Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What do Kevin Ware and DaMarcus Smith have in common?

Both are four star athletes recruited by power programs that (shockingly) committed to UCF this winter.

Both are involved with Kenneth Caldwell.

Who is DaMarcus Smith?  He is a Seneca (Louisville) High school QB that turned down Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Louisville to play for George O'Leary, saying it was a 'business decision'.  He was originally recruited by Ohio State and Oregon, due to his dual threat talents and is listed by Rivals as the number 11 ranked dual threat QB in the class.

Now, I am not saying players committing to schools that don't make sense is always cheating.  There are legitimate reasons a player will commit to a C-USA football program over Big 10, SEC, and the hometown Big East program.  Getting to play immediately, less competition on the team, a connection with the coaches, and a better system for their talent set all come to mind as good reasons.  Make your own decision about his to go to UCF based on Tennessee's QB situation and the head coach at UCF.

Now, DaMarcus Smith wants out of that letter.  George O'Leary is just laughing and saying water makes you weak. 

Who knows what has happened with Caldwell and why he is suddenly such a big fan of UCF?  I know the Knights have been the beneficiary of at least one other recruiting coup  when they signed Indianapolis area start center Michael Chandler over Louisville and Xavier last year.  Chandler, too, has ties to Caldwell.  The article by Thamel also implies there are other schools he has been involved with, but it looks like UCF has done pretty well with players when Caldwell gets involved.  It also looks like those players aren't happy with...something not too long after that decision gets made.  Are promises being made, then not delivered on?

Who knows? It just seems very suspicious that this has happened twice in two months with the same dude and the same school.

The NCAA thinks so, too.  They recently made the short drive to Chandler's high school to ask questions about his recruitment.

I have to say, I am ambivalent at this point about Ware.  One one hand, a player of his talent would be very welcome in Athens, and I would personally love to see him become the next Travis Leslie.  On the other, who knows what the NCAA will say about his continuing eligibility; I also worry about the real or perceived peril that will be associated with whatever program he signs with.

All around, it is just  a very dicey situation.

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