February 3, 2008

Assisting Scott's recruitment

The offensive line coach at St. Bonaventure High School since his son Dominic was a freshman in 2000, Roger Sonsini added recruiting coordinator to his title last fall.

That put him in charge of overseeing the recruitment of the nation's top ranked running back prospect, Darrell Scott.

"Our new head coach, Todd Therrien, also teaches four history classes," Coach Sonsini. "I guess he was getting so many phone calls that something had to give. He got a little frustrated one day at practice, he had enough. So he turned to me and told me, 'You are now the recruiting coordinator'. And that's how I got it.

"It's not a problem because I had been doing a lot of the recruiting stuff for our boys anyways. I had an intimate view of what it was like to be a parent and see your child go through it when my son was recruited. He is now playing at Montana State."

Darrell Scott held scholarship offers from nearly every Division-1 program in the country. So the first thing Sonsini had him do was narrow down his list.

"The recruiting process became a real problem for Darrell because, like most kids, he wanted to keep everybody happy," Sonsini explained. "He asked me if I could take some of the heat off of him and I've tried to do that for him.

"I had Darrell narrow down his school selection to a manageable five schools and once we did that, I called all the other schools and said, 'Please, no more. We appreciate it but he is not looking at you.'

"Then, as the season got going I asked him to pick two schools that he wanted to trip to before we got into the playoffs because we don't like our boys tripping during the playoffs. Darrell said he wanted to go to Colorado and Texas. He went on the Colorado visit with his mom and I escorted him on the Texas visit.

"Then after the first of the year, Darrell was going to go visit Florida. But their running backs coach left to take a job on Tennessee's staff. After that Darrell didn't really want to go to Florida anymore, he had really connected with that running backs coach. LSU was also in the mix but they kind of fell through the cracks. Coach Rick Neuheisel, the new coach at UCLA came by to say hi to Darrell last Tuesday but it was too late for them. Now it is down to two schools: Colorado and Texas."

Scott has hosted multiple in-home visits with the Colorado and Texas coaching staffs in recent weeks.

"Darrell is very impressed with both programs," Coach Sonsini expressed. "He is very impressed with Coach Darian Hagan and Coach Dan Hawkins at Colorado. He loves the school. What's not to like about the University of Colorado? If you've ever been out there, you know it's a great place.

"With Texas, Darrell sees their program as a running back school. Coach Mack Brown is very well established, he really made him feel good about their program. Another thing Darrell really loves about Texas is the family atmosphere out there. He felt very comfortable out there on his visit."

Scott has not granted an interview requests since he was in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl back on January 5th.

"I think any young man would love to get the type of attention that Darrell is getting but he is a very quiet, shy young man," Coach Sonsini said. "A lot of people misconstrue his shyness for cockiness. Darrell is a bit of a loner, he stays within himself.

"A lot of people don't understand what Darrell has gone through. He left Florida as a young kid with a single parent and he has gone through a lot. He is just a great, great young man. Like I said, I think a lot of people misconstrue the situation."

Scott will announce his college decision between Colorado and Texas at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim next Wednesday on signing day. His announcement will be televised live on ESPNU.

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