By the time you're reading this, I'm either stuck in a snowstorm somewhere near Urbandale — or Ames, depending on the time — passed out at Starbucks or wandering around Central Iowa in a stupor, mumbling things like "Jeff Jones is NOT going to Iowa State," "Gooch," and "Hi, again, this is Trey Scott, I'm a reporter for Scout.com — if you could please call me back, I've already tried you 13 times this month … just looking for an update on your recruitment…"
In truth, this buildup toward Signing Day has been a lot of fun. The whole year has been. I accepted a job with Scout in late August, watched from a couch in Denver as Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa, then moved to Ankeny on Sept. 7.
When I took over as publisher of newly-named AllCyclones, there were something like 30 subscribers. As of now, there are 274 of you. So, we're growing. I've quickly learned that recruiting updates sell, but I enjoy just as much covering the football and basketball teams — I try to make every press conference — and will continue to attack both beats with zeal. Freelancer Carmon Wilson drops in a women's hoops or recruiting update when he can, and we just do the best we can.
My first Welcome to Recruiting, Kid, moment was sometime in September, when I saw somebody named Brian Burnett on Twitter saying he had committed to Iowa State. Looked at his school — Raines High in Florida. Knew the Cyclones were there the night before. Took him at his word, excited to get the first scoop on commitment No. 15 for ISU …
… Nope. Ugh. I had carefully phrased the article as "Burnett said Iowa State offered," "Burnett said he committed to Iowa State," but, still, it was relatively humiliating. I was upset with myself for a week.
Since then, we've had plenty of recruiting scoops, but I've been much more cautious with how quickly I am to report something. Good lesson there. Learned it four years ago in my first college journalism class, but sometimes you have to re-learn things in the "real world," I guess.
Allow me to continue this letter of thanks then I'll drop in some funny stories. As you might be able to tell, I'm fiercely competitive with this stuff, crestfallen when I get beat on something right in my wheelhouse and l-i-v-i-d when hard work is piggy-backed by others without a drop of attribution. You probably know what I'm talking about, and I've never really addressed this since a tweet a few months ago, but I felt I had to stick up for myself and also for you, since you're spending hard-earned money to get your information at AllCyclones.com. It just bums me out when that happens, but it's not at all unusual anymore.
I look forward to tackling the 2015 recruiting class, kicking things off Thursday with a Cyclones Scoop — first one in a while, and we won't stop 'em until I take a vacation in late May — and am also working on a recruiting board for the upcoming class, hoping to get updated Iowa State logos to serve as the interface.
Now, all the random memories and thoughts I have from the 2014 recruiting class (from when I started in September) that I can think of at 1:05 a.m. Wednesday.
Devron: "Hold on, there's a cop behind me. I'll call you back."
Me: "Uhh, OK, you don't have to."
Five minutes later …
Devron: "Hey, we're all good — just gave me a warning for swerving. So about my official visit?"
If you recall the recruiting stories of each, there was certainly a time when a commit seemed inevitable. So for each I jumped out of bed, running to my office, as static noise serenaded me.
The first time, in October, I arrived at halftime of an Urbandale game, a prior obligation hanging me up. The score was something like 52-0, Lazard was on the bench the rest of the game and the clock, mercifully, was running. Lazard was great, though, talking to me in the cold on the middle of the field while the rest of his teammates ran inside.
I just wanted quotes from Lazard on his Ames official and the culmination of his recruitment the second time, so I went to Urbandale's basketball game at Ankeny. I almost witnessed what could have been a bad injury, Lazard high-stepping six raised bleachers behind the baseline to chase a loose ball. He ended up on his butt, wincing a bit.
All the while, my date had been selected to participate in the office jeopardy game in the middle of dinner. She won $100, the office newb helped by co-workers screaming out the answers, while I did my best to keep my eyes on center stage while my fingers typed furiously. Come on, Darius! Saturday night?
Thank you for your business and I look forward to doing this recruiting circus again, real soon. Like right now.