Friday, September 21, 2007

Ole Miss Coach Orgeron=Machiavelli

There is a great book out I want to read called Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting," . Basically this writer got free access to the recruiting process that has now for all purposes added 3 more months of excitement to the footabll season in the fans mind. The recruitment of Joe Mcnight of Louisiana was quite the spectacle. When he chose USC over LSU it casued some heartburn in Louisiana. HE would have been the icing on the cake for a stellar recruiting season. An interesting excerpt from the book is in this article 'If he comes to Oxford, we'll change the bricks on Manning Way'. It says in part:

McKnight was the first recruit Wilson offered a scholarship to after he joined Orgeron's staff in 2005. McKnight was a sophomore back then. At the time, McKnight's coach, J.T. Curtis, a Louisiana high school legend, kept trying to sell Wilson on his seniors.
"Yeah, all right, J.T., but how can I get Joe?" Wilson persisted. "I wanna start recruiting Joe."
Wilson realized then and there that if the Rebels had any shot at landing McKnight, they had no time to spare. Orgeron, too, had brainstormed about a plan to get McKnight to Oxford. Going head-to-head with LSU for a player whom the Rebels staff believed to be the best back from New Orleans since Marshall Faulk certainly sounded like a long shot, but Orgeron suspected adding another heavy hitter into the chase could change that.
USC, which had already gotten commitments from blue-chip tailbacks Marc Tyler and Broderick Green, knew about McKnight, but the Trojans were recruiting him as a cornerback. USC linebackers coach Ken Norton had even told one of Curtis High's assistants that he thought if McKnight went to USC, he'd start three years at cornerback and go right to the NFL as a first-rounder.
Before USC coaches went out on the road for their spring evaluations last May, Orgeron dialed up old pal Pete Carroll and told him Joe McKnight would be their next Reggie Bush and was better than any back in the country. "I wanna help Pete," Orgeron later said, "but it doesn't hurt to get Joe away from LSU."
To Orgeron, USC was the perfect diversion. Sure, USC could open the kid's eyes to things far beyond Tiger country. But USC was also a four-hour plane ride away. Orgeron figured if there were some confusion in McKnight's mind, it might give Ole Miss a chance. Ole Miss might become a viable alternative for a kid who was conflicted, especially since Orgeron felt that if anyone could win McKnight's trust, it was Frank Wilson.
"If he goes to USC, he's gonna win the Heisman," Orgeron said. "His tape is better than Reggie's high school tape. If he comes to Oxford, we'll change the bricks on Manning Way to McKnight Way."

Well that didn't work out :). However much to Orgeron's relief and I suppose the rest of the Coaches in the SEC he was no longer a threat at LSU.

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