A Washington Post article from Tuesday night shows Notre Dame in a not so positive light about the recruiting of Arrelious Benn by former quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas.
“Throughout his junior school year, Benn said he had considered Notre Dame his top choice, but when he felt as though the Fighting Irish coaching staff was putting too much pressure on him to commit he stopped considering the school. Once Benn orally committed to Illinois, Notre Dame assistant Peter Vaas continued to pepper Benn with text messages and voice mails, some of which Benn provided to The Post:
“FYI, ILL is telling Robert Hughes that they will build their offense around him? Didn’t they tell you that?
Coach Vaas,” Vaas wrote Benn on Dec. 17″
It had been rumored that Vaas’s contract was not renewed mainly for botching up some recruiting. Benn was considered one of Notre Dame’s top targets at this point last year already and it appears, according to this article that he was there’s for the taking, but they screwed it up.
The text message from Vaas above does not really bother me too much because that’s normal in recruiting. Coaches will always tell recruits that another school will misuse them or that they will be better utilized at their school. The following quote, however, I do not like at all:
Earlier that month, Vaas left this voice message on Benn’s phone: “You don’t want to do anything except bury your head in the sand. . . . I guess you’re not tough enough to compete at the big level.”
It’s one thing to tell a recruit that they won’t get the ball enough at another school, but it is certainly quite another to tell them that they aren’t tough enough to compete at the “big level” because they don’t want to come to your school. Vaas also did not deny that he left the messages
according to the article:
Vaas, who was let go as quarterbacks coach by the Irish after their 44-14 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl, did not deny leaving the messages. He said last night that even though Benn made his announcement on national television, that isn’t necessarily a recruit’s final word.
“Did he say [he was going to Illinois] to me? Did I see him on TV?” Vaas said. “There’s an awful lot of rumors or innuendo out there . . . and kids change their minds after they do that. A lot of times, it depends upon what kind of conviction a kid has about a place. You know how you read between the lines? As a recruiter, I have to hear between the lines.”
I think it’s safe to say Vaas’ mishandling of the recruiting of one of Notre Dame’s biggest recruits could be why he is no longer the quarterbacks coach for the Irish.