My first comments on Lake back in Summer of 2017:
So this is a great question and one that we started diving into during this pod … and honestly, I fully expect that we’ll be revisiting this question a few times between now and the end of the year.
It’s the definition of a LIPO to me because regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, there are great opinions that are completely logical.
On one hand, Jimmy Lake is a fantastic DB coach and a tremendous recruiter. While it seems inevitable that he’ll move on at some point given that he has some long term career ambitions, why you’d ever want to move on from him seems really stupid. Assuming he lands a really strong class this year leading into the early Signing Day this argument seems fucktarded.
On the other hand, the evidence is pretty clear so far that we have exactly ZERO DB recruits whereas last year we had 2 in place at this time. Moreover, for many of the top kids on the West Coast, we’re not really in the discussion for them … which is fairly strange when your program just put 3 kids out in the top 45 of the draft and to varying degrees each of the 3 could have very easily been a 1st round pick (Sidney if he didn’t tear his Achilles was likely a sure thing, Kevin fell due to DBs being an abundance position in the draft so teams were able to trade back, and Budda was right there in the mid 30’s). The longer we look to be in trouble at DB, the more this becomes an issue. As we hypothesized in setting the stage for the 2018 class, one area we expected to struggle was at DB and it is playing out.
Me personally, I probably lean a bit to the argument that we may have been better off for Jimmy to be elsewhere assuming that we miss on most of our 2018 targets. If the class turns out really good, we get them locked by the early Signing Day, and Lake leaves after the fact, it’s really hard to complain then.
But unquestionably at this point, we’re walking a really tight line on DB recruiting this year. The great news is that while we are breaking in some new players this year the position group on the whole is young and very talented. But if we miss this year, and assuming Lake leaves, it will put pressure on whoever Lake’s replacement is (likely Gerald Alexander) to come in and hit the ground running.