‘They won’t even be in our league soon. [...] With the way our recruiting is going we’ll be challenging teams like Viriginia Tech for the ACC Title. [...] State College will be lucky to get a win against us every four or five years…’ (paraphrased, but accurate as confirmed by others.)
In life, it’s said that timing is everything. After your ass has just been handed to you by your in-state rival, is that a good time to fling insults and talk about how far ahead your team is? I’ll go with “Probably Not” for $1000, Alex.
May, who played QB and TE for the Tar Heels from 1987-1991, during the Sheridan era at NC State, won once in four tries against NC State, and was on the field for the 1988 48-3 loss to the Pack, and then again for the 1989 40-6 shellacking that the Wolfpack handed the Tar Heels on a gorgeous fall day in Carter-Finley Stadium. Moreover, in their last seven meetings against UNC, NC State leads the series 4-3. They are on a two game roll against the Tar Heels and Saturday’s result was the second largest of victory by the Wolfpack over the Hapless Heels.
Regarding recruiting, May of all people should know better: he was a much-heralded Parade All-American coming out of high school, but was a bust under center in college. By the time he was done in Chapel Hill, he was a tight end. Sure, May did have an eight year NFL career, mostly as a reserve: he scored one TD over 26 receptions in eight years in the league. Not exactly what I would call a stellar career in either league, and certainly not the expected result if all of the high school hype surrounding him was to be believed.
In fact, you could compare the career of Deems May to a current QB on the UNC roster, Mike Paulus. Paulus was another highly ranked recruit coming into Chapel Hill, and by now it was thought he would be running the Tar Heel show. It hasn’t happened and when he does play, Paulus is spotty, at best. Compare and contrast that to a three-star QB from Athens, Alabama that came to NC State because his in-state schools didn’t want to give him a shot under center and then-Wolfpack-coach Mike O’Cain said that he’d get his chance if he wore red and white. What do you bet that by the end of his true freshman season that Alabama or Auburn (not to mention UNC) wished that they had given a grant-in-aid to Philip Rivers as a QB recruit?
Bottom line is that while recruiting service rankings matter to a certain degree, they don’t truly forecast the development of an athlete once they get to the college level. That’s up to the athletes and their coaches. For every five-star success, there’s another five-star bust…and sometimes, lightly regarded recruits set NCAA records and end up getting drafted #3, going to the Pro Bowl and leading the NFL statistically once they get to the pros. In other words, recruiting rankings are a crap shoot and Deems May knows this, even if he won’t say so.
Deems May might be a proud UNC alumnus, but he probably should have heeded this simple maxim:
“Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”
and kept his arrogance to himself, but he didn’t. Therefore, Deems May wins the SFN Cranial Rectitus Award for the Month of November. Congrats, Deems — you finally won something!