The Mustang News prides itself on delivering the most comprehensive news coverage available for residents.

for the week of January 27-February 3


Surviving the recruiting game


blue01_next.gifBy Glen Miller/The Mustang News


College football recruiting has become big business in the United States, with millions of dollars spent each year by universities seeking the services of the country’s top high school athletes.

NCAA programs as well as those on the NAIA and junior college levels flood the mail systems with letters hoping to get a verbal commitment from star players that can be changed into a signed national letter of intent on Wednesday (Feb. 2).

“This is a serious deal  and recruiters are getting out more and more,” Mustang coach Todd Dilbeck said.

“Ten years ago you didn’t see people from the West Coast in Oklahoma, but now you are getting them from everywhere.”

Dilbeck said making the decision to play college football, at any level, is a serious commitment for a high school player.

“When they leave us it’s like going from Scout camp to boot camp,” Dilbeck said.

“It’s a big time commitment because these schools are paying a lot of money for kids to come in and perform. It’s your life for the next four to five years and you have to adhere to their game plan.”

Mustang has several players that are willing to make that choice, including three players that are being heavily recruited. Cory Scrivner, Luke Ricks and Micah McGahan have been sorting thought mounds of letters and well-wishes from college coaches after the Broncos 7-4 playoff season.

“I’m sort of having fun with all of it. I haven’t been getting too many calls, it’s sort of been quiet,” McGahan said. “I’m not leaning one way or another right now. I’m just waiting to take all my visits.”

McGahan is being recruited by Southern Nazarene, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Knox College and Evangel College out of Kansas. And there was another surprise entry into the ring last week.

“Baylor called and said they were supposed to come by this week and talk with me. It would be cool to sign with them and I was excited when I heard they were looking,” McGahan said.

McGahan said he was surprised he has not gotten more looks, especially after earning an all-state selection and leading the Broncos in tackles the last three seasons. The linebacker had over 100 tackles his senior season.

“I think I have been overlooked because I was expecting to get more calls like all the Reggie Smiths of the world. But I guess they are getting the calls first and then they will look at us after that. But I do want to play college football and I will play somewhere next year,” McGahan said.

Scrivner said he has been getting calls, in fact, several from college that are starting to be annoying.

“It’s kind of getting old and stressful,” Scrivner said. “Everyone is stringing you alogn until they get someone else they might like better. I just wish I could find a college that I really liked so I could go ahead at get things done.”

Scrivner, a 400-pound offensive lineman, has been recruited by the University of Central Oklahoma, Arkansas State, Tulsa and Emporia State. There are even some smaller Division III schools that have called, which adds to the stress.

“One college called and said they felt like I could be an impact player for them. I asked if they had ever seen any film on me and they said no. How can they say I’m an impact player for them if they have never seen me. That’s really one of the frustrating things when schools lie to you like that,” Scrivner said.

Scrivner said his emotions are like most high school seniors wanting to play football.

“I think everyone is feeling some stress. You are worried about making sure you can go to college, but once you sign, you can start having fun the rest of your senior year,” Scrivner said.

Of the three, Ricks may be feeling more stress than anyone because of his situation. Having scored a 28 on his ACT, several Ivy League schools want him for both academics and athletics. Oklahoma State University has an academic offer in the works and there is the possibility of going to the Merchant Marine Academy.

“My ACT score had got a lot of people looking at me. I’m getting a lot of academic stuff as well, so I don’t know which way I will go,” Ricks said.

Pennsylvania, Brown, Tulsa and Columbia have all contact Ricks about football as well as the smaller Oklahoma colleges.

“It seems like they all call on the same day. You’ll get off the phone with one coach and five minutes later another one calls. But it is a fun deal to get all the attention,” Ricks said.

Does he have a frontrunner?

“I haven’t decided yet. If it was tomorrow I would say Columbia or some other Ivy League school. But there is still is the merchant marines and Oklahoma State for academics,” Ricks said.

Dilbeck said all three players, as well as Brandon Mathis and Bryan Jones are taking a serious approach to their decision-making – which is the most critical step of the recruiting process.

“It’s not all fun and games and you have got to factor in who you want to play for and what you want to get out of it,” Dilbeck said. “If you do get to go Division I, its no holds barred and there might be some different coaching styles that you might not know about until it’s too late.”




































Letters Policy:


The News welcomes letters to the editor on subjects of interest to our readers. Short letters are most likely to be chosen for publication. The use of any material is at the discretion of the editor.

Editing may be necessary for space or clarity or to avoid poor taste, libel and invasion of privacy. Ideas though will not be changed. Upon request, the editor may allow the use of initials only but only rarely and for compelling reasons. Letters used do not necessarily reflect the editorial policies or beliefs of The News.

All letters must include address and phone number for verification purposes (address and phone numbers will not be printed).

Send letters to:

The Editor

290 N. Trade Center Terrace

Mustang, Oklahoma 73064