Pilot Point (Texas) athlete Dacoven Bailey was always an education-first football player. A lack of big-time attention never discouraged the 6-foot, 190-pound weapon because of multiple offers for a free education.
Then Bailey met with Rutgers defensive backs coach Bill Busch, who offered an opportunity at big-time education and big-time athletics.
It was an easy decision from there.
“I’m comfortable there and it was just a great coaching staff,” Bailey said. “I spent time with a lot of them and they just made me feel good about what they were doing. I liked everything. Their facilities were great but they’re only going to make them better. That was awesome. I liked the meetings, the food, everything out there.”
Bailey picked up his Rutgers offer at the end of an official visit and it was a quick decision from there. Education always played a part in the decision process.
“They’ve got a great engineering program and if I don’t become an engineer, I’ll probably become a football coach so I can have a good opportunity either way,” Bailey said. "I just feel like it's a perfect fit for me."
Rutgers head coach Chris Ash and Busch, who has prior relationships with the Pilot Point staff, bonded with Bailey during his first trip to New Jersey.
“Coach Ash was nice,” Bailey said. “From what I heard, he changed a lot of things already. He’s very focused on business and making Rutgers a great school. Coach Busch is funny, and we made a lot of jokes. He keeps me on my toes. The whole coaching staff was great, though. I liked all of them.”
Bailey averaged more than 11 yards per touch as a senior, and resumes his role as a slotback when he enrolls at Rutgers.
“I’m persistent and I bring a lot of energy,” he said. “I just make plays. You can expect me to make a lot of plays.”
Scout national recruiting analyst Greg Powers called Bailey “the definition of a sleeper.”
“Playing for a smaller school month of Dallas, Bailey went under the radar for much of the recruiting process as Rutgers identified him late in the process and secured him on campus for an official visit,” Powers said. “He is a new-age, valuable weapon in an offense where he can line up in the backfield or split out wide as a receiver and that position is one that can get a lot of use in the Texas spread-based systems and that is likely how he will be used in college.”