Jamie Newberg is embarking on his 20th year of covering college football recruiting at the Southeastern or national level. He has covered recruiting on television and for Internet sites such as Scout.com, Rivals.com and now ESPN.com. Newberg offered opinions on this year's recruiting process, which isn't over since a couple of top-10 national prospects have yet to sign.
Q: You have been doing this for a long time. What do you think of the whole recruiting process, especially how things transpired in the past few weeks and months?
A: "I don't like where all this stuff is headed. It's been bad for a while, and I just don't like where this is headed. In five of the last six years, if it's not the nation's top recruit pushing his announcement beyond signing day, it's one of the nation's top recruits. I know sometimes that kids need time, and I understand that Wednesday was just the first day that they could sign and that they have until April 1, but you wonder sometimes what the real reasons are for doing this. That's just one aspect I don't like."
Q: What are some others?
A: "The recruiting is just so unbelievable now and so cutthroat. The gloves are off in January, and all the nonsense with the commits and the decommits and the commits. The coaching volatility seems to be crazier than ever and seems to have a bigger effect on recruiting each year. Everything seems to be escalated and magnified more than ever before."
Q: Georgia tailback signee Isaiah Crowell holding up a puppy Wednesday drew some criticism. What was your reaction?
A: "I'm one of those guys who just wishes they would walk up to the podium and say, 'I'm signing with Georgia or Alabama or wherever.' I don't get into all the theatrics, but at the same time they're going through this unbelievable ordeal, and then they get their five minutes when they make their announcement. If they want to have some creativity to it, then so be it. I guess we all take it in different ways."
Q: Hasn't ESPN, or ESPNU, contributed to some of this by having a 10-hour national telecast?
A: "I was part of that show. I was part of 'Countdown to Signing Day,' and we were one of the first outlets where kids could go on television and do it. Typically it was putting on the hat, and I didn't like it then. I was always hoping we would have a kid come on the show and say, 'I'm going to Florida State.' It is what is, but I hope this doesn't continue becoming too bad or too over the top."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...