What Happened? Nick Lamaison's Sorta Commitment That Maybe Wasn't

Most of us are pretty familiar with the sequence of events that happened regarding Nick Lamaison today:

  • Lamaison's Junior College published a farewell and best wishes to him on their website, regarding his departure to Tennessee.
  • The news slowly trickles through various outlets, causing GVX commenters to whine that GVX didn't get the story up until this morning.
  • Muted sighs of relief: this wasn't the biggest name on the list but Lamaison seems to be a fine catch by every indication.
  • The announcement is removed from the Mt. San Antonio College website.
  • Attempts by GVX to verify were met with 'no comment'.
  • A correction is posted, promptly causing GVX commenters to whine that GVX didn't get sufficient verification before posting.
  • (No wonder GVX allows comments to be disabled...)

Ok, back to seriousness.  The Lamaison incident has left a little lurch, as we now don't have verified information about whether he committed or not.  But even at that, I think this incident does give us information that's useful to have on hand.

First, it's pretty safe to assume that Lamaison is willing to commit.  The announcement on the school's site quoted the team's offensive coordinator when wishing him well; I seriously doubt the O.C. would have made statements like that if he didn't have a good feel on Lamaison's situation.  It's a school that has a reputation for putting out JC transfers into 1-A schools:  Kevin Craft came from there just in time to beat UT last year, and one of UT's current commits - Bruce Irvin - is a MTSAC student.

Second, we know that Lamaison isn't the top name on the list at the moment.  It's pretty obvious to everybody that Scroggins is the first choice and Rettig is the second.  As fans, we don't know how solid Rettig is about the BC commit, but it's too fresh to discount.  (At least, there's no reason to expect Rettig to change his mind before Lamaison has to make his own mind up this month.)  So Rettig is out of the equation.

That leaves the question of Scroggins.  Recently, every rumor has pointed to Scroggins committing to USC.It's understandable, and these kinds of rumors tend to have a good track record, so the assumption that the commit is bound to happen is a reasonable one.  With both Scroggins and Rettig assumedly off the map, the next name in line is quite possibly Lamaison.  Given that the UT coaches have been speaking with Lamaison and have probably explained that they're waiting to see how the other stories unfold, this news could easily have been enough to prompt the MTSAC coordinator to make the first farewell comment.

If Scroggins and Rettig were 100% done deals, this wouldn't have been a problem.  Somehow, UT needs another qb, and Lamaison would give UT 3 years of eligibility and would step on campus in time for the fall semester - something not even Scroggins or Rettig can do.  He'd count against the '09 class and thus not take up room in the '10 class.  There are a lot of reasons the fit would make sense.

The only reasons this wouldn't make sense is if Lamaison's commitment could damage UT's chances at targets for the '10 class:  Scroggins and/or Rettig.  Since Rettig is basically out of the picture for the month, that means that UT still feels they're in the mix for Scroggins.

There's a distinct psychological process within recruiting where, once a kid makes up his mind, he generally has a hard time talking to other programs like he's still interested in them.  So if Scroggins were 100% on USC, it'd be likely (though not certain) that the UT recruiting circle would pick up on that.  So again, it makes sense to think that UT's recruiters still believe there's a chance that Scroggins commits.

And yet, we can deduce that the recruiters believe that Scroggins is not 100% for UT.  There's a chance that something could derail the Scroggins process - particularly the commit of another quarterback.  With that in mind, the UT staff certainly has no interest in having such announcements made public.  So it again stands to reason that a Lamaison commit isn't a 100% deal for fear of disrupting Scroggins.

This also means that UT must really be enticing to Lamaison.  If he's willing to go through all this with the fall semester starting in little more than a month's time, UT has to be the best option on the table for him by a long margin.  That doesn't necessarily mean that Lamaison isn't worth anybody else's time when you consider that few schools are in the quarterback position that UT is in.

So all in all, UT likely thinks that Scroggins may still happen.  Lamaison is likely high on UT.  And either way, it seems we'll get at least one quarterback out of the whole deal.  This whole deal is based on speculation, but it's best we can do when we're not invited behind the closed doors.

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