36

Football: Is Shaq going to make suitors wait?

The lesson we all should have learned long ago in recruiting — more valid than ever in the cyber age — is the old Yogi line: It’s not over ’til it’s over.

Even then, it may not be over with safety Shaq Thompson.

Thompson, who committed to Cal two weeks ago but seems wide open right now, told Scout.com he doesn’t intend to announce his school on the Feb. 1 signing day.

He didn’t indicate why he would postpone the announcement, but here’s one possible reason: He may want to see how the rest of the dominos follow, then jump to whichever school landed the best class.

Rated the No. 3 overall prospect in the country by Scout, Thompson said Cal, Washington and UCLA are all tied at the top, with Oregon also still in the picture.

The word I’ve heard is most of Thompson’s family in Sacramento wants him at Cal, where big brother Syd’Quan played. But the kid is going to make up his own mind.

We just don’t know when.

PS: My apologies for not being on recently — our blog system was down for awhile.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    I interpret this as hes going where armstead and shittu go if they stay in pac 12.

  • H8sRed

    You’d think he’d want to be the leader of the pack. Commit to Cal and the vast majority of the others will follow.

  • David

    I don’t believe he’s waiting just to see where everyone else goes.

    The dude is torn and needs time. That’s it.

  • Esquire Joe

    Wow. If that’s true, what does it say about his character and judgment? Of course, he may have a perfectly legitimate reason for waiting until after signing day to commit, but if he really is waiting to see who has the “best class,” that’s pathetic.

    What school wants a recruit who so lacks confidence in his own abilities that he has to ride others’ coattails rather than pick the best school for his personality, his education, and his game.

    Not only that, you have to question the intelligence of a recruit who makes this big a decision based on the results of one recruiting class. So many factors determine each team’s success. A single great recruiting class is a good thing, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate decider.

    Again, I hope this is just uninformed speculation and that he has another legitimate reason for waiting. I would hate to think that’s what he’s really doing.

  • Juancho

    Could be he wants to see if any more coaches move.

  • rollonubears

    Do we leave an open scholarship for him? Kick somebody else out in the hopes he signs on? Is he expecting all the schools to do that? Not really fair to the rest of the guys, in my opinion. Makes sense to wait until signing day for sure, but after? Maybe he knows something we don’t know. He knew about tosh before we did.

  • covinared

    Its his decision. Its a big one. He can go anywhere he wants. He can’t be blamed for putting it off. Its not binding until he sends the fax anyway.

  • Bears

    It’s all speculation.
    Shaq will make the call.
    I hope his Call is for the Golden Bears.
    California love!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I wonder what’s up. He knows, I mean KNOWS, what he gets at Cal, from the school and from Tedford. He and his family were pleased with Syd’s experience.

    So, one can only presume he is being promised the world elsewhere, and he does not know for sure whether to believe what he is hearing or not. I think the final visits will be the clinchers for him. He may be influenced by other commits, but I doubt so, too much.

    I only see two scenarios where he drops Cal. Either UW pulls a top 5 class he wants to be a part of (possible) or Cal’s class so falls apart at the last minute he has doubts about Tedford’s future (possible, but not very likely). Both of those would justify waiting until after 2/1.

  • DelthaForce

    This is like the prisoner’s dilemma, or another variation of the Nash Equilibrium — he can sit back and see who gets the best class and go there, but if he does that, he loses the ability to give any particular school the momentum it might gain in recruiting by his signing. But if he commits on or before Feb 1, he might not end up going where the best class goes.

    What other unknown factor is there but that? I disagree with David; he has enough info on all other fronts to make a decision. If he’s torn, it has to do with who is going where, not with what any particular school has to offer.

  • David

    Also, he used up all of his official visits, and wanted to see UCLA, so he’s delaying his commitment until he unofficially visits UCLA next week

  • David

    Also, he used up all of his official visits, and wanted to see UCLA, so he’s delaying his commitment until he unofficially visits UCLA next week.

  • Juancho

    I’m willing to make a gentleman’s bet with any takers. $1.

    If Armstead picks a Pac 12 school; Shaq will pick the same one.

    Any takers ?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Well, I think there is a good chance they both pick Cal, Juancho, so I wouldn’t bet, but I do not think they go the same place otherwise.

  • bigdruid

    Esquire Joe: Wow, that’s a pretty negative rant you just went on towards what would be our top recruit, based solely on a Jeff Faraudo strawman. Let’s just chill out and let these kids make up their minds without freaking out every time they update their twitter.

  • Juancho

    This stuff changes by the hour.

    Now Cedric Dozier may have less solid of a commitment to Cal.

    Apparently Washington has changed their mind and will recruit him as WR. So now he’s taking an official visit there this Weekend. My thoughts are – whom else are they bringing in this weekend that has Cal connections? Hopefully nobody.

    In the News Tribune blog where they reported this, Dozier’s high school coach said the reason Washington changed its stance is that a wide receiver position “opened up”.

    You don’t think Payton has told them thanks but no thanks do you ?

    I don’t.

  • eric

    One of the few times I agree with Covinared – if this was my kid, I would want him to decide where HE wants to be, not where I want him to go. If Shaq wants to go to Cal, great. If he doesn’t, why criticize an 18-year old kid?

    If the reason why he switchew is because of Tosh, or for reasons having to do with wanting to be with the best class, or the school with momentum, etc., we can all dissect and scream and yell wherever

  • ho

    Agree with Bigdruid and Bears. Just chill. No point in speculating

  • jabes

    I like Shaq’s move. Remember, once these kids (who don’t get paid) sign a LOI, they give up some options while the coaches (who do get paid) still have freedom (if not security) written into their contracts.

    For the players that could find themselves without an offer, they have to commit and sign. For a player like Shaq, his “market” value is higher so a school he likes will have a scholarship for him. Why should he give up his only leverage if he doesn’t have to?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It’s just too bad the coaches do not have to sign written promises as to things like “You will be a WR” and “Want some reps at wildcat.” A coach can say it, and a recruit has no recourse but to transfer and lose a year if the coach renegs, meaning most just swallow it.

  • Pc

    Everyone chill. It’s perfectly legit for someone to want to be on a team with other players of the same caliber. Let’s just see where he ends up.

  • rob bear

    He’s going to be a Bear and that’s final! Family sways him big time. LA is too far and so is Seattle for home games. Let momma get a hold of him and tell him what’s up with respect to letting her see her baby. Couple this with Syd’s talk and it is a done deal. He is going to be a BEAR!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    If you missed the Kenny Lawler stuff, his dad basically said to Biggins that if Cal offers, he’s there, after a discussion of his trip to WSU. Then, it turns out Tedford was at Lawler’s house about when the article was posted.

  • ThisisCal

    All Tedford has to say is: “Shaq, I can’t promise you that you’ll ever be in a decent bowl game, or a bowl game at all for that matter, but I can promise you the NFL. Think about your future, son.”

  • shaka

    Ykes, at the risk of being a heretic, we need a unifier, not another look at me player. We had all that in DeJean. Yes they make the great plays occasionally, but at what cost. These guys are being treated like rock stars by the media (star system), and the first priority ought to fit, chemistry, and Cal. To Ted’s credit, he gets that..I hope Shaq does the right thing and is part of our march to greatness.

  • PC

    Yeah. I understand these kids want to have fun and having a bit of ego is fine. Being competitive is what makes players strive to be better.

    But at some point having too much of “me me me” attitude instead of team one can be a distraction. There are commits that aren’t basking in the lime light right now that I think will be making a huge difference in years to come.

  • Jabes

    What ego? Shaq has leverage, and he’s using it. His career should be his #1 concern. When he picks a team, then he is expected to be committed. If he’s not ready to be that committed, and has the leverage to wait, waiting makes perfect sense,

  • eric

    @Shake – I get your sentiment, but I’m not sure there is much evidence of Tedford “getting it.” He has little problem sticking with starting players who are “his guys” when there should be competition. Moreover, the oft repeated rumor (just rumor, granted) as to why Maynard is starting, or even at Cal, is simply to keep KA happy.

    And after watching the laugh-fest of our guys at the end of the embarassing loss this year to Texas, not sure that would be evidence of being a “unifier.”

  • Juancho

    Looks like Brandon Beaver is a done deal.

    He tweeted last night:

    “Just got done talking to Coach Ambrose…#CalGang braduh”

  • Juancho

    Another update.

    Greg Biggins, the ESPN guy who covers recruiting in the West now seems to think that the leaders for Armstead are Cal, Oregon, Washington.

    I’m convinced he and Shaq are a package deal.

    However, Ryan Gorcey, the Rivals’ guy who covers recruiting for Cal tweeted that Cal fans should give Shaq some space and let him breathe and get off his back. And that we won’t be dissapointed when it’s all said and done.

    So I guess he thinks Shaq will still be coming here.

    Who the hell knows. But I guess I’m like everyone else where I’m starting to look forward to recruiting being over.

    It’s exhausting.

    Also – someone posted that Kenny Lawler’s dad intimates that he’ll come to Cal if we offer. And that we had an in home with him last night. This is false. We did not have an in home with him last night. We had an in home with Kenny Walker, a current WR commit who is going to take an official visit to Washington this weekend.

    Kenny Lawler will be in Berkeley this weekend for an official visit. So what ? To me this means that Tedford and company feel that one of the current WRs (at least 1) will defect. They would not have offered him an official visit (and a scholarship) if they felt like the current WR class was going to hold steady. Maybe I’m wrong though and they all hold their commitment and we get one more great WR on top of it. We can sure use the depth. I think Keenan would appreciate that.

    Also – Kenny Walker has another in home with Mike “the concussion expert” Leach tonight.

    It also turns out Cedric Dozier, another Cal WR commit will also take an official visit to Washington this week. So my fear that they were going to try to get as many “Cal guys” to visit at once – so they can provide a support system for one another as they consider jumping ship, is proving true.

    DJ Foster will announce his decision manana around noon. We have no RBs committed in this class and he is the only one we’re still waiting to hear back from.

    Our in home visit with Shaq Thompson is tonight. He also has an in home with Tosh and Washington tonight. Boy wouldn’t you love to have those two groups meet in the driveway?

    Biggins reported yesterday that he believes Aziz Shittu is now leaning towards Stanford. Doesn’t surprise me. He was a Stanford commit in early 2011. He only uncommitted when he was having trouble getting the test scores to gain admittance. Now that he’s gained entry I agree they’re the favorite.

    He was going to commit to Cal when Shaq and Armstead and McCarthy were. Not sure if everyone remembers but one of the recruiting sites had the article where those three D lineman talked about being a package and playing together in college, which was going to be Cal when McCarthy announced and that photo of them all throwing the Cal “C” leaked.

  • Juancho

    I’m starting to realize Tedford needs to hire me to help with strategy. He needs somebody with a market research and business strategy background on his team.

  • Juancho

    There’s a new episode of the Bear Republic podcast on cal.rivals.com they do a great job of providing recruiting updates. Kind of sophomoric at times. But informative.

    Biggins now reports that Shaq will commit on signing day. The sooner the better I think. Hopefully he comes here. He’ll be a legend. And we’re hands down the best school academically. But if not, so be it. At least his brother came here.

    Biggins went on to say that now UCLA is the leader, but that it changes daily. It was Washington, now UCLA, and tomorrow could be Oregon. So again, who the hell knows. But he’s a kid and he’s worked to put himself in this position to choose where he goes. Good for him and may he be successful wherever he goes.

    I’m done following recruiting for the morning. This is too stressful.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Biggins also wrote a story for the Insiders about the status of Pac 12 recruiting.

    I happened on it shortly after it was first published, when it still consisted of a review for all 14 teams of the Pac 12, including BYU and Boise State.

    Subsequently edited, I can’t help but have my doubts as to Biggins’ attention to detail.

  • Mr. B

    @Juancho

    Thanks for gathering the news and explaining it for those of us without the ability to track it ourselves.

    If by any chance you live in San Diego, you should check out this South Park eatery, which creatively combines mexican food with sushi. I kid you not.

    http://www.juanchous.com/

    Go BEARS!

  • calgrizzlybear

    hope we get arik and shaq says home is where he needs to be

  • rollonubears

    Isn’t today the mega visit day for a whole bunch of recruits? Haven’t heard much about it lately.