If you’re heading to Lexington this weekend and looking for a good book to read on the trip, I’ve got one for you.
It’s called “Meat Market” and it was written by ESPN writer Bruce Feldman, who was offered inside access to Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron and the Rebels’ recruiting war room for almost a year. What Feldman has put together is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse at college football recruiting.
And it’s a quick, easy read ” a page-turner that will take you only one or two sittings to finish (about the length of the trip to Lexington).
The book also offers an inside look at one of college football’s most unique personalities ” the fiery, barrel-chested Orgeron, whose early coaching career and rise to head football coach at Ole Miss make for quite an entertaining tale.
But the book, of course, is mostly about recruiting. Even if you’re not a recruitnik, you’ll enjoy the fly-on-the-wall stuff you’ll find in the book.
Florida coach Urban Meyer is mentioned a few times and so are several recruits the Gators were in the hunt for a year ago.
Here’s one thing you’ll take from the book: don’t trust those star ratings the recruiting services come up with.
I won’t reveal the name, but Orgeron and his staff settled down to watch tape of a five-star junior college cornerback and turned if off after only a few minutes because they knew right away he couldn’t play. The player, who was also recruited by Florida, ended up signing with Louisville.
The scenes in the Ole Miss war room and on the recruiting trail and at summer camp are all good stuff.
Here’s another thing you’ll take from the book: trust the coaches when they offer a kid who may not be highly rated by the recruiting services but has been at camp. The coaches use those summer camps to find out who can and can’t play.