The recent cases of Seantrel Henderson and Bryce Brown, two of the most outstanding high school players in the nation in the last two years, demonstrate how the recruiting process can go bad and what happens when many kids, their parents and coaches are caught up in the hoopla instead of doing their homework.
Henderson was the nation's No. 1 player last season. The offensive lineman from St. Paul, Minn., announced his decision to attend USC on my recruiting show on CBS College Sports on signing day. But he wouldn't sign until he learned if the NCAA would impose harsh sanctions on USC for alleged recruiting violations.
So what happened? Ten days before the NCAA announced major penalties against USC, Henderson signed with the Trojans. Go figure.
Now Henderson wants out. He has transferred from USC to Miami. It is assumed that he must sit out for one year before becoming eligible to compete. That's a big mistakes. Why didn't he wait, as he said he would?
First of all, Henderson made a major mistake by announcing early for USC. At the time, he chose USC over Ohio State. But he had a good visit to Miami before announcing for USC, so good in fact that some observers thought he would commit to Miami in the first place. They did a good job of recruiting him so it isn't surprising that he chose to transfer there.
But it shows you must be diligent in your recruiting. Keep your eyes open. Bryce Brown, it can be argued, got blindsided. Two years ago, he was the best running back in the nation. Some rated him as the No. 1 player. I rated him No. 2 behind quarterback Matt Barkley, who went to USC. Brown was the MVP of the U.S. Army all-star game.
In order to have a chance at recruiting Brown, college coaches had to promise that he would be an impact player right away, as a true freshman. He was recruited by Lane Kiffin at Tennessee. So what happens, Kiffin leaves Tennessee for USC, Derek Dooley becomes head coach and Brown decided to leave for a college yet to be determined, maybe Kansas State, maybe USC.
Apparently Brown didn't feel he fit into Dooley's system, that he wasn't going to be a starter as a sophomore, that he wasn't going to be the impact player that he wanted to be. It comes down to what kind of offense or defense you play in. You have to play in the right situation. Which means you have to do your homework to determine which system is the best fit for you.
Henderson thinks he has found the answer at Miami. Brown is still looking.