Big 12 football coach: ‘You lie in recruiting a bunch’

West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen, who is known for being candid and brutally honest with his comments, admitted to reporters that “lying” is part of the recruiting process.

Of course, anybody who’s involved in any phase of recruiting already knows this. It’s just rare for a big-time college head coach to actually admit it on the record.

Here’s what Holgorsen said on Monday, according to the’s Stephen Nesbitt:

Again, there’s nothing really shocking with that perspective, other than a coach publicly admitting it.

But let’s keep it real: Both college coaches and the recruits have been known to make up things along the way during courtship.

Some (but definitely not all) college coaches tend say or do just about anything to present their school the best way possible. They’ll be deceptive about depth charts, future playing time, position changes, scheme changes, coaches from other teams being on the hot seat, etc.

In recruiting specifically, some (but not all) schools are notorious for making high school kids think they have committable offers and they really don’t. In the business, those are called “conditional offers” – and truthfully only an invitation for that kid to come to summer camp and audition for a “real” offer.

Even if a kid truly does have a committable offer, some college coaches will use another popular technique of deception: They’ll call the kid and say “You’re No. 1 on our board at this position and we want you more than anybody.” Then they’ll hang up, call two other kids at the same position, and say the same exact thing.

It’s just recruiting, folks.

Kids can behave like Pinocchio, too, but it’s usually on a much smaller scale. They can be misleading with telling a college that “You’re No. 1” and not really even be considering that college. Or commit early to a school as an “insurance policy” until a dream offer comes along, if ever. Or by telling a coach they’re going to switch or stick to their college commitment, and then do the total opposite.

So which side is more to blame – the coaches or the kids? Or should it be equal blame? Since kids are new every year to the process, I tend to give them more the benefit of a doubt than college coaches who have been in the business for decades and know exactly how to play the game.

Ultimately, who can you trust in recruiting process? Parents ask me this all the time.

My answer is always the same: Skip the assistants and go directly to the top for your answers. The college head coach is always the person held most accountable.

However, Holgorsen’s admission sort of undermines that belief, doesn’t it?

What do you think? Please post below.

UPDATE: The West Virginia coach tied to clarify his comments later this week, while admitting he “used a poor choice of words.”


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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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