Darrell Scott was the biggest recruiting story Texas fans followed for many, many years. It came down to the last week of the recruiting season which is, by far, the exception and not the rule for past 10 years.
Scott was not just a 5-star recruit, but a top 5 national recruit. And he was from California, which makes him different to recruiting junkies. I am guilty as charged. Five stars prospects from Alief just don’t have as much cache to recruitniks as kids from far off lands. Inherently, they are viewed as better potential prospects. It was bigger than Ryan Perrilloux.
To make matters worse, when Jamaal Charles announced he was headed to the NFL just after the Holiday Bowl, Texas now had an immediate need at his position. And Darrell Scott then headed to US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, where he was bombarded by Texas commitments and Texas fans alike.
During that week in San Antonio, he finally opened up about some of his thoughts on the recruiting process. Prior to that, Scott had been notoriously tight lipped about his thoughts on his college prospects – so much so that Roger Sonsini, the recruiting coordinator for St. Bonaventure High School, is the only person who every really talked to reporters of about Scott’s recruitment. "That changes everything," talking about Charles’ decision to head to the NFL. "I love everything about Texas. They don't even have a con on my list. They're perfect on my list right now."
In the middle of all of this action, Texas Running Backs coach Ken Rucker took the player development role inside the athletic department and was replaced by Major Applewhite. That never seemed to be an issue until the last few hours of Scott’s commitment.
A few weeks later, Scott took an in-home visit from Mack Brown, Bobby Kennedy, and Major Applewhite. These guys just don't lose in the living room. And reports surfaced that Texas took the lead in the dual with Colorado.
But finally, on National Signing Day, in an ESPN Zone, he announced officially that he was going to be a Colorado Buffalo. That news had already leaked out about 24 hours in advance, but everyone still held out hope.
Feelings were hurt. Egos were bruised. And no one likes to admit defeat.
And then the New York Times ran an article where Scott gave the paper an unprecedented inside look at his thought process and his final private talks with his mom about the schools courting him.
Back then, the reporter noted that Scott "had privately committed to the Longhorns two weeks ago."
Now? Well, here is the quote from Kirk Bohls article: "I was close to going to Texas, but I never told them I was going there," he said. "There were times when they were on the top of my list, but I never committed."
And then the Dallas Morning News ran an article with Sonsini in which he is quoted a saying, "Colorado came in on Friday and said and did something and offered something that Darrell and his mom couldn't pass up."
Sonsini was fired by Saint Bonaventure ten days later as a result of the comments.
Alan Trubow’s article on Scott has the following comments:
"I came really close to going there," he said. "But then they changed running backs coaches. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it was to me. I was a coaching change away from going to Texas."
The Longhorns changed former running backs coach Ken Rucker's position in the offseason and brought in Major Applewhite to replace him.
Was there a problem with Applewhite?
"No, not at all. He's a nice guy and we got along well," Scott said. "I just got along with the Colorado coaches. I felt at home, and there was an opportunity for me to play right away."
Those are the types of things that make for great recruiting stories, although the stories are better when you end up on the side that lands the recruit.
Little did we know that we should have been after the diminutive Rodney Stewart. Of course, no one else in the Big 10 or Big 12 offered the Columbus, Ohio native who is currently outshining Scott in the Colorado backfield. Stewart is averaging 5.6 yards per carry while Scott is only averaging 3.7. Stewart is going to be the guy to give our defense its first test against the run -- not Scott.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, Hawkins wants everyone to be patient with Scott.
"Sometimes, that happens, sometimes, it doesn't. . . . I'm concerned with all the other intangible things because I know (Scott) is going to be a great player." "He's still going to be fine… Again, he's a freshman. He's a great guy to have on the team. He obviously wants the ball more and to play more - just like everybody else."
Are you trying to convince me or yourself, Coach Hawk?