In my alternate-reality version of the Notre Dame universe, there'd be no need for the year-long round-the-clock frenzy of recruiting. Players would base their school decisions on sound reasoning and careful contemplation, free from spastic media attention and the prying eyes of self-styled recruiting gurus, and the land would be devoid of coercion and corruption by schools with a less-than-savory moral fiber. Tomorrow we'd wake up, and this would be the front-page story...
ND SIGNS EVERYONE
SOUTH BEND (AP) -- With almost a year to go until the 2006 National Signing Day, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish preempted the annual recruiting circus, and shored up their offense, defense, and special teams by getting a verbal commitment from every player in high school football in the entire country.
"Shit," remarked USC coach Pete Carroll. "We're screwed."
Among the recruits was that big lineman from that state with the snow, and that wide receiver who runs faster than everyone else on his highlight reel, and every single player in the states of Florida, Texas, and California, as well as the other 47 states, parts of Canada, American Samoa, and this one Gaelic football player from county Cork who seems like he might make a good punter. (Somehow, despite signing every player in the country, the Irish still weren't able to land a true cover corner.)
|Every recruit in the country lines up
to sign with the Irish
How did Weis do it? Shortly after the Super Bowl victory parade in Boston on Tuesday, Weis embarked on an around-the-country whirlwind tour, visiting over a thousand recruits in just twelve hours, a travel schedule rivaled only by Santa Claus, or maybe the guy who leaves fliers for Chinese restaurants on everybody's door.
Most players verballed to Charlie on the spot, although some wavered a bit before committing to the Irish. Prep superstar Chuck Shick was a silent verbal, and then a barely audible verbal, and then a slightly under-the-breath verbal, then a verbal aside to someone offstage, before finally verballing to ND in a normal tone of voice.
On Wednesday the line of players stretched for miles across campus, as one by one they pulled an Irish hat out of a gigantic duffel bag. ESPN covered the event live on television.
"I'm really trying to think of something negative to say," remarked ESPN Gameday host Chris Fowler. "Gimme a second here. I'll think of something."
Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com: "The mystique is dead! ND football is dead! Wait a second...what? How the hell did they do that?"
Some coaches bemoaned the clean sweep of every recruit in the land by the Irish.
"We tried everything," exclaimed Florida coach Urban Meyer. "We bashed Notre Dame as hard as we could. We told the recruits that it snowed a foot a day in South Bend and the girls all looked like Janet Reno. Nothing worked. We tried to ply them with cars and Gator cheerleaders, but for some reason, these guys wanted an education with their football. Losers."
"Waahhh!" remarked Lloyd Carr.
Added Meyer, "thank God for JUCOs."
"I see no reason why teams like Michigan and Florida can't continue to remain competitive, just because they lack players," Charlie Weis responded. "Look at Penn State, for example. They've been without a living head coach for two decades now, and they still manage to play the games."
Washington coach Tyrone Willingham managed to salvage his class by landing 10 walk-on students from Stanford, 5 caddies from Glen Acres country club, 3 players who were kicked off of other teams last season, and Bill Diedrick, who will play flanker on bubble screen plays.
"I thought of something negative!" interjected Chris Fowler. "ND is greedy, keeping every player for themselves! Yeah, that's it."
Ace reporter Myron Brabble of the website the Blue-Gray Sky initially reported the news of the Irish landslide. Said Brabble, "BGS has been criticized in the past for not focusing enough on breaking news or getting any inside scoop. Well, I got a scoop for you. Right here." Sources said Brabble may or may not have grabbed a part of his anatomy while making the announcement.
Added Brabble, "Remember, even if another recruiting service announces a verbal to ND, you heard it here first. Got that? We were first."