I tried to tell former USC offensive line recruit and current Florida commit James Wilson that communication was the foundation to any strong relationship. I really did. He shrugged it off as if my point was so obvious it didn’t even need exposition, assured me his word was as strong as oak and then proceeded to flatten my poor heart by switching to the Gators today.
Yesterday. Whatever. Point is: boo.
Wilson is a road grader and a consensus five star linemen with both Scout and Rivals. He’s also from Florida. It’s tough to lure a kid away from his momma (sources say mother Wilson wanted him close to home, and who could blame her?) and the hometown champs, but it’s even tougher when that kid is 6’5″, 305 lbs. of snarling man-sled. Because then he can beat you senseless if you tell him he’s doing the wrong thing, and what was that about strong as oak?
Apparently the cracks started appearing when Wilson was in San Antonio for the Army All-American game, where by all accounts he had a great week of practicing and playing. The place was littered with USC recruits so I know he was surrounded by sensible people. Mayhaps he might have witnessed something unsavory there that unsettled him a bit? Though I’ve no idea why Notre Dame’s crude display of knobbery would have weakened Wilson’s resolve to head west, I will take this time to nonetheless blame the Irish for all my misery.
I can’t really be all that mad at Wilson. During their contemporaneous playing days at Nease High, he blocked for fellow man-sled Tim Tebow, the quarterback/hammer set to lead Florida to wherever the hell Florida’s going. Tebow’s dad’s his pastor, apparently. And that whole want-to-be-close-to-the-family thing, I guess that’s okay. But it still stings lemony-fresh.
This marks the umpteenth time in two years that USC has struck out on sun eclipsing offensive linemen from out of state: Andre Smith (Alabama), Stephen Schilling (Washington), Sam Young (Florida), Anthony Davis (New Jersey), etc. Every single one of these kids, with the slight exception of Young, looked like very good bets to head to Los Angeles. Every single one of them left me clenching my spleen in agony.
It appears the Trojans are aiming for a home run (yes, I hate that metaphor too but I’m feeling lazy and bitter right now) whenever they venture out of state for the big uglies, and in the process they may have lost focus on some in-state gems. Case in point: Matt Summers-Gavin, who many thought would be a sure thing in cardinal and gold after fine showings during the recruiting camp circuit.
Is this going to mean that USC won’t claim its fifth consecutive recruiting title? No, the Trojans’ll do that. But the EA Sports NCAA Football fanatic in me wants them all, and anything less means my childish need for pure and utter domination goes unsated.