with him and he came off like a pompous jerk then too.

He said my comments were extremely “distasteful” and “upsetting”.   My comments upset him extremely?  Whoa,  looks like somebody needs to get a life.  I am going to take up a donation to get Mr. Leach an X-Box or a subscription to “E-Harmony”.     He also described my comments as “falsities”.   Refer to my comments about Mr. Smith having his head in the sand.

Finally,  both Mr. Smith and Mr. Leach apparently,  know very little about Jeremy Cash.  I have spoken to Cash on a few occasions.  I have spoken with his step father as well and have been around Cash enough to see how he conducts himself.   I don’t know that I have seen a high school aged kid with his act more together academically, athletically, socially and spiritually as he.  Brett Goetz,  the founder of the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team speaks highly enough about Cash to make you think he would vote Cash president if he were on the ballot.   To suggest that my innocent comment,  intended to put Cash’s situation in perspective,  would lead to him changing his mind about Ohio St. is the only thing that is disappointing.   Jeremy Cash is too strong minded and intelligent to be swayed by the words of people outside of his circle.   That would include me,  Mr. Smith and Mr. Leach.   Shame on these two guys for giving that impression.

Would Cash have been a great pick up for the University of Miami?  He is a good pick up for any school that gets him.  He brings a lot to the table for a school and Cash will get a lot from The Ohio St. University,  one of the most prestigious colleges and football programs in the country.

Unfortunately,  Ohio St. Buckeye fans are like Republicans.  The overwhelming majority of their fans are cordial, polite and generally have good dispositions.  However,  the small percentage of them that choose to draw publicity, speak up and make themselves heard represent them in a poor way.  At least that has been my experience and that played itself out once again in this “incident.”

Latwan Anderson,  is also too head strong, too determined and too focused to be swayed by the comments made on his Facebook page, message boards or in his email inbox.   Those qualities are what have driven guys like Anderson and Cash to the top of their game.  Fans should not waste their time,  reputation and dignity trying to persuade them leading up to and after they have made their decision.

I went through the recruiting process,  twice!   For anyone to think that I would factor in the opinions of fans, reporters and others over that of my parents, relatives and coaches is profoundly stupid for lack of a better word.

Future recruits that are highly rated and choose to leave the state to play for a program that is a rival will also be the same way.  These young men have achieved their level of success by being more than athletically gifted,  they had to be mentally strong to get there too.  This is something that the Cliff Smiths and Nick Leachs of the World can’t understand.


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23 Comments

  1. Mychael Gee says:

    Very nice article..I actually seen the samething last night on Markeith Ambles page..He(Markeith Ambles)just simply had a stat on fb that let people know his twitter account info..And some Tennessee fan is on his stat talking about..how he belongs in LA..how he only cares about himself..and a couple more unpleasantries..At first I was upset and started to let the guy have it..but after I thought about it I started cracking up!..Why?..because these fans are so ignorant they dont even realize they hurt the particular school there a fan of by making these comments!..How u ask?..Simple..what the average fan has to realize is that the Football Fraternity is a tight circle..so with you bashing a KID..how do they figure that will help them with KIDS from that high school and/or region in the future? It doesnt HELP..so in reality them disgruntle fans are just making it harder for there head coach to go back in to a particular school and land a future recruit!..And GRID what is the saddest part is that it is always a 40 or 50 year old guy making the negative comments on KIDS stats..GROW UP and GET A LIFE!

  2. Chad Wilson says:

    Mychael;

    Can I get an amen from the congregation? Well said.

  3. Cliff says:

    Anyone who takes themselves as seriously as you obviously do, really needs to take a step back. You “aid high school football players from all over the country get into colleges located all over the country”? What part of that job description calls for degrading entire fan bases as well as people who just so happen to disagree with your opinion? The fact that you not only stooped to childish name calling is, as Nick said, distasteful. That you felt the need to broadcast even more insults to your readership, is truly troubling. Especially when put in the context of coming from someone who works with and guides young people.

    This is really a simple matter. You were accusing Ohio State fans of boorish behavior while exhibiting it yourself and you were called on it. As I said initially, there absolutely was some ‘sour grapes’ from a small faction of OSU fans over ‘Twans decision. It’s the same for every fan base that misses out on signing a homegrown blue chipper. To generalize ‘Buckeye fans’ as you did, was over the top at best and (in my opinion) out of line considering the context of Jeremy’s comment.

    But by all means, feel free to continue to copy/paste mine and Nicks comments while providing a soft sell revision of your own in the name of creating content. Which, I have to hand it to you on by the way. The fact that you were able to manufacture what I’m guessing is around 1500 words of content, based on a few lines from Facebook comments, is pretty impressive. If all of those words could have added up to something worthwhile it would have been downright amazing.

    As for the comment you sent me on Facebook alerting me of this piece, thanks ‘buddy’. I will have a happy Wednesday. I’m making a trip later to Dunkin’ for some more doughnuts to help me get over my ‘hurt feelings’. ;-)

    P.S. please don’t lump me in with anyone who assumes ‘Twan somehow has the grades for UM but couldn’t get into OSU. He simply never felt a strong connection with OSU & is a better fit at UM.

  4. Chad Wilson says:

    If anyone here can do one of or all of the following things, I will be grateful.

    1. Show me where I resorted to childish name calling towards Mr. Smith or Mr. Leach for that matter.

    2. Show me how I DID NOT copy and paste two of my three responses into this article while Mr. Smith says all I have offered are “loose sell revisions of my own” responses.

    3. Tell me how telling Jeremy Cash that he should get used to it meaning Miami fans will attack you like Ohio St. fans attacked Latwan Anderson is in any way making a generalization about Buckeye fans only.

    4. Tell me if continuing this with a guy that doesn’t know how to interpret what he reads and is obviously insecure is worth it.

    5. Tell me if they think Mr. Smith went with the glazed or jelly doughnuts last night when he went to Dunkin Doughnuts.

  5. Trevor says:

    You guys are posting and arguing over a kid’s Facebook page. Wow…

  6. Chad Wilson says:

    Well it’s not really over a kid’s facebook page (it just started there) but it’s stupid nonetheless. However, it makes for good entertainment and….. raise your hand if you have never been in an argument over something stupid.

  7. Zeke says:

    It seems to me that you are regretting some facebook comments you made, and the ones that followed and you are trying to save yourself with this little article for credibility for your website so you aren’t looked at like someone who gets in areguments on recruit’s facebooks like a highschool girl. That’s what I got out of this blog. And you cannot comapare Latwan’s recruiting process to Cash’s. Latwan thinks he is a god, and he played three or four schools at a time. Cash doesn’t say stuff like he is the best, he is world class, and that he is the greatest football player of all time like Latwan. But you Miami guys love all that shit talking, it’s apart of your “swagger” as you all say. That hasn’t been working out the last couple of years though. Tressel didn’t want Latwan throughout his whole recruiting process, and Latwan wanted an OSU offer. The only reason he got one is because of Ted Gin Sr. Cash was the guy he and the staff really really wanted, and they got him. Two completely different scenarios. Which is why Latwan is getting so much shit from multiple fan bases, but from the looks of it he enjoys that attention.

  8. Trevor says:

    Zeke…next time you should give us your biased opinion. You’re far too objective to be posting over here.

    Hopefully you picked up on the sarcasm.

  9. Chad Wilson says:

    Zeke:

    Clearly you are an Iowa fan and as such you are very impartial to these events involving a neutral school for you like Ohio St. who you don’t care anything about at all. LOL.

    Also, how long before you regret the comments you made on this blog that make you look like a juvenile little 14 year old high school freshman?

    I love it when the pot calls the kettle black. It’s awesome to watch it happen.

  10. Cliff says:

    Trevor,

    Agreed. It was a stupid comment that started the whole thing and it’s stupid to continue to discuss it. I had no intention of carrying it beyond a couple of facebook comments until a full blown article gets written, trying to associate me with what’s wrong with college football fans. I take offense to that especially when I’m the one saying that it’s usually a very small part of a fan base that gives the rest a bad name.

    Zeke,

    You are exhibit A of my argument. Even if everything you said in your post were true, which it’s not, what’s the point of posting it? I appreciate your support but please don’t try to help me. Thank you.

    Chad,

    Is ambushing people with an ‘article’ and making outlandish statements to get people to look at you supposed to show how ‘secure’ you are? If that’s what you want to be known for, more power to you. You’ve shown your stripes and I doubt they’re going to change so good luck with that.

  11. Zeke says:

    Wow LOL, I’m going to stick with the real recruiting websites.

  12. Zeke says:

    This will be my last post. Cliff I didn’t read your comments bud, so i wasn’t trying to “help” you out. So there is no need for you to mention my name.

  13. Chad Wilson says:

    Ambush! That’s exactly what I got last night. Never asked for your comment and wasn’t talking to you in the first place. You should have kept your mouth shut. When I tried to kick sand on it, you lit the fire back up with your “backpedaling” comment. It was fine so long as you had the last word but now you are on front street and you don’t like it. Don’t go crying now. Use this as a lesson. Think before you speak next time. My original comment was not intended in the way you portrayed it but you were too eager to play lawyer for Ohio St. football when it wasn’t even needed. I took a jab at Miami fans too but you skipped over that and focused on how Ohio St. looked.

    Next time, zip it.

  14. Chad Wilson says:

    Zeke:

    It seems as though Cliff misinterpreted your comments. It’s a common theme with him.

  15. Trevor says:

    Real ones?? LOL…if you’re getting your info from so-called “real” recruiting websites I’d hate to see the fake ones up there.

    You have been a blessing to this site thus far, and you’ve really added alot to the conversation. I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone when I say, please PLEASE don’t go.

  16. Chad Wilson says:

    Zeke:

    I would love to know who the “real” recruiting websites are. LOL. If you mean the one’s where no bickering exists then I will tell you that there are no real recruiting websites. Nice little backhanded shot at Gridironstuds.com though. Classy.

  17. Cliff says:

    Keep that line going Chad. Maybe someone will believe it since you only provided “2 of your 3 quotes”. I ambushed you by asking you to explain your comment? An ambush is an attack, not a request. You tried to kick sand on it? By calling me juvenile? By writing a big ole article trying to portray others as out of whack? Writing the article is out of whack. If you’re original comment came out in a way you did not intend, saying that would have kicked sand on it. I’m guessing that was never your goal though and many others felt the same way apparently. Your “look at me” theatrics and “i’m a victim” game is getting really old.

    Keep trying to convince yourself that you’re just a misunderstood peacemaker…

  18. Trevor says:

    Cliff,
    I’m a Canes fan…been one my whole life. I do all I can to stay unbiased, however difficult that may be at times…I’ve seen the Buckeyes pluck talented players out of our area a few times (i.e. Santonio Holmes, Sabino) for different reasons I won’t get into (no one really knows the true reasons apart from the players and their families). I’ve also seen the opposite occur.

    From what I’ve seen the hometeam’s fans usually become very protective of the players in their area and the outlandish ones usually react negatively towards those guys that leave the area. I have personally witnessed this happening to Latwan from a few Buckeye fans. On the flip side, Miami fans have been just as harsh towards those leaving south Florida.

    It happens everywhere. We all have our crazy fans that take it too far.

  19. Trevor says:

    That being said I haven’t read the replies on the kid’s Facebook page…nor will I.

  20. Cliff says:

    Trevor,

    From a “few” Buckeye fans. My sentiments to a T. What I’ve been saying since my first comment. As you said, the same can be said of every fan base.

    If Chad truly was misinterpreted then so be it. It’s a little late to play that card but ok. But the article was way over the line. It wasn’t a private conversation but it obviously had an intended audience. To take the parts you want to and paint the picture he’s trying to in that article is just shady. Backlash from fans over the school a kid picked is one of the ugliest parts of this whole thing. Anyone trying to imply otherwise is fooling themselves. I don’t appreciate being associated with any of that BS.

  21. chad wilson says:

    Oh i am sorry did i misquote you? Kind of hard to do on a copy and paste. What has happened here is that this article has forced you to look at how you conducted yourself and you are embarrassed. You are covering up your embarrassment by trying to defame my character with words like shady.

    It’s kind of like the person who wilds out on a tv talk show only to see the tape of the show later and regret your behavior. You thought you could try to cut me up on that facebook page, make yourself look witty at my expense and there would be no consequences. Wrong! I can match words and wit with anyone. I just didn’t want to continue to do it on Jeremy Cash’s page. That’s not fair to him.

    Nothing in my first response said all or a majority of buckeye fans were giving it to latwan anderson. You took my neutral words and turned into a negative and here we are. You can keep going and replying but the fact is you started this and your reputation is taking a hit.

    Keep talking though, I am enjoying this.

  22. Cliff says:

    You’re enjoying this? LOL. That says it all right there. It sounds like getting a few more clicks is more important to you than understanding something.

    I have no problem with how I conducted myself. If I did, maybe I would write an article with a few pieces of the truth with just enough spin and calling myself “innoncent” enough that hopefully people would believe me.

    I never said you misquoted me, just that you didn’t fully quote yourself. It’s easy to create alternate versions of what’s real when you don’t give all the facts. If you want to pick out my comments and exclude some of your own, I can’t change that. But why don’t you ask yourself why there were several others who took your comment the same way? What’s so hard about saying “I didn’t mean it that way, my bad.”? Why take a shot at anyone in the first place? You don’t have an “emotional stake”, right? You could’ve just said “Get used to it. That’s fans for you”.

    Your first comment was petty, your response to my question was petty and insulting, and your 3rd comment was just plain rude. Which you’re obviously proud of based on your comments. Follow that with an ‘article’ attacking my character and here we are.

    I’m not changing your mind and you’re not changing mine. Guess we both learned something about the other for future reference. Take the last word, call yourself the winner or the victim, whatever it takes to make yourself feel right. I’ve done all I can think of to come to an understanding with you. I’ll be good with me regardless. I truly hope you can say the same. Peace.

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