Meyer dodges an off-the-field bullet

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It looks like Urban Meyer and his staff dodged a recruiting bullet.

Remember Barron Collier kicker Marvin Kloss? The place-kicker got a bit of attention when he wanted to walk-on to Florida’s football team. He was very close to getting his wish until UF’s admissions office didn’t accept him. With that, Kloss decided to walk-on at USF and compete for a starting job over the summer. He was originally offered a grayshirt by USF but thought he would have a better shot at playing with Florida.

Sunday, the Naples Daily News reported that Kloss was arrested on Friday along with another teammate after police said they stole around $8,200 from a home during a house party.

According to police reports, the victim told police several items were taken from her home between Feb. 26 and March 1, while she was out of town. Reports stated that a Nintendo Wii, an 18-karat gold bracelet, a watch and a camera were stolen.

Obviously the story is developing and more details could come out, but imagine if he was accepted by UF. Florida’s football program has seen 26 arrests during Meyer’s five-year tenure and to have a recruit fall into that category would ignite more Meyer bashing. Obviously Florida’s staff wouldn’t have shown as much interest in Kloss if this had happened before, but it would have been another distraction for Meyer to have to deal with concerning players and the law.

To Meyer’s credit, Florida’s 2010 class dodged a few other off-the-field bullets. There was Darlington, S.C., cornerback Victor Hampton, who verbally committed to Florida in February of 2009 while at Charlotte, N.C., Independence. Hampton later transferred to Darlington and off-the-field issues supposedly contributed to that. Last month, Hampton was arrested on a charge of underage drinking while at his high school. Hampton signed his Letter of Intent to play at South Carolina this fall.

Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson safety Demar Dorsey was a guy who only got attention because of his on-again, off-again feelings about his Florida commitment. Dorsey was finally let go by Florida’s staff just before National Signing Day. Initially, it was thought that his uneasy commitment was the reason for his departure, but soon his criminal past surfaced and he started to get a lot more attention. Word began to spread that his troubled past might have played a bigger part in him not making it into Florida’s class. According to court records in Broward County, Dorsey was charged with two felonies while in high school. He signed his LOI with Michigan and coach Rich Rodriguez has taken some heat for giving Dorsey a scholarship.

For a program that has taken a lot of criticism of late for the negative off-the-field attention it has gotten, Meyer did a good job of bringing in a host of commitments who have kept themselves out of trouble.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t it amazing that you don’t really hear any real long term backlash about Demar Dorsey going to Michigan or Victor Hampton ending up at South Carolina?? But what would have been unleashed if those guys had ended up at UF?? Newspapers throughout the South and Paul Finescum would have been having a field day wondering how Urban Meyer could have “embraced” such thuggery. They would have accused him of doing anything to win, including recruiting crooks. It’s all rooted in Gator Envy and hypocrisy.

  2. agreed this would have been horific if these guys would have come in. look at independence high an the players they have produced hardly any off the field problems. then comes vic hampton. youd think with a program like independence that his problems would have been known way sooner. and as far as dorsey goes he would have redshirted an made life hard for coach heater.

  3. The larger issue, for me, is why many of these young men are offered a ‘scholarship’ at all, at Florida or anywhere else. When University ethos are repeatedly bent to accept physical potential as a reason to allow a person a scholarship, rather than need or potential academic achievement, of course you will find those places who are willing to take a chance on admitting thieves, drunks, dopers, rapists, steroid freaks, etc.

    College football is a religion based on spurious underpinnings.

  4. I don’t think that when this kid was, or any of the kids that get into trouble for that matter, said during their meetings with the coaching staff during recruitment “you know what, when I get on campus I am going to beeah all sorts of laws and show no respect to women”, only to have the coaches reply “you know, that’s fine, as long as you perform than that’s all that matters, you can do whatever you want”. So many people act like the coaches knew ahead of time that Dunlap was going to get a dui, or so and so was going to hit a girl. Come on, that is so far from the truth. I guarantee every kid when talking to the coach during recruitment is saying he is the most respectful hit guy in the world, and all the coaches have to go off is the word and reputation of the player or high school coach.

    Believe me, urban does not have a list of high school felons as his highest priority recruits. That is really ignorant to believe. He cannot know ahead of time what these recruits will do in 2 years. Not to mention they didn’t recruit markeith ambles hard because why? He had a bad history! Hmmm, sounds funny. But who picked him up? Lame kiffin.

  5. Sounds like there were red flags on these players while they were still in high school. I’m sure that these off the field problems were not one time events. Just shows that there are important things to consider besides vertical jump, time in the 40, number of tackles, and other performance stats.
    All schools need to look at the heart of the kid when recruiting. You are probably not going to change a young man’s ethos when it is 18 years in the making. Character also makes a good football player!

  6. Thugs. Thugs. Thugs. Sorry but many college football athletes are borderline characters from I’m a “urban ” households with little guidance, structure and positive influence. Yea, I know, I’m a racist and prejudice, blah, blah, blah but sorry, it’s a fact. I’ve followed college football closely, very closely for over 40 years and it’s a fact. In the 70’s and 80’s there was no testing for ‘roids, etc and cops gave the wink and the nod and sent the bad boys (Wickline, Brantley) back to the dorm with no report and no Sun coverage. in the 90’s and beyond, athletes are responsible for their actions. Don’t believe it? Ask Shane Mathews, Kyle Morris, Javon Kerse and the many other UF athletes that have been arrested, suspended or blackballed because of their actions.

  7. It would seem to me that the first thing the football staff conducting the recruiting would do, would be to: [1] have the student athlete complete a questionaire which asked about disciplinary problems in school; and interactions with the local constabulary; and, [2] check with the local police to see if there had been any arrests, charges, and/or convictions. I realize that the fact that these kids are juveniles might be a hindrance in getting that kind of information from the police, but it would be worth a try. If it could be discovered early in the recruiting process it would save a lot of time and effort spent in recruiting what turned out to be a bad kid.

  8. Brian, I totally agree with you and Paul, you are completely off-base. If you have spent any time at all hiring, you’ll see that Paul is completely right. Everyone is on their best behavior and not always truthful in their responses. Also, keep in mind that the coaches are recruiting literally 100’s of players, many halfway across the country. It’s not like they are watching and observing all day, every day. And once again, it is the player’s responsibility to act in a forthright manner. The coaches do the best they can, but it is a tough environment.

  9. Teenage kids are immature in general; some more than others. It would be interesting to see how much trouble they get into once they’re in their mid twenties (when they realize they may need a job to support themselves). My guess is the numbers drop way down. Yeap, you have a few recruits who are red flaggers; The ones who get into some programs but not at others based on their records, both of them. Red flaggers are the recruits who get a “do over”. For every coach who recruits one, they’re all hoping the player finally “gets it”; that there is a life beyond the streets and that college football (every aspect of it) is a way out.