Guest Column: Benedict v. Foster III
It’s Jeff Benedict’s turn in this spirited debate! But before I get into that, I would just like to remind everybody that readers are more than welcome to email me their thoughtful takes on this subject or any other KSU subject that they feel passionate enough about. This is a fan community first and foremost, so I want everybody’s voice heard that has a desire to speak up. Whether you want your name on it or submitted anonymously, shoot an email to “TheKSUOwlHowl@Gmail.com.”
Back to Benedict v. Foster. If you haven’t been keeping up…read the following linked blogs before reading the post below.
Ok now that you’re caught up, here’s what Jeff had to say…
Jeff Benedict is a KSU alum and current producer for 92.9 The Game.
I think many have gotten the wrong idea about my original post. I am not complaining about how hard any coach or players are working. I am not complaining on how this staff is representing the school, the fans or the alumni. My only concern is, was and will be recruiting. In order to be successful in college football WE HAVE TO recruit Georgia. If we are not recruiting our own backyard, why am I to believe we are properly recruiting the state? I find it hard to believe that after such a successful first class, that it’s okay to only have two 2015 commitments, if they are in fact, recruiting this state properly.
Before I go any further, let me address a statement that I made in my original piece that has been taken COMPLETELY wrong despite being worded correctly.
“During the scrimmage, the OL/DL are small and the team as a whole looks more D3 than FCS level as far as speed of the game. It honestly reminded me of the Spring Scrimmage I held a couple years ago as head Coach of the club football team.”
I was in no way comparing the scholarship college varsity squad to a ridiculous club sport in anyway EXCEPT FOR THE SPEED OF PLAY DURING THE SCRIMMAGE. I clearly stated that. I am not sure how so many people have miss construed this. Time to move on.
Michael is correct in that I do have an existing personal relationship with Russell Halimon. I coach an elite 16u AAU travel team and he is my backup point guard. I did not use him for any reason other than an as an example. As I stated Russell is a junior. Last year as a sophomore, he was the 3rd string RB and starting kick returner at Allatoona. However, there is a statement in which Michael made that was factually incorrect. Russell currently holds 10 FBS scholarship offers from smaller FBS level schools. Russell will not end up at an FCS school unless he chooses to. I am in no way trying to garner a scholarship offer for him; his play is doing that on its own. The other player that I used an example, Dylan Autenrieth, also plays for me. He is a Big 5 FBS level TE and a D1 mid major basketball prospect. Again, I am not advocating for a scholarship for him, he is bigger than KSU. In both cases, I was using examples of kids literally on our own back yards that have gotten zero attention from KSU.
Michael points out that they offered Josh Bettistea , the senior running back at Allatoona. I am not sure why this matters. If you miss out on one kid at a school, do you cross that school off your list and never go back? Of course not, if they have another player that is good enough to play for you the next year, you at least send a letter to that player as well. That is recruiting.
My concern with that is because in college athletics, you never know what a kid is thinking. I worked for former basketball coach, Tony Ingle, for 3 seasons. He did not care what a kid was ranked according to Rivals, Yahoo or ESPN, he cared about relationships. He realized that you never knew what could happen down the road. Best case in point is KSU’s all time leading scorer and one of the best basketball players in school history, Markeith Cummings. Most, if any, do not realize Markeith was a 4 star QB in high school and had committed to play for Alabama, he still holds several state passing records. Coach Ingle stayed in contact with Markeith and his high school teammate, Ladaris Green. Both decided to forego bigger opportunities and come play together at KSU. To this day, NBA scouts are still asking about and watching the 6’11 Green.
“I was also told through an athletic department member last week that the coaches have focused heavily for class No. 2 on bringing in transfer players, which will mean late announcements for the most part.” This is absolutely frightening. This is the equivalent to playing Russian roulette in college football. You cannot have contact with transfer players until they are released from their current institution. Typically, players go to schools where they have an established relationship (see above paragraph) with the coaching staff. Best example would be Isaiah Crowell. He transferred to Alabama State when he got kicked off the program at UGA because he had an established relationship with the head coach. This is the wrong way to build a program. As far as JUCO transfers, I have already stated my opinion on that in this thread.
I will disagree with Michael on another of his points. “The reason the speed of the game looks a little slow is pretty obvious: You don’t put 83 freshman on a football field, no matter the classification, and expect it to look pretty. We know this. Fans shouldn’t be blindsided by this” There is an absolute difference in speed from NAIA —> D3 —>D2 —>FCS —> FBS. Whether these kids are freshman or seniors, speed is speed. Rarely do you see speed increase more than 2/10th of a second in college. Don’t believe that, go back and compare kids that went to the NFL combine last year and what they ran their freshman years entering college and what they ran at the NFL combine. Now if Michael had said they were slower because they had to fully grasp the playbook, that’s fine but do not blame it on them being freshman. (If they haven’t learned the playbook yet, that is another issue.)
As I stated in my original piece, I am ONLY concerned with recruiting of this second class. While I might not like his choices in coordinators, friends of his who could not win at the high school level, I am willing to give them time. I understand that this is a marathon and not a race. I just do not want to see us struggle like Georgia State has with their program. They had a great year one going 6-5 but have only won 5 games since their inaugural season in 2010. I fully believe that if done correctly, we can and will be a much better, much faster. Bohannon’s passion is contagious and as an alumnus I love to see that. I think that both he and Coach Lallathan can be highly successful here for years to come, if they are successfully recruiting this state. Like I have stated several times, recruiting the state starts in our own back yard. Every successful program relies on that exact same philosophy.