Written by Corbett Smith
For high school coaches, getting their players offers is another part of the job description
DESOTO — DeSoto football coach Claude Mathis looked a little haggard. Driving home late Tuesday night from Round Rock — where he coached in the International Bowl, a high school all-star game — Mathis didn’t pull in until 3 a.m., with a full day of work ahead of him on Wednesday’s national signing day.
“I don’t know how much coaching I did,” Mathis said. “When I wasn’t on the field, I was on the phone with colleges. Whew, I can tell you, it is a grind.”
Like many coaches with major high school programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Mathis’ work isn’t over with his senior class after the season ends.
“It really is like a second season,” Arlington Martin coach Bob Wager said.
Some coaching staffs pride themselves on burning up the phones in the months and weeks heading into signing day — reaching out to their contacts and staying in close touch with college staffs that might swoop in for a last-minute recruit. The goal is simple: get as many players signed to scholarships as possible.
“To be honest, since Christmas, it’s been busy, busy,” Mesquite coach Robbie Robinson said. “Either [the colleges] were here, or on the phone. It was a revolving door. But, hey, that’s a good problem to have.”
DeSoto had 15 players sign national letters of intent, including an area-high eight players to FBS schools. Mesquite had an area-best 18 signees; Skyline had 14; Allen, Denton Guyer and Cedar Hill 10; Mesquite Horn and Arlington Bowie nine and Frisco Centennial eight.
Several of DeSoto’s FBS signees were last-minute pledges.
All-state linebacker Taylor Young held out for an offer from Baylor, which came through after his official visit last weekend. Myron Turner, who had his only FBS offer pulled in late January by Washington State and Mike Leach, signed with Utah State. Lineman Aubry Beal got his only FBS offer from Air Force on Jan. 28.
“Coach [Todd] Peterman and Coach Mathis really helped me out, letting people know that I play center, it’s my true position,” Beal said. “I’m real grateful to them that they could help me out.”
Defensive back Zach White was without a Division I offer until a few weeks ago, picking up a late offer from Houston on an official visit.
“I’m appreciative of what our coaches did for me,” White said.
Jesuit had five players headed to FBS schools: Texas signee Jake Oliver, Texas A&M’s Jordan Mastrogiovanni, Iowa State’s J.D. Waggoner and Georgetown’s Porter Huntley. J.J. Gustafson, Jesuit’s star lineman, will grayshirt next season at Texas A&M while recovering from a knee injury.
“Obviously, this is probably the most we’ve had at Jesuit to sign Division I to play football,” Jesuit coach Brandon Hickman said.
“I’m happy for where our program’s headed. These kids mean everything to me, the program and coaches at this school. Today’s an awesome experience.”
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN