Bobby Johnson told the guys at 104.5 The Zone last week that Robbie Caldwell needs more than this season to prove himself, and that his success in 2010 shouldn't be measured by victories. Johnson also said — and this was a week before David Williams lifted the interim label from Caldwell — that he believed Caldwell WAS the head coach and that he deserved and would get at least another season.
Caldwell's best players, Johnson said, are his youngest players, and those players will be peaking in 2011 and 2012. That's what we were saying a couple of months ago about Johnson as articles were surfacing saying he was on the hot seat. Johnson laid a solid foundation for 2011-2012 and he should have gotten the chance to see it through. Now Johnson's argument is that his hand-picked successor, Caldwell, should get the chance to see it through.
While Caldwell may or may not have to win now to keep his job, he absolutely needs to win in order to boost recruiting. If you're a recruit leaning toward Vandy, why on earth wouldn't you wait at least a month to see how the team fares in its opener against Northwestern, a team that you probably have also considered because it's a private academic institution playing in a major athletic conference?
Meanwhile, Vandy is losing some important recruiting battles. A month ago, we identified recruits that Rivals, Scout and ESPN all said were considering Vandy. That list included three offensive linemen, by far Vandy's most critical recruiting need. Since Bobby Johnson's retirement, all three have committed to other schools — tackle Watts Dantzler of Georgia to UGA, tackle David Simon of Alabama to South Florida, and center Mack Crowder of Bristol, Tenn., to UT (ouch). Jared Boyd, a cornerback from Kenny Ladler's high school in Stone Mountain, chose Duke, and Cameron Dickerson, a raw wide receiver from New Jersey, chose Northwestern.
These guys, with the exception of Datzler, weren't blue-chip prospects. All were the type of three-star guys we signed last year and that we had a legitimate shot at signing.