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If you aren’t familiar with the movie The Blind Side, it is a classic. The movie highlights football, race, family and features stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw as the folks who adopted future NFL player Michael Oher. Oher had an interesting child hood growing up and once he met the Tuohy family, everything changed for the better.
It’s based on a true story about the life of Michael Oher, who in 2009 was a first round draft pick, #23 overall to the Baltimore Ravens. after being a four-year started at Ole Miss.
But how did he end up at Ole Miss? This week’s Movies Monday looks at the realism of this movie from a college football perspective. Half a dozen college coaches, specifically from the SEC, all pursued Oher.
This week’s article is a ranking of each of those six SEC coaches recruiting pitches.
6. Tommy Tuberville, Auburn
Tuberville had one line in Michael’s house, telling him that “we want you, we need you”. That’s fine, but then he said this “but you need us”. Yikes. That’s where Tuberville went wrong – by saying we want/need you is fine, if you can provide the appropriate context. But why does Tuberville believe Michael Oher needed Auburn, when 5 other SEC schools (among others) were in hot pursuit.
5. Houston Nutt, Arkansas
Nothing Nutt said was overly impressive or persuasive, but unlike Tuberville he didn’t say anything wrong. He offered Sean Junior, better known as SJ, his step brother, a “hog hat”, which is a kind of cool prop to have! He also noted that while the world is full of multiple tigers and bears, there is only one Razorback.
Nutt’s best line was when he noticed Sandra Bullock holding an Ole Miss cup. Ironic, of course, because Nutt would be hired as Ole Miss head coach in 2008 and ultimately did coach Oher.
4. Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss
It’s weird seeing Coach O so low on this list, considering Oher ultimately committed to Ole Miss. But his commitment likely had more to do with his parents connections to the school and likely less because of the coach.
His appeal to Oher was that Oxford, MS is a “wonderful place to live”, he can eat the best BBQ in his life and fresh fish. His offer to SJ was that he could be at the front of the line for the Rebels’ entrance
3. Lou Holtz, South Carolina
Holtz guaranteed it would be a smart decision. Never wise for a coach to guarantee something he can’t control. He offered SJ the chance to wear a Gamecok headdress, with real feathers. Sounds kind of cool, actually!
2. Philip Fulmer, Tennessee
For a while, Oher seemed to be leaning towards Tennessee. Fulmer did a really good job appealing to him and his brother noting that Knoxville is a tremendous place to live (I’ve visited and know people from there – it is). He promised SJ he could walk arm-and-arm with Fulmer for coin toss together in Oher’s first game. Fulmer did a good job sucking up to Oher (unlike others), telling him how he’ll be at the next level soon.
1. Nick Saban, LSU
Funny thinking about Saban coaching at LSU, given their rivalry with Alabama over the past few years. This story took place right as he left LSU for the Miami Dolphins.
The best thing Saban said was acknowledged he needed to recruit “both of them” referring to Oher and his half-brother SJ. He also noted that SJ reminds Saban of himself as a boy. That’s one way to get the younger brother on your good side. Most importantly, he offered SJ total access to his brother, adding he would lead the team out of the tunnel for the first game.
Saban cited Oher’s potential success as a person and student and mentioned being part of the next national championship team.
Let us know your thoughts on this order and on the coaches pitches specifically on today’s instagram post.