News, Notes & Quotes - Feb. 2

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday February 02, 2017

- It appears Alabama will grayshirt a top-100 player because they didn’t have enough space.

Four-star defensive end Jarez Park from Florida was set to announce his commitment to Alabama on Wednesday, but it turned out there wasn’t room. later reported Parks will grayshirt, meaning he will enroll next January.

Parks was highly sought-after, and 247Sports reported Auburn, Baylor, Miami and Georgia all reached out Wednesday. But he’s willing to wait until next year.

Alabama signed its seventh-straight No. 1 class on Wednesday. Getting a top-100 player to grayshirt shows just the power of Nick Saban’s and Alabama’s brands.

- Tom Herman said he attempted to flip some Houston commits until UH hired a head coach.

When Herman went from Ohio State to Houston, he didn’t recruit any OSU commits, citing a relationship with Urban Meyer. But it was different here because there was no coach (yet).

“I made it very clear to our staff that, as long as Houston did not have a head coach, then we could offer them if we felt we could win national championships with them here,” Herman said. “Once either Todd Orlando or Major Applewhite got the job, the young man would have to decommit in order for us to recruit him. We offered these kids scholarships when Houston had no coach, and I felt OK about that.”

However, Twitter users noted Texas offered offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi just last week, and he flipped from Houston to Texas.

- Urban Meyer told a recruit he was going to the Los Angeles Rams — as payback for a recruit pranking Meyer by saying he was committing to Alabama.

Brandon Browning called Meyer and said he was going to Alabama, before the father called back and said it was a prank. So Meyer had some fun of his own.

“There was all those rumors about the Los Angeles Rams, so I called his mom because she's great, and I said, ‘Keisha, let's go get him,’” Meyer recalled. “She said, ‘OK, what do you want to do?’ Because she teaches at the school, call him down there and let's put him on speakerphone. I want to see his reaction. So we did it.

“I said, ‘Baron, I've got some tough news for you, but I've taken this job.' And you just hear quiet. And I go, ‘Hey, man, you all right?’ Just quiet, quiet. I said, ‘I'm just kidding, man. You all right?’ His mom said, ‘Man, he was crying, he was crying.’ Great stories."

- Jim McElwain knows negativity from fans comes with the job. Many people were down on the Gators before a late addition of seven players for Signing Day and a top-10 class.

“I think the biggest thing is to understand that every coach that has been here before me has told me that,” McElwain said. “They're aware of it. In fact, might have driven a couple out. That's OK. That's all part of it. As you know, even being around our guys, being able to affect the people around you in a positive way, is really what it's all about. That's what our team does.

“No one can ever control what is out there. Yet here is the good thing: Something's out there. People do care. They're passionate. How they maybe show their passion — I got a lot of people I know that they really get their kicks out of just being negative. There might be a few out there. At the same time, for every one of those, there are multiple people that are really excited about what we're doing and what we're building. As you see the direction of the administration, what they're allowing us to do in moving forward, has been nothing but positive.”

- Chad Morris has had three recruiting classes at SMU, and every single one was completely full of Texas high school players.

That included 22 players in 2015, 25 players in 2016 and 19 players in this class.

Morris is a former Texas high school coach and made a huge push with local high school coaches when he arrived. He’s backed that up by only signing guys who played high school in Texas, though some have come through junior college. Morris has gone 2-10 and 5-7 in two years.

“I knew we were the best 2-10 team in the country a year ago. We were making a difference, but you didn’t see it on the scoreboard," Morris told a group of boosters Wednesday. "When you saw the progression this year, it was remarkable. How close we are, the addition of these 19 young men is going to help us.”

- Jim Mora didn’t appreciate some light criticism of Josh Rosen.

Before Mora joined ESPN’s Signing Day show, Joey Galloway mentioned that Rosen has been “up and down.” When Mora was brought on, he immediately said, “Josh Rosen played five games," citing his season season ending injury. "I’m just responding to the comment that Josh Rosen was up and down. He played five games.”

Rosen later tweeted, “Advice to HS signees - Get yourself a coach that'll stick up for you like mine. #rolemodels”

- Here’s video for P.J. Fleck addressing his staff after their first Signing Day at Minnesota.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to