After reading TarponsandNoles excellent piece Regional Recruiting: Pipelines and Power, I started to think about the way it used to be, back when most of you younger readers where trying to decide which pimple cream worked best. Relax, I am not going to take you on a trip down memory lane (again).
Also, I am not trying to turn this into another FSU Associate Head Coach & Linebacker Coach Chuck Amato lovefest marathon. However, I think I remember reading/hearing something a few months back that Chuckie would not be recruiting in South Florida any longer. Is my memory correct, or was this just a wet dream that I had one night? Is Coley now personally doing all of the South Florida recruiting himself? If I am mistaken and IF my memory is indeed failing me, I promise to sacrifice a goat to the recruiting god Allah BaBaBooie, during the next full moon, to make sure that this does indeed become a reality, and the sooner the better.
First let’s start by giving Chuck his due before we start the rabid attacks and rants that I somehow think may soon follow.
During the late 80's and 90's, Amato opened up the recruiting war in South Florida, which up until that point was a UM stronghold for all the top local talent. Prior to this time, a local top recruit had usually already decided that he would attend UM by the time he was a Sophomore, and anything less would be a disappointment. Chuckie came along and he forged and established strong bonds with many local HS coaches. During this period, he recruited and signed many of the nations top prospects, which lead to our glorious decade of dominance. He showed that the So. Fla. area was not exclusive UM territory. He worked this area pretty good and subsequently many other D1 programs started taking notice of the talent level, much to UM’s and FSU’s dismay. In many cases, a local 3 star prospect would be considered a 4 star prospect if he played in another part of the state. While at NCST, he remembered this rich talent laden area, as do former FSU asst. coaches (Richt, Steele, ...), former UM coaches (Butch Davis, ...), as well as Nick Satan, who also had a miserable stay down here in So. Fla..
Unfortunately since Chucks return to FSU from his miserable stay at NCST, he has single handlily virtually destroyed the FSU South Florida pipeline, whose many FSU recruits helped carry us to 2 NC’s. Just last season I remember a situation where he stiffed a HS prospect (Edison?) on numerous occasions, without even a courtesy call to say he was busy or we were not interested any more, to the point of permanently damaging our credibility with many coaches down here. From what I understand, the HS coaching community do speak among themselves.
I decided to check rivals.com to check his 2009 target list. Maybe he had some more prospects that do not appear on this list, but I kinda doubt it. http://www.rivals.com/viewcoach.asp?Coach=449
The following is the list of 2009 prospects and the only players Amato was recruiting during the 2009 chase, according to Rivals. Next to their names I have added some additional comments. All of these Amato targets were offered by FSU. Let's take a moment and try to put this list into perspective. This is South Florida we are talking about , and IMO only, one of the most fertile and talent rich recruiting grounds in the entire country. How good these 5 prospects are, or will be, is not the point of this keyboard heave. The point is, well you should be able to figure it out for yourselves.
Jaamal Berry-4 stars-Palmetto-RB-Signed with Ohio State-never visited FSU.
Ricardo Dixon-3 stars-Hallandale-DB-Signed with USF-never visited FSU.
Gabe Holmes-3 stars-STAquinas-TE-Signed with Purdue-never visited FSU.
Brandon McGee-4 stars-Plantation-DB-Signed with UM-never visited FSU.
Ed Stinson-4 stars-Homestead-DE-Signed with Alabama-never visited FSU.
In order not to ruin a beautiful day down here in So. Fla., I decided to end it all at this point. (My research, not my life, even though after reading this and realizing WTF...).
So to recap, Amato’s list consisted of 5 players, who had no interest in FSU, who never visited FSU, and who all went on ahead and signed with other D1 schools.
Whatcha been up to Associate Head Coach and Linebacker Coach Chuck Amato, to help FSU win the South Florida recruiting wars?
Since we here at TN like to put things in perspective by using percentages, please give me a little more time, let me find my calculator so I can try to figure out his 2009 batting average, and I will post my results after I have done all of the necessary calculations.