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Pete Carroll: He's Just That Good

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Came across a nice column yesterday on the Joe McKnight "situation" written by Mike Farrell of Rivals.com and the Sporting News. Farrell tells us, "Don't believe the rumors: Pete Carroll isn't cheating."

Sure, we know this already ... right? But it's nice to hear it from a supposed third-party recruiting expert. The interesting part is that Farrell calls out Les Miles for a statement the LSU coach made in which he exposes his jealousy and all but accuses his recruiting rivals of cheating.

Over [the last] four years, Carroll has gone into the following states and pulled out one of the top two players -- Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Utah, Minnesota, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, New Jersey, Michigan and now Louisiana. His latest gem, running back Joe McKnight from John Curtis High School in the Bayou State, has coaches such as Les Miles of LSU hinting at some irregularities.

"What appears to be the breaking of rules was much more rampant, but I wouldn't want to say it was from one school more than any other," Miles said at a press conference Wednesday about the 2007 recruiting year. "We're still in that process of tying up loose ends. If in fact we find some irregularities, they will be turned in."

Miles didn't mention Carroll specifically. Some think he was referring to Alabama coach Nick Saban as well, especially after dropping the f-bomb in front of the word Alabama at his press conference. However, it's clear that McKnight's commitment has him irked. McKnight is the best athlete from Louisiana in nearly a decade and was fully expected to choose LSU on Signing Day. His commitment to USC was arguably the biggest stunner of the 2007 recruiting year.

So, perhaps there is something to Pete Carroll's assertion that those crazy mad LSU fans have it out for McKnight and USC Football. Did they really twist the kid's words, as Carroll has been quoted as saying? To be honest ... not really.

The video evidence is quite clear. McKnight did say what he was quoted as saying at his presser. We'll probably never know why he said what he said. Phone records supposedly show that there was, in fact, no conference call. In the end, it probably doesn't matter. But, I digress ...

What's the point? Farrell gets right to the bottom line ...

So is this really a program that is cheating and will do anything and everything to secure commitments, or is this simply some serious sour grapes? My guess is the latter, and I'll tell you why. If McKnight spoke to Bush, and that's a big if since everyone seems to deny it and no proof has come to light yet, it would be about the 100th time I've heard of a high school prospect speaking to a former college great about the legend's former school. [...]

I think this all goes away without much fanfare. McKnight will be on campus in August, and he'll be lighting up Pac-10 defenses by October. And as the recruiting process gets uglier and uglier due to a lack of an early signing period and the added pressure to land top players, more and more accusations will fly.

Pete Carroll is one of the best recruiters in the history of college football and many can't believe he can do what he does without bending the rules. He's a 60-plus home run hitter in the college football recruiting world, but he isn't doing anything illegal to enhance his performance. I think he's just that good.

Again, we don't need someone like Farrell to tell us Carroll is just that good ... right? Let's just hope he knows what he's talking about.

Fight On!