Get ready for a wild finish in college football recruiting wars

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Somewhere, Nick Saban is dancing for a recruit. Jim Harbaugh is sleeping on the couch. Brian Kelly is out back parking the truck.

Yeah, it’s recruiting season, all right.

It’s the time of year when the college coaches of America go down on bended knee to woo the best players in America. They plead, they urge, they promise to get the latest commitment from a talented high schooler. It all comes to fruition Wednesday, when every coach in America will stand up and say he’s thrilled with his recruiting class.

It’s just that some, um, are more thrilled that others.

Take Harbaugh, whose Michigan team is ranked No. 5 among recruiting. And it’s taken quite a bit of work from Harbaugh, who has slept over at recruits homes, who has followed them to class,

On signing day, Harbaugh has a list of celebrities – wrestler Ric Flair, former Yankee Derek Jeter, Tom Brady, Lou Holtz, Desmond Howard and others – there to glad-hand the signees.

Yeah, but does he have a truck?

Notre Dame coach Kelly recently showed up at the home of a recruit driving a team semi used for transporting equipment. Critics are still debating if that’s a violation or not.

Then there was Rice. A Sports Illustrated story that Rice sent a recuiting letter to the cat of quarterback J.T. Granato. Granato came. No word on the cat.

And so it goes. Georgia coach Kirby Smart showed up at a recruit’s house with a bulldog puppy. Saban showed up at a recruit’s house in a helicopter.

Stunts. Celebrities. Jerseys. Comic books. Banners. Cheerleaders. Scoreboards.

All in a day’s work.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit