July Brings About Commitments

It happens every single year. Immediately prior to the start of the July camp scene – or during it for that matter – prospects around the country feel the need to commit. It happens for a number of reasons.

The primary reason why kids commit just before the start of the summer is simple: they don't want the school they've fallen for to wind up breaking up with them and developing a crush on another player.

College coaches are fickle. The prospect they've loved all year long could lay an egg in a camp game while another "sleeper" emerges in the same game. Two days later, the "sleeper" is the hot kid and all of the sudden, there' no scholarship for the target it was originally intended for.

Since our last column, seven high-major programs have added recruits. On July 4th, Marvin Williams, a Top-10 prospect, selected North Carolina over Arizona and Washington.

Corey Brewer picked Florida over Tennessee just before we light our 4th of July barbecues. He would be the Gators second commitment of the week. Point guard Taurean Green was the first.

Getting commitments in June can free up valuable time in July. Getting a head start on your current class with a look ahead to the next class – 2005 in this case – can give a program a serious competitive advantage.

"It's different than before," said one ACC assistant coach. "You can't concentrate on the upcoming senior class alone. It's too accelerated. You have to get more done in July and you have less tools and resources to get involved with kids."

Because of NCAA restrictions on who coaches can chat with during the month of July, just falling in love with a guy and trying to find out where he's playing next can be tough.

"You can see a kid at camp, fall in love with and try and find out where he's going next but you can't call anybody to find out where he plays next. That means our time is incredibly valuable. You can go into July having made mistakes that will kill you in terms of where you're going [with your program]."

For this reason, coaches put a lot of pressure on kids as they're packing their bags to go camping. A commitment from a senior right now means the staff can reprioritize their plans, have more time to spread around on other targets and basically get more done in the next four weeks.

Because of this pressure from the college staffs, kids get worn down. They'll commit to end the pressure and make July more enjoyable for themselves.

In addition to Williams and Brewer, Damien Harris (Tennessee), Jeremy Parnell (Mississippi), Glenn Miles (Alabama) and Bryce Taylor (Oregon) reached decisions. If you're a recruiting junkie, then you won't be surprised when a handful of kids use the ABCD and Nike camps to announce their intentions next week.

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