Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Appalachian football recruiting is stepping up

Time was, and a recent time it was, when Appalachian State, like every other FCS school (the coaches still call them I-AAs), had to wait until the big boys had finalized their class of commitments before the FCS programs could cull through the leftovers.

Invariably, borderline talents would wait to see if an offer would come from an N.C. State or a Clemson before finally settling for a Furman or an Elon.

The Mountaineers, though, are shaking up that strategy this season, simply by making kids want to come to Boone.

They already have three verbal commitments—all big offensive linemen—after their addition this week of Butler High’s Kendall Lamm. Lamm, at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, joins Graham Fisher (6-2, 275) and Kalan Jones (6-4, 275).

All of these players were on the watchlists of some major schools, but decided they’d rather remove the uncertainty and go ahead and commit to coach Jerry Moore’s program.

By doing so, they can be almost certain of three things. They will have a chance to play early ( ASU will have as many as five slots for OLs in its incoming class), play for a national championship, and play in Boone. None of these are bad options.
This kind of thing can snowball. Appalachian, with its three national titles in four years, is in a unique position among FCS schools. Now it’s taking advantage of it.

--Stan Olson


Anonymous said...

Good observation, Stan. These recruits are finding that App State provides a great gameday environment with a passionate fan base, top notch facilities, a leader in Jerry Moore that truly cares about his players, and a quality university to prepare them for life after football. When you have that to offer and more, it's hard to pass up.

Reid said...

Stan, with the way Appalachian State is beginning to operate like an FCS/1A program, do you think that there's a chance that they try to move up to 1A? I know Western Kentucky recently did it and it hasn't worked out for them(in fact they just fired their coach) but they weren't operating the same way as App State is now.

Stan Olson said...

I think it would be a mistake. I remember when Marshall was the ASU of I-AA, back in the 80s. They were bound and determined to move up to I-A, and haven't been heard from since. Appalachian is to a point now where a national championship is a possibility every year. Move up, and the best the program could do would be something like the Motor City Bowl. Just ask the formerly Thundering Herd...

Unknown said...

Very true Stan, but also consider the success of a Boise St. or Nevada. Expecting the success of BSU may be a bit unrealistic, but Nevada has also had a few 8-win seasons in the last few years as well. I'd be perfectly content for ASU to remain 1-AA, but another plus to moving up would be to hopefully start some home-and-home series with UNC, NC State, Duke and ECU.

Anonymous said...

App had to get more aggressive because they made a huge mistake last year and did not get the O-Line kids they thought they would get. Richmond won the National Title and they got those kids and otheres. They got a bit lazy and big headed.