A couple days ago Florida RB Mike Blakely, a signee from this class who enrolled in January under the presumption that the new Florida coach Will Muschamp would be a good fit for him, decided to transfer away. As a true freshman he came in at the bottom of the depth chart and his style doesn’t seem to mesh well with Charlie Weis’ pro-style system, or at least that’s what he felt. He did not play this spring at UF due to injury prior but the clock to play 4 in 5 years has started. UF has said his immediate release is to schools outside of the SEC + Miami + FSU. The only way he can attend one of those schools is if he goes to Prep school/JUCO for a year and then is eligible for re-recruitment next winter. Clemson never pursues JUCO players.
Rewind to last summer, when we had Marlin Lane committed and were flirting with Isaiah Crowell, Mike Bellamy, and Mike Blakely as the 2nd back. Clemson knew that Crowell was going to UGA and that we’d be 3rd for his services behind Alabama, even though he professed a lot of interest for us. Blakely was seriously interested at the time, as was Bellamy. Bellamy visited unofficially and committed over the summer, at which point Blakely called us and we turned him away. We told Bellamy that we would not take a 3rd back in the class. Crowell also called over the summer wanting to visit again as well with his mother, and we turned him away.
Now obviously you need to keep your promises you made in the recruiting process because if you don’t you’ll piss off a HS coach with a longer memory than some 17 yr old kid. I don’t know the specifics of the promise made to Bellamy either; was it that he didn’t want us to take Blakely or that we wouldn’t take a 3rd back? I can only guess, given that he could not have known Blakely that well at the time anyway (though they live about 40min apart and are rival programs), and that we had 4-star Lane committed too, that the promise was made to not take a 3rd name back.
Since Lane was bought/pushed to Tennessee after lying to our coaches about his official visits, we ended up with only one back in the class, Bellamy. With Jamie Harper going pro, our depth chart will probably be AE, Bellamy, and Howard as 3rd, with Buice and McDowell fighting for carries or being tested at the tweener positions in this offense…or eventually transferring. I’m not giving up on Howard because I saw some talent and effort there, but Buice is not gonna cut it and neither has McDowell. Last season proved you need 3 you can play with at least. Chad Morris’ spread is run-based, so that will not change.
AE will go pro if he doesn’t get re-injured. If he has a great or even a good season in 2011, he’s gone. RBs only have so many carries in their bodies. That means we will have only Bellamy in 2012 out of that group of 4 talented backs interested in us last cycle, and Mike Bellamy is not assured of qualifying at Clemson yet. He is one of 4 or 5 who had work to do this spring to finish up.
If the promise was that we would never take Blakely, why did we make it? Why would you hold the team hostage based on a promise to a recruit who hasn’t even qualified for enrollment?
If the promise was that we wouldn’t take a 3rd, then why aren’t we calling Blakely up right now? We know we need the talent should AE be gone in 2012. SC has already expressed their interest in him, and Spurrier would ship him off to some minor JUCO to get him later. Clemson, according to Rivals, has not contacted him at all.
Why wouldn’t we even call up a guy who a) really likes Clemson b) can get into Clemson and c) would upgrade the talent at a position where you always have need? I’ve never heard of any red flags. No attitude problems during his recruitment came to us. Sitting out in 2011 would be the same as taking a redshirt year, so I don’t see a loser in this scenario.
If you were the head coach coming off a 6-7 year with the seat getting hot, would you risk another losing season in 2012 based on having no RB depth, or would you take the Top 100 talent who wants to be here and cover your bases as best you could?
God forbid we have to tell Morgan Roberts or Seckinger not to come in this fall, or take another scholarship away from a walk-on. It does you no good to fill up your 85 slots with players who will never get on the field and you don’t win games with guys that don’t play.
Dabo is a complete idiot if he does not call Blakely. Goat Boy will hang himself.