Thursday, February 25, 2010

A False Spring

This ain't just a sports blog! I'm a weather geek at heart too!

Remember how nice last weekend was? The sun and warm temperatures extended into this past Monday, teasing us with what could be a a preview of Spring. We quickly returned to that winter weather, rain and chilly temperatures on Tuesday. Just how much of a difference was Monday's temperature from Tuesday's? Take a look.

Plenty of double-digit differences in high temps in a 24 hour period! Newport went from a high of 63 degrees on Monday to only 48 on Tuesday! These drastic temp changes are unusual for this time of year, as we pretty much average about a 5 degree fluctuation at max in February.

What's in store for the Spring? We are possibly transitioning out of an El Nino phase, which has given us this mild winter (for the most part). What usually transpires with an El Nino Spring is that we see pretty normal spring-like conditions and then a wetter than normal Summer. Often times we see a number of strong thunderstorms as well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We call dibs!

Some of you may have heard about the biggest get of this year's recruiting season, but for those of you who haven't, let me fill you in. USC received a verbal commitment from David Sills out of Delaware on signing day. There are folks out there who see this kid as a top recruit. The problem is...he isn't a top recruit for this years class. He is suppose to be the best recruit of the class of 2015! I'll do the math for you: David Sills is 13-years-old.

Several problems arise from the recruiting of a 13-year-old. The first being "over-diagnosing" the kid's talent. He is only in middle school. Sills has yet to play at the high school level, let alone the college level. There is plenty of time for Sills to regress in skills. And what if Sills decides to drop football and take part in the drama club's rendition of "Guys and Dolls" and find his calling on the stage?

A second problem: David Sills has a personal coach that marketed the 13-year-old quarterback to Lane Kiffin and the USC athletic department. Steve Clarkson is the personal coach and has mentored other USC quarterbacks such as Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley. So there is a connection between Clarkson and USC/Kiffin. Personal coaches have been problems in the past (see Bryce Brown's trainer/advisor Brian Butler). There easily could be something fishy going on down the road with this story, plus, Kiffin isn't known for following the recruiting rules very closely anyways.

A final problem: What is wrong with this kid's parents?? They are exploiting their kid for national attention (Richard Heene, anyone?). Along with Clarkson and Kiffin, father Sills is taking a lot of heat for this recruitment. Don't subject your child to the pressure of being in the national spotlight before he can even drive a car. What if he fails, this whole story will become a joke and David Sills will become a flop.

In the long run, nothing is official. Sills cannot sign an official Letter Of Intent until 2015 so until then he remains available for any school to snatch him up. I just don't see this as a smart move by USC or David Sills. There is bound to be a better rated quarterback in the 2015 class. We will definitely learn more once Sills is crowned homecoming king.

What can we take away from all this?? First and foremost, recruitments of pre-prep athletes are a waste of time. It's risky and embarrassing when it doesn't pan out. Also, with making 13-year-olds available to make verbal commitments, what is to stop parents from giving up their newborn child to a program? (Joey Harrington actually signed a fake L.O.I. for Len Cassanova to play at Oregon, look how that worked out!)