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Mr. Trotter,

 

            After reading your tweets/comments about the “Florida 5â€, and specifically this tweet “@Jake_Trotter: W/ Cecil Cherry leaving, only Davante Davis left from Charlie Strong's touted "Florida 5." Gamble to recruit heavily out of TX backfiring", I decided to respond with an open letter to clear the air.

 

To insinuate the “Florida 5†could end up as the “Florida 1†due to the recruits/athletes not being from the state of Texas, or “in-state†recruits, is laughable and a weak argument at best. But before I go further, I’d like to be clear. I completely agree that each year the majority of the athletes on the Texas Longhorn football roster should be from the state of Texas. A) As a state, Texas has the best recruits year in and year out. That’s why many major college football programs usually have at least a few recruits from Texas sprinkled throughout their roster. C ) A recruit from Texas likely will be more familiar with the Longhorns and the other football programs within the state, as well as with the coaches that are recruiting them during their high school years. And C) an in-state recruit will still be close or reasonably close to home.  Those are just a few reasons why I agree the Longhorns should always build their roster/recruiting classes with mostly athletes from Texas.

 

But to try to argue that the recruitment of the “Florida 5†has backfired simply because they are not from Texas is false. Let’s take a look at the evidence to understand why.

 

1)     Tim Irvin – (Palmetto Bay, Florida) - Auburn: Irvin was the first of the 5 to change course. Leading up to National Signing Day, Irvin decided to flip to Auburn largely in part to unite with former Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who he had developed a close relationship with according to reports. There’s much more to this story of Irvin’s flip than the simple fact that he is not from Florida. Oh and Auburn isn’t in Florida either… Just sayin’.

 

2)     Gilbert Johnson – (Homestead, Florida/Georgia Prep Sports Academy)/Devonaiire Clarington – (Miami, Florida): Let’s take a look and both Johnson and Clarington together. Johnson was unable to attend Texas because he did not qualify academically. And Clarington, who has been on his own academic journey in an attempt to qualify academically, is waiting to hear back from the NCAA on whether he has clearance to join the Longhorn roster. Would being an “in-state†recruit change anything academically? No.

 

3)     Cecil Cherry – (Frostproof, Florida): There is a number of different reasons that have been stated as to why Cherry is leaving the Texas program just days into fall practices. The main reason seems to be that he initially went against what his father wants for Cherry (which is sad in itself that his father is calling the shots for him). Another reason is that he did not get the jersey number (#3) he wanted and instead received #52. At this point, It’s unclear exactly where Cherry will end up (he very well could end up at a school in Florida). But at the end of the day, it sounds like Cherry (though he’s denied this notion) and his father realized he would play behind fellow freshman Malik Jefferson during his UT days as long as Malik was on roster if Cherry and Malik both stayed at MLB. Was not being an “in-state†recruit the main reason why Cherry left? No. Though I will admit it may play a small role into his departure. But main reason? No.

 

As for the remaining out-of-state recruit from the “Florida 5â€, Davante Davis, reports have been positive for the freshman during the first few days of fall practices. And only time will tell whether he will step into a game this season or not. 

 

Oh, and as a bonus point (because who doesn’t love bonus points?), freshman wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee, Florida) has also been receiving positive reviews during fall practices. And there’s increasing momentum to the notion that he has the skills and athleticism to contribute right away during his freshman campaign.

 

As I stated earlier, I agree Longhorn coaches need to keep “in-state†recruits as their main focus when recruiting. The state is consistently oozing with talent year-after-year-after-year. And if Texas can improve its win/loss record, it will be easier and easier to recruit the top-talent in the state to the 40 Acres. But adding some top recruits from outside of the state isn’t certain death for Texas… Ricky Williams says hey… More importantly, though, to use these specific 5 players as evidence for the argument that “[strong’s] gamble to recruit heavily out of TX [is] backfiring†is weak evidence and paints the wrong picture as to the real reasons of why 3, and possibly 4, of the “Florida 5†are not on the 40 Acres right now for fall practices.  

 

 

- Some chump with a perspective, Wes Crochet 

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Mark,

Jake Trotter is a writer for ESPN. He apparently is a big Oklahoma fan. Surprise, surprise!

So, as you say, who cares?

Admittedly, Trotter is usually an Okie lapdog. But, IMO, he did write a fairly balanced piece about "rehabbing" the Big12 recently.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/13412857/eight-steps-rehabbing-big-12-image

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I believe December 19 created the most momentum for last year's recruiting class. The Florida five also gave the class momentum, so it may have helped to get other recruits.

 

Trotter makes a number of straw man arguments.

 

http://collegespun.com/big-12/texas-big-12/espn-big-12-reporter-charlie-strong-recruiting-strategy-backfired

 

 

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I submit a person's mental health and overall well being improve when they stop caring what media members write and say about their favorite teams, coaches and players.

 

 

A good first step for the fans who bombarded Trotter's Twitter would be to read, digest, and respond to his actual statement.

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This was his original tweet:

 

 

I can see why Texas fans jumped him.

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I submit a person's mental health and overall well being improve when they stop caring what media members write and say about their favorite teams, coaches and players.

 

I agree with you in this case. However we've seen in the past how the media can influence college football.

 

Such as ESPNs pimping of the SEC. Alabama lost to LSU during the regular season and they got to play LSU again for the national championship even though Okie State had only one loss. Another is the ESPN yahoo who last year said CS gave a bad speech quoting people without giving any name.

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I agree with you in this case. However we've seen in the past how the media can influence college football.

 

Such as ESPNs pimping of the SEC. Alabama lost to LSU during the regular season and they got to play LSU again for the national championship even though Okie State had only one loss. Another is the ESPN yahoo who last said CS gave a bad speech quoting people without giving any name.

 

 

You have to admit though, the 40-yr-old man literally gave his stamp of approval on that. Always thought that was bizarre.

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I believe in CS and his evaluation of talent to find the best players to 'fit' into what he is building at Texas. I agree that Texas is generally flooded with talent, however, talent exists all over the country. I commend this staff for evaluating talent all over the country and going after those guys they feel are the complete package to bring to Texas. At the end of the day, nobody in the country has a perfect recruiting record...nobody. You make decisions based on a thorough evaluation of the information at hand. To speculate that recruitment outside the state is backfiring is a stretch.

I am a biased die-hard fan so,yes, I have a wtf reaction to Catalon and Cherry leaving, as I did when Irvin flipped and Gilbert didnt qualify. These guys are talented without a doubt. I wish them the best wherever they end up and if we play them, I hope we beat the heck out of them.

In the end, I fall back on a statement I made during the recruitment frenzy, our football team is better off in the end if the guys that are here come together as a team, believe in CS's vision, and fight to be the best. I hope they truly recognize the opportunity they've been given. To play football at the University of Texas is something many want dream about and only very few get the opportunity to do.

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