Pac-12: Derek Babiash

On Wednesday, Ted linked to a story from's Mitch Sherman about recruiting and the "no-visit" policy for players who have already given a verbal commitment to a school. Of course, this was the policy at Oregon when Chip Kelly was around.

But Kelly is now the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and when he left, new coach Mark Helfrich loosened the strings on the policy. In the end, the Ducks kept three of the four A-listers who opened up their recruitment, holding on to San Diego products Tyree and Tyrell Robinson and Darren Carrington.


Do you like the idea of a 'no-visit' policy once a player has given the school a verbal commitment?


Discuss (Total votes: 2,955)

The issue of "no visit" commitments can be a sticky one. It's the only time a high school player truly has some leverage and having the ability to explore other options while considering one of the biggest decisions of a lifetime seems reasonable.

The schools that hold these policies, however, like to know they have a player wrapped up when counting scholarships. If a player is completely sold on going to a team -- that's fine. Everyone is happy.

But these are high school kids -- and many rush to make a decision before considering all options. That was the case with Arizona signee Derek Babiash -- a four-star defensive back who committed to Washington after his first visit. He told me last week that he got caught up in the excitement of his first visit and made a rush decision. It happens. And a potential mistake was rectified.

Naturally, this isn't for every school. Brady Hoke might be asking, as Sherman points out in the article, "This is Michigan, why wouldn't you (commit)?" But that's because Michigan is a brand name. I can promise you when I was covering him with the Aztecs, he wasn't proclaiming "This is San Diego State!" Just ask Tyler Bray -- once an SDSU commit.

Of course, with coaches coming and going frequently (as Ted noted in yesterday's video, there were 30 coaching changes in FBS football this year) it seems hypocritical to hold a commit to a verbal when the coach might be gone.

What's your take? Do you like the idea of a "no-visit" policy once a player has given the school a verbal commitment?

Video: Arizona cornerback Derek Babiash

February, 6, 2013

Kevin Gemmell talks with new Arizona cornerback Derek Babiash.

Pac-12 recruiting notebook

February, 6, 2013
SAN DIEGO -- The twins Robinson -- Tyree and Tyrell -- and Darren Carrington all went window shopping. But in the end, they trusted their guts and suppressed the knee-jerk, caveat emptor reaction when Chip Kelly left the Oregon Ducks for the NFL.

At a national signing day event at the San Diego Hall of Champions, the trio from San Diego all put ink to their verbal commitments and signed to play with the Ducks, ending weeks of speculation that they would be 11th-hour flips and spurn the Ducks and new head coach Mark Helfrich.

"At first it was about exploring options," said Tyrell Robinson, who attends Lincoln High in San Diego with his brother. "We made a commitment to Chip Kelly. When he left, we felt disappointed because who doesn't want to play for a man like that? Me and my brother took our trips to UW and SC, we turned down Ohio State. We were very close to switching schools. We liked UW a lot on our last visit. But at the end of the day we felt Oregon was still the best choice for us."

"Us" being the operative word. Because the Robinsons were going to be a package deal no matter what.

"That was really important to us," Tyrell said. "We were going to go to the same place so it was a matter of finding the spot that was best for us. We really had to think about it. We wanted to see what else was out there after Chip left. That was our chance to get out there and see what else was available.

"But Coach Helfrich told us we were going to be a big factor in this recruiting class and he felt we could come in right away and make an impact."

Carrington, a wide receiver from Horizon High School, said he liked the elevation of Scott Frost from receivers coach to offensive coordinator.

"I was definitely considering somewhere else," he said. "They talked about throwing the ball more and I think in the end, this was the best fit for me."

Carrington's father, Darren Carrington Sr., was the main speaker at the event that included hundreds of San Diego athletes in various sports. The former NFL safety said he was there to counsel his son, but ultimately let him make his own decision.

"I was there to give him information, but you're raising a man so you have to teach him to make up his own mind," Carrington Sr. said. "Chip was checking things out so we thought it was only fair that we check things out. We took a couple of trips and ultimately this is what he thought was best for him."


Center Scott Quessenberry (Carlsbad, La Costa Canyon High), the No. 3-rated center nationally and an ESPN 300 player, said head coach Jim Mora was "very convincing" when he met with him. One of the early knocks on Mora, of course, was that he lacked college experience and might struggle in recruiting. But his first two recruiting classes say otherwise.

"I hope he's proved a lot of people wrong," Quessenberry said. "We've got a heck of a class. He's changed people's minds about recruiting and UCLA football. We're hungry. We're coming and we're going to win a lot of games."

Quessenberry said he prefers the center position, but feels he's versatile enough to play anywhere on the line.

"Anywhere they need me, I'm ready," he said.


Cornerback Derek Babiash (Poway, Poway High) said he's at peace with his decision to sign with Arizona after initially giving a commitment to Washington. The 6-foot, 165-pound cornerback who ranks 38th nationally at the position, said he got caught up in all of the excitement of being recruited when he made his initial commitment.

"When I made my first commitment, I went on a spring game visit and I think it was rushed and spur of the moment," Babiash said. "I just got really excited. I went home and thought on it and decided it wasn't going to be the right place for me.

"I think I'll have the opportunity to step in right away and if I work hard I can be one of the five DBs in that (3-3-5 defensive) set."


New Colorado running back Michael Adkins (La Mesa, Helix High) comes from one of the strongest high school football programs in San Diego. He's aware of the difficulties facing Colorado and he's looking forward to attacking it head on.

"I'm from Helix and we have a winning tradition," Adkins said. "I hate losing. I'm looking forward to getting there and helping change some things. The team is young so hopefully we can come in and start making a difference in the Pac-12."

Asked about new coach Mike MacIntyre, Adkins said he loved the enthusiasm.

"He's a fiery guy," Adkins said. "He knows his stuff. And I loved the whole staff. They really felt like a family."
I'll have a Bloody Mary and a steak sandwich and ... a steak sandwich.