21 September 2009

NU lands Cobb, reaps benefits of program stability

Jershon Cobb, a Class of 2010 Rivals Top 100 recruit from Atlanta Georgia, orally committed to Northwestern over the weekend. This is a HUGE get for a variety of reasons.

1. NU has three slots to fill for the 2010 class (though some think NU will bank one or possibly two of those scholarships given the impressive list of recruits expressing interest in NU from the 2011 class. More on that below), and the natives were starting to get restless. This should placate even the most hardened Carmody critic.

2. Cobb is the highest ranked recruit landed by Carmody (and Hardy -- Tavaras is a monster on the recruiting trail!) in his nine-plus years at NU. Recruiting trajectory continues to point upward and has never looked more promising.

3. And, last but certainly not least, Cobb could be NU's hook to landing the "Georgia Peaches", three very highly regarded Class of 2011 prospects from Atlanta who play AAU ball together. Could a package deal be in the offing?

I have to believe that Bill Carmody is officially off the hot seat, much to the chagrin of some. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that Bill Carmody can coach the X's and O's. The knock on him was that he couldn't recruit. Well, that issue is pretty much dead.

To me, the bigger picture of inking Cobb (and last year's significant class of Shurna, Mirkovic, Rowley, Fruendt, and Curletti) is that NU is finally harvesting the fruits from investing in the Carmody tree. Frankly, it would have been easy for NU to have gone a different course a few years back. It would have been easy to justify canning Bill Carmody after the drop-off in 2006-07, Carmody's seventh year at the helm. Coaches are typically given four to five years to establish themselves.

Of course, there is nothing typical about NU's incomparable history of futility (only major conference program to never make NCAAs, etc...). Fortunately, we had a good AD (Mark Murphy) and president (Henry Bienen) at the time who not only could appreciate Carmody's worth as a coach but also the shackles he had from 70 some odd years of program futility.

Onward and upward, NU.

No comments: