Chris Bahn: McGee Doesn't Tell Recruits What They Want to Hear

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010 2:46 pm  

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FAYETTEVILLE — Garrick McGee has developed an easy-to-follow recruiting philosophy. It also happens to be a tad risky.

"I tell the truth," McGee said.

See. Told you it's risky.

McGee, Arkansas' offensive coordinator, is regarded as one of the top recruiters not just on the Arkansas staff, but in the country. Yet, McGee's style isn't for everybody.

Razorback fans should be aware of this.

Recruiting has developed into a process that primarily centers on appealing to emotion and, well, ego. From this seat, recruiting appears to have become less about the promise of growing as a football player and person and more about limousines and karaoke contests and pep rallies.

McGee, as best as I can tell from a recent visit with the rising coaching star, wants the focus back on the football field. That can be a shock to the system of high school players who encounter much different approaches elsewhere. And it leads some fans to worry about what exactly Arkansas is doing in recruiting when a four- or five-star prospect commits elsewhere.

"I have some recruiting tactics that no one would believe," McGee said. "I tell the truth. ‘You are not ready to play in the SEC right now. You're a great high school player and that's it.'

"A lot of kids don't get told that."

A lot of high school prospects aren't going to like what McGee tells them. Few college coaches will adopt the style that McGee essentially developed before he ever actually recruited a player for himself.

McGee grew up the son of a high school coach. He saw recruiters from across the nation come and go from Larry McGee's office at Tulsa Booker T. Washington High.

(We'll have more on McGee and his lifelong dream of a head coaching career in our July 12 football preview issue).

Larry McGee would offer commentary to his son following every recruiting visit. Garrick, himself a highly recruited quarterback, quickly understood that the coaches appealing most to him and his father were the ones who were upfront and honest.



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