Two years ago this November I went to see a Bakersfield phenom who was rushing for about 300 yards and four touchdowns a game against good high school competition. I took notes and wrote an article and sent it to UCLA coach Karl Dorrell and three of his assistants, stressing Ryan Mathews wanted to attend UCLA but hadn’t received any offers, and that the Bruins certainly needed a prime running back. None of them responded.
Saturday afternoon, Mathews, playing for Fresno State, shredded UCLA with a 49-yard touchdown run and a 24-yard TD catch, hurdling a defender, to key a 36-31 victory in the Rose Bowl. He rushed for 166 yards, about eight per carry, and had 190 yards offense with the reception.
Dorrell lost too many games to keep his job at UCLA, and the other guy and his staff who received this information and did nothing – Tyrone Willingham at the University of Washington – will be looking for work at the end of this season.
Good coaches listen to relevant tips and go after great players, especially when the player is publicly asking to play for them.