Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Daily Discussion: Daje Johnson

I didn't think there would ever be a recruit that would stir up casual fans quite like Johnathan Gray. When the record-setting tailback from Aledo put the Frogs in his top three before publicly choosing Texas, he became the center of attention to the extent that girls were talking about recruiting. GIRLS!

But over the past week, I've been getting countless texts and emails from folks that I never really knew had a vested interest in this area of the college football world. The topic: Daje Johnson. While he doesn't quite have the numbers or the Dave Campbell's Texas Football cover story like Gray, he does have the explosive athleticism and similar sky-high upside that have caused an increasingly-public tug of war between fans and coaching staffs in Fort Worth and Austin.

After committing to TCU last March, Daje has been the subject of rumors that he'd switch his commitment to a number of different schools. To his credit, he's squashed most of those rumors. The one that has stuck around, though, has been the burnt-orange team in his backyard....Texas. There were a lot of whispers of him switching his commitment on a scheduled visit to the Austin campus this weekend, but a tweet from the Pflugerville Hendrickson star last night seemed to negate that with a simple & direct "STAYING WITH TCU".

Obviously, that rubbed UT the wrong way. And why wouldn't it? When you're used to getting everything you want, you're going to act a little petulant when the little bitty school up the way in Fort Worth gets something you covet. Longhorn offensive coaches Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite have apparently told Daje that he'd be making a big mistake to go to TCU, and the new rumor out this morning is that he's been persuaded to still make his official visit to UT this weekend after all.

Clearly, no one is going to know where Daje is going for sure until his signature is on a national letter of intent on Signing Day. That's just the nature of how college football recruiting goes sometimes, but it also sets up today's daily discussion...

If he ends up succumbing to the last-minute effort by Texas to get him to switch, how bitter would you be? And how much of that negativity would be directed toward him specifically, as opposed to just being pissed that your UT friends would once again have a bit of recruiting scoreboard on you? While it's certainly frustrating for us as fans to be uncertain of a future watching and cheering for an athlete as dynamic as Daje, how much can you really blame an 18 year-old kid for having a tough time making such an important decision?

20 comments:

shortnkerley's said...

If he chooses to go to UT, so be it. Clearly that's what he's wanted all along, but he still has no offer as of now. If we keep him it would be a great recruiting victory (one that UT will never acknowledge, because they won't offer if he won't say yes). I'd obviously love to have him, and I don't really fault him for treating recruitment like, you know, recruitment.

Slay Purple said...

I would rather have a recruit that came to TCU because he wanted to play for TCU. I would definitely like to see him as a 4-year starter at CB. Can't fault the kid if he ends up going to Texas. Regardless, I love that he openly called out UT for "shitty recruiting" (my words, not his)

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

He's an 18 year-old kid. It's a tough decision to make, especially when the school you really want to play for might offer you a scholarship. Recruits use other schools to leverage their way into the schools they really want all the time. We just have to face the reality that this will happen with UT and OU a lot now that we're in the Big 12. That being said, I will be pretty disappointed to miss out on such an elite athlete. CGP could turn this kid into an All-American CB, and he would be an electrifying kick returner.

The bright spot in this situation is TCU has all the leverage because UT still hasn't offered. CGP knows far more than I ever could about recruiting, but if I were in his shoes I'd take a hard line with this kid during the in-home visit on Thursday. Tell him we only have 3 or 4 open spots left and there are other guys who want his TCU scholarship. Either commit 100% to TCU and cancel your visit to UT, or we're pulling your scholarship offer. If we pulled our offer there's a very real chance UT will never give him one, leaving Daje to pick between Baylor or Cal. If he says he's still visiting UT then we were gonna lose him either way. There's my two cents.

Slay Purple said...

I can't see GMFP threatening to pull a scholarship if he goes to visit, for the sole reason that, that sounds like something UT would do. Sounds like Trey Haverty has done a great job recruiting him, so hopefully he is reminded of that Thursday.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

I can't see him doing it either, but sometimes you have to do things you might not be completely comfortable with. If we're gonna compete in the Big 12 we might need to be a bit more cutthroat than we used to be. Don't wanna be as douchey as UT, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. I don't see the problem in pulling an offer from a kid who'd be gone if it means saving a spot for a kid who wants to be a Frog right now.

shortnkerley's said...

Threatening to pull his scholarship is the dumbest, pettiest idea I've ever heard. Can we never mention that again please? Good Lord.

FrogHorn07 said...

When I was choosing schools I took all my trips and weighed all my options, even though I knew I wanted TCU if I got a scholarship. I enjoyed being shown around campus, and getting the 4-1-1 on why each school is best.

At the end of the day when I got the phone call saying I had a scholarship to TCU I took it without hesitation. But that did not mean I did not go to SMU, Baylor and A&M to look around and act interested. When you are 18 it is fun to be recruited.

shortnkerley's said...

It's not cutthroat to pull an offer from one of your best recruits bc he's shopping around. It's fucking retarded.

FrogHorn07 said...

snk is right, don't pull an offer to a great player. Guys are going to shop. You would not tell an NFL free agent that if he talked to another team that you would not offer a contract.

zmeyer said...

It's incredibly annoying to have this kid yoyo back and forth but I can't blame him. He's 18 years old and is making a huge decision. I hope he sticks with the Frogs but if not, I'll just root extra hard against him and the Horns. Btw, I love Zach Jackson's highlights. He seems really fast and blows people up.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

He's beyond "just shopping around." Still, I see the stupidity of my idea. Keeping his offer open doesn't prevent us from offering other players. I was speaking more out of frustration than common sense. Thanks SNK for knocking some sense into me.

Curt McDurt said...

You also don't pull his offer for another reason...if TX doesn't give him an offer and we have already pulled ours, then you are sending him to Baylor and just keeping that program alive. Wouldn't make sense to miss out on this kid because you are trying to play "hard ball" with him, you are going to end up shooting yourself in the foot...

shortnkerley's said...

I'm changing my handle to SKN- for "Sense KNocker".

Sir Wesley Willis said...

I agree that pulling his offer is gloriously, gloriously stupid, but the bottom line is public verbal commitments are the dumbest thing of all. There's really no reason for them other than to keep Rivals and Scout in business.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

Basically, you should be able to give a firm, signed commitment before signing day or nothing at all. I realize the caveats there, but I think it would make these kids really weigh the pros and cons in a timely manner instead of turning recruiting into all the "OOOOH LOOK AT MY HAT!!! LOOK AT MY PUPPY CAUSE THE GEORGIA BULLDOGSZOMGG" bullshit is has become.

VikingFrog said...

@Cowtown Food Junkie

Please never tell ShortNKerley's he is right ever again.

My gut says he stays.

cmlakey said...

If he ends up at Texas, I'm not going to fault him for that. It's his choice and he should be able to do what he wants; if he wants to be here, great, if not, best of luck to him. That said, I really hope he decides to stay, not just because he's a good player but because it's a victory, however small, in our first real head-to-head recruiting battle with Austin. Of course, if he does choose us over Texas, and we continue to take recruits they want, don't be surprised when they give the NCAA a call to come snoop around Ft. Worth in the future. Not that I think we do any kind of illegal recruiting, but that won't stop them from trying to pin something on us.

J. Thaddeus Toad said...

weird. this is almost identical to my college recruitment process. albeit, no twitter and UT didn't give a shit that I didn't go there.

if the college football recruiting process is anything like 'he got game' or 'the program' i'd question any kid that didn't take as many visits as possible.

Travis said...

Apparently we are all living blessed lives because this kid's choice seems to be our greatest worry right now? To paraphrase John Stossel, Give me a "MF-ing" break! A few of us need to step back from the ledge, and not get too caught up in one freakin 17 or 18 year old's decision. Remember, a year from now one of these recruits may wind up kicking in an apartment door to retrieve a cell phone a few days before the biggest game of the season. So, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale...

Cro-magnon Frog said...

threatening to pull his scholaship is about the dumbest thing anyone could do. And there are reasons why people like CFJ aren't running college football teams.

Daje has been pretty straight forward about his feelings toward UT and TCU. Texas has handled this like a business. They go after bigger fish, but keep Daje alive in a cooler incase they don't catch anything bigger. I can't honestly say I blame Any of the 3 parties for behaving the way they have.

That said. I hope he comes to TCU. He has a better chance of making an impact.

If he goes to texas, he will be another faceless player I hate, not because he chose them over us, but only because he wears burnt orange. I would not wish more poorly upon him because he consdered TCU but chose somewhere else.