Aaron Franklin is a Linebacker prospect out of East Texas. If you don't know this and you follow Texas football, you are probably dumber than Vasherized and MinnesotaHorn combined, which takes lobotomies, sloth, and the genetics of a HenryJames/Jackie Shipp lovechild.
Franklin committed to OU today in a Texas/OU battle. This one hurts, and the reasons why are myriad, and sadly, simple.
For starters, OU was on this guy during his sophomore year. Texas didn't know who he was.
Second, Franklin loved Texas as a kid and followed the program growing up. He did not grow up in the suburbs of Houston or Dallas, so when I type that he loved Texas, I mean that he followed the program and cared about what we were doing over other schools. For a young ballplayer out of Marshall, TX, that is as close to love as you get. We're not typing about family affiliations and people he knows pointing him in given directions. If you coordinate "love" with "All I ever considered was Texas and I would have given my neatly shorn scrotum to be offered a chance to play there", you are off the grid in terms of understanding the decision process most standout inner city/East Texas type ballers go through. Please consider that before posting your absurd whiteboy childish rants. You are also probably 5'9" and served as a wedgebuster that was involuntarily flung at opponent kickoff formations out of cruelty by bigger players for whom you didn't get water or towels in time in a timely manner in the lockerroom.
Third, Franklin suffered a career-threatening knee injury last year and missed playing during the season. OU stayed on the guy.
He still pined for Texas. OU stayed on the guy.
Franklin went so far as to camp at Texas this summer. There, he ran an outstanding time in the 40 and showed the kind of instincts that made it clear as to why OU wanted him all along.
Will Muschamp got here after they recruited the guy. Then he got hurt and we got busy elsewhere. Then we saw him and suddenly we wanted him. Then OU got real, and got his momma and grandmomma in for a visit and told them how much they loved him. Then Texas offered and made their play.
It wasn't enough. We never got the family down. And breaking up is hard to do. You tell someone who has been loyal to you from day 1 that you no longer need them and you're moving on. If you're not a female, that kind of cold-bloodedness is hard to effectuate, even in business. It is especially hard for a 17 year old male to pull off. Did that even matter? Some think it did, and they know more than me, and they know more than you.
So, we porked it, but reasonably, I guess. Having Mac Macwhorter recruit the area certainly doesn't help us. We're recruiting young, star-struck black kids from East Texas. How do we honestly expect Macwhorter to relate? Only Mack would know. It's served us alright, when the name is all that matters or we do everything right. Add other variables against us and the result we see here is the result we will get most of the time.
This recruitment can be viewed as a microcosm of the staff's practices at this point. If they don't come to camp early? Porked. If they're not advertising to get an offer from us early? Porked. If they're in a territory where one of our older, or lazier, recruiters are covering them? Porked.
Frankly, we should have known we wouldn't get him. The trends are pretty clear at this juncture.
So where to from here? Well, we've still got a great class. We need to regain some momentum. No one wants to commit to a school with the stink of old age, Old Spice, or sloth on it. We're still in on Jeffcoat, Hicks, Darius White, and a few others. No, that does not include Seastrunk, unless we suddenly get into paying pimps and family members for signatures, and I am still not sure that gets us past the magnetic pull of the corruption that is Gene Chizik's recruiting engine at Auburn or Lane Kiffin's doppelganger for that at UTenn. Or Les Miles' huge melon at LSU. It's like sputnik.
In all seriousness, we need some Mo back on our end, and I don't mean the fuckheadery of MoBlack or Moe Green. There is a guy in Dayton named Chris Young with eerily similar lines to Aaron Franklin. The exception is that we'd be his guy if we charged at him. He missed last year (I believe, it has been a while since I have asked someone that would know better about his play-time particulars) and he's not exactly on all the radars. He's fast, he likes to play, and we'd be pumped to have him. It also would have nothing to do with the pursuit of Hicks.
We'll know a lot shortly about what this staff is thinking. Are they purely system recruiters? Or can they adjust? One indicator would be going after a stud like Young. Another would be extending offers in September on 2011 studs like Hughes, Barnett, Jackson, Green, Brown, and others. You should know that others will. You should also know that as hard as Muschamp and Applewhite work (and they work), we don't have a closer.
Mack Brown changed the recruiting game with his summer tactics in the south. He changed it again with his February behavior. Other schools with comparable histories, prestige, and stories have changed it again by going after guys earlier and more aggressively than we have. We need to adjust or we're going to experience more pain, and not all February groupings will look like what we just brought in. Right now should help you understand that.
The tide needs to be stemmed, and we need some positive momentum. The rest of the remaining targets are up in the air, and we're starting to look like the group with the heaviest anchor. Nothing will change overnight, but we'll start to get a better feel for where we're going when we see what the staff does next. Not taking the in-state guy under the radar and dedicating ourselves fully to the guys that remain that show interest would be costly for years to come.
By the way, if you're hoping for some version of the Mack Brown curse on a guy like Franklin, I don't like your odds. OU takes fast, angry, athletic kids out of Texas and turns them into brutal, hateful motherfuckers on game day at LB. Just ask Travis Lewis. And please stop with the "Texas beats OU head-up in recruiting whenever they want" diatribes. They are tiring, untrue, and reveal you to be a mouthbreathing moron. This is real now.