Posted: 9:46 a.m. Thursday, June 6, 2013
By Jared Smith
There's a common saying on the golf course that usually comes up during one of my rounds: "It is better to be lucky than good."
And when it comes to the recruitment of soon-to-be Syracuse Orange senior quarterback Drew Allen, who transferred from Oklahoma this Spring to complete for the starting job at SU, it sounds like that's exactly what the new Orange coaching staff was.
The story, which is told by Syracuse.com's Michael Cohen, goes that SU assistant coaches Tim Lester and George McDonald were working late one March night and received an e-mail from Oklahoma, which was trying to help out its former backup quarterback find a new place to play.
After looking at some film on Allen, the two coaches immediately called new head coach Scott Shafer.
Shafer's wife Missy answered the phone, and Lester relayed an urgent message asking Shafer to call him immediately.
When they finally connected, Lester explained the situation and told Shafer how he could watch film on Allen. By 10 p.m. Shafer had highlight tapes playing on his iPad. He was beaming.
"I was like, 'Doggone, this kid looks like he can play,'" Shafer told The Post-Standard in his office Wednesday. "I called Coach Stoops on the spot."
According to the piece, Shafer had a hardnosed conversation with the Ohio-born head coach, Stoops, who spoke highly of Allen's character and skill.
Stoops said, according to Shafer, that Allen certainly had the ability to be Oklahoma's starting quarterback, he just came to the Sooners at a time when the position was overcrowded with talent.
From there, the recruitment of Allen turned into just like every other recruiting battle. After talking with Allen, SU convinced him to make a visit to campus and in the end it was the connection with Lester and McDonald that helped the Orange edge North Carolina State.
They promised him a chance to compete for the starting spot -- he will battle with five other quarterbacks over the summer to take the field first against Penn State -- and that's precisely what Allen was hoping for.
On April 12, Allen committed to Syracuse. He called it one of the toughest and most important decisions of his life; he still has dreams of playing in the NFL.
Read Cohen's piece to learn more details on the recruitment of Allen. But the moral of this post is: who knew the fate of Allen, who could turn into a big piece of Syracuse's success this upcoming season, could be tied to a SPAM e-mail sent out by Oklahoma that just so happened to be seen by Lester, who's quick reactions may have given SU a leg-up on his recruitment?
Come January, we all could be thanking Lester for being as obsessed about his e-mail inbox as Mark Zuckerberg was about Erica Albright's Facebook page in the final scene of The Social Network.