It is sad to say but talent outweighs character everyday in the athletic recruiting process

Talent outweighs character everyday in the athletic recruiting processIn the past, I have written articles about what college coaches are searching for during the recruiting process.  It doesn’t matter the sport because talent trumps everything.  If you are talented enough, it doesn’t matter if you are an evil person.  A college coach will take a chance with you if you can play.

We saw a few years back a perfect example of this at a major Division I-A (BCS) football school.  Coaches will turn a blind eye to character as long as the athletes can play.  And for those college football fans out there, it should come as little surprise as this happened in the powerhouse SEC.

Here is the situation that happened at the University of Tennessee (click here for the complete article):

Three freshman players that were part of Lane Kiffin’s first recruiting class have been charged with attempted armed robbery in Knoxville.  Janzen Jackson, Mike Edwards and Nu’Keese Richardson are accused of trying to rob three men sitting in a car outside a convenience store. The three men described the scene in which two males in black-hooded sweatshirts approached their car and asked them for money. The two then fled in a 2010 Toyota Prius.

According to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk, police pulled over the car and found Edwards, Richardson and Jackson inside. The car was driven by Marie Montmarquet, DeBusk said.  A search of the Prius revealed a air-powered pellet pistol under the rear seat. Two black hoodies were seen in plain view in the back seat, DeBusk said.

First off, I know that a lot of football players who go to play in the SEC think only about what they need to do to make the NFL.  These rocket scientists left their clothes in the car?  And these guys are able to remember plays?

Anyways, I could talk about that forever.  Here is what these athletes were rated by Rivals.com when coming out of high school:

Janzen Jackson – Five star cornerback

Mike Edwards – Three star cornerback

Nu’Keese Richardson – Four star wide receiver

There are certain situations where someone will get in trouble when their backs are against the wall.  But these are Division I football players who are driving a 2010 Toyota Prius.  What exactly were they thinking?

My guess is that there have been character question marks for a long time.  Yes, their talent and star ranking does trump that but it eventually catches up to you.  I would hope that these three have never done anything like this in the past but I definitely wouldn’t bet against it.  And going back to this character, it didn’t surprise me that they also got in trouble for having marijuana in the car.

For those athletes out there reading this, please realize how lucky you are to even get one recruiting letter.  It doesn’t matter if you go to USC or play Division III football, realize how lucky you are to be in a situation where you can play college athletics.  And make sure you have better character than these three.

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