Friday, June 10, 2005

Travels With Charlie | by Jay

Steinbeck may have covered more ground, but then again, Steinbeck had a whole year for his leisurely ramble across the country. Charlie, on the other hand, was riding a whirlwind.

"It was a little bit hectic, but I think it was definitely a necessary evil," Weis said.

From April 28 through May 27 Charlie was on the road: visiting high schools, eyeballing recruits, schmoozing coaches, and laying the foundation for his first full recruiting season. Charlie visited somewhere on the order of fifty or sixty different recruits, from Seattle to Orlando, from Boston to San Diego, all in just under a month.

So just where did he go?

It's tough to say exactly. We do have a number of legitimate reports that peg Charlie with certain recruits in certain cities on certain days. Some other recruits we know he visited, but we can't say for sure when. And for all the gaps, we always have hearsay and conjecture.

In any case, here's a wild-ass stab at Charlie's odyssey through the month of May. Consider this as illustrative rather than definitive...that is, "for entertainment purposes only". If nothing else, you'll get a good sense of what a college coach goes through during the dog days of the recruiting season. Off we go.

Charlie kicked off the May evaluation period with a trip to Merrillville, Indiana (1) to visit James Aldridge on May 2. Aldridge, as we know, committed to ND on 5/2. Then Charlie was off to Chicago (2) to see Demetrius Jones and Jamie Cumbie.

From Chicago, Charlie toured western Pennsylvania (3) to see a bunch of guys: Zach Frazer, Jason Kates, Jared Odrick, Jeremiah Hunter, and Darrin Walls.

Next stop was East Rutherford, New Jersey (4) for the Elite Combine followed by a visit to Myron Rolle in Princeton, NJ (5). Charlie then headed up to Boston (6) to see Barry Gallup.

The Nike camp & combine was in Ann Arbor (7) on May 7th, and Charlie was in attendance. Sunday was a rest day in the evaluation period for Charlie, as as we know from the presser on Tuesday, Charlie flew home to Rhode Island (8) for some brief family time on every Sunday in May. On Monday he was in Cleveland (9) to check out Rob Parris and John Ryan. It's possible he also visited Cincinnati sometime around here for a visit with Kallen Wade or Robert Williams.

On May 11 he was in Dallas (10) to see Mike Morgan and Curtis Bailey. Then to Oklahoma City (11) for George West, Gerald McCoy and Laron Moore, a brief stop in Springdale, AR (12) to see Mitch Mustain and perhaps Bartley Webb. Charlie wrapped up this leg in St. Louis (13) on May 14th to see Prince and Mullen, and finally went back to Rhode Island again for the Sunday breather.

Charlie next visited Rome, GA (14), Tucker, GA (15), and Anderson, SC (16) to visit Ben Alexander, Toryan Smith, and Asher Allen respectively, all on May 16th. Mocksville, NC (17) is home to Raeshon McNeil, whom Charlie met with on the 17th. Then Charlie vaulted to Clermont, Florida (18) for a look at Richard Jackson and on to Fort Lauderdale (19) for Daniel Wenger and Sam Young on the 18th.

Details from the 19th to the 21st are sketchy, but there are a host of other east coast athletes that Charlie was rumored to have visited, and he probably spent this time checking out some guys who didn't pop up in official reports. We do know he saw Percy Harvin and Damon McDaniel in Virginia Beach (20) sometime in there. Charlie returned home once again on Sunday the 22nd.

On May 23rd Charlie was off to the west coast to take a look at Taylor Mays in Seattle (21), then headed for Aurora, Colorado (22) to see Butch Lewis.

Charlie then dropped down to southern California on the 24th & 25th for a series of stops: Konrad Reuland in Mission Viejo (23), Travis Goethel in Vista (24), Menelik Holt in San Diego (25), Kai Forbath in Sherman Oaks (26), and Allen Bradford in Colton (27).

Charlie wrapped up the May period with a visit to St. Paul to check out Matt Carufel, then down to Jasper, Indiana for Luke Schmidt, who committed to the Irish on May 27th. Then Charlie finally headed home to reintroduce himself to his wife.


Again, the above consisted of published reports, educated guesses and a lot of blind speculation. But whatever the exact itinerary, there's no doubt it was a killer. Here's the whole map, with the places we know Charlie visited:

So, did the effort pay off? Was Charlie happy with the trip, and did he enjoy himself?

In typical fashion, Charlie was bluntly honest when asked that question on Tuesday:
“I’ll enjoy it when I know what the results are."