My apologies for posting this a bit late -- blame the Big Ten spring meetings -- but there have been several stories in recent weeks about high school prospect Wayne Lyons, who is taking his recruitment into his own hands. There's a Big Ten connection here, so just be patient.
Describing Lyons as the "next Myron Rolle," SI.com's Andy Staples explains how Lyons and his mother are sending a detailed list of 50 questions to each of the schools who have offered scholarships. They ask about student life, a program's history of graduating players and the coaches' backgrounds, among other topics. Here's the full list.
Lyons, like Rolle, is not only a star on the field but in the classroom, where he takes a bunch of AP courses and earned a 3.8 GPA while taking classes at a community college near his home in Florida.
OK, here's the Big Ten connection.
Wisconsin defensive line coach Charlie Partridge, who recruits South Florida, told Rolle's mother, Gwen Bush, about all the options her son had and offered a way to separate the best ones.
In fact, it was Wisconsin's Partridge who inspired the questionnaire. He mentioned to Bush that 2010 Badgers signee James White had sent questionnaires to schools recruiting him. Partridge forwarded Bush a copy of White's questionnaire and Bush added a few questions she picked up from a recruiting service. Then she sat down with her son and each listed more questions they wanted answered.
"[White's] wasn't as elaborate as what we have," Bush said. "We were very, very specific."
Wisconsin has some stiff competition for Lyons' services, as his offers list includes Alabama, Florida, Miami and fellow Big Ten schools Ohio State and Michigan. But Partridge's suggestion certainly shouldn't hurt the Badgers' chances. It shows the Wisconsin staff is willing to answer questions, not just offer information.
I'll be interested to see if more recruits follow this approach, as they try to sift through the truths and lies of the recruiting world.