Bob Lee Swagger, a UNC blogger of note, had this little tidbit about Russell Wilson and his interest in playing football for UNC prior to his commitment to the Wolfpack:
“I don’t follow “recruiting” as a life passion but several who do passed on this little tidbit. Two years ago Russell Wilson was a highly touted QB in Richmond. Russell Wilson is THE Total Package of athletic ability, leadership, character, academics and every other admirable character known to mankind. He is “a Manning“. That Total Package was very interested in attending UNC in 2006. Guess why John Bunting backed off?
“Because Mike Paulus’ daddy said his son would not come to UNC if he had to compete against another QB in his class. Fear of competition is usually a warning signal but recognizing recruiting warning signals was never John’s strength as a Head Coach. Racking up impressive starts in a private school league is another warning sign but who’s counting. As Tar Heel board monkeys immediately fitted Phenom Paulus for his sure Heisman and numerous BCS rings, Russell Wilson quietly signed with NC State.
“Its doubtful Mr Paulus bothers to attend UNC games this year or ever will again. One has to wonder what son Mike was thinking as he held his clipboard and scratched himself on the sidelines Saturday.”
Interesting, to say the least — in the sweepstakes that is college recruiting, UNC passed over a 2-star recruit in order to spare the feelings of another more highly rated recruit’s father’s ego. Even worse, Bunting ignored other warning signs in order to get that Five-Star recruit that all of the recruiting experts and sportswriters talk about all the time.
Oops, now, Bunting is unemployed, Paulus is manning a clipboard and rarely playing and Wilson has become a star QB…for the rival team.
Think about this story the next time a UNC fan brags to you about how their recruiting is so much better than what Tom O’Brien and his staff are doing. Sure, O’Brien is looking for top-quality football players like everyone else, but he is also too smart to be held hostage by a prep player’s Dad’s inflated ego…and he was also smart enough to honor the commitment of a recruit who didn’t have the hype but had all the intangibles you could ever hope for in a player that’s wanting to join your team.