Sophomore guard Dan Doering also is approaching the midway point of his career, and he barely has played for a porous offensive line. You hate to single out a specific player, but countless recruiting services ranked Doering among the top two or three high school offensive linemen in the country in 2004.
But the fact that he can't find playing time for this offensive line is a mystery. It makes you wonder how so many self-proclaimed recruiting experts could be so wrong about Doering.
So said professional turd-tosser Harty Party regarding Dan Doering back on October 7. Not only is it an unnecessarily cheap shot at one specific player, it's completely devoid of context. Is it, in fact, a mystery that Doering had not started a game*?
It's understandable that Harty may not have wanted to do additional research to back his opinions up; just as jokes are never funny when you have to explain them, punditry's never as forceful when its basis is more nuanced than absolute. We know you've got a job to do, Harty, and the job doesn't involve integrity. It's all good. However, it seems like someone ought to have done some research on the rest of the 2005 Army All-Americans, so we can see where one ought to be at this point in his collegiate career.
As it turns out, of the 87 members of the group, only 37 of them are currently starting for the team that recruited them. Moreover, a full 24 of them aren't even at the same school anymore. That's an almost Iowa-esque rate of attrition (seriously, though, the Hawkeyes would probably kill to keep 72% of their players through their first three years in the program).
To be sure, there are some remarkable members of the team. The MVP of the All-Star game, DeSean Jackson, is a fringe Heisman candidate and certain NFL prospect, and Miami's Kenny Phillips is probably the best all-around safety in the NCAA right now. There are other high-caliber players, like Wisconsin's Travis Beckum and Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall--perhaps you're aware of them--but by and large, the list is rather ho-hum.
So when Pat Harty declares that it's some sort of mystery that Dan Doering is not starting yet, you may disregard such a statement with the utmost of confidence; mathematically speaking, the odds of a 2005 Army All-American starting are worse than the odds of the 2007 Royals winning a baseball game.
*It should be noted that Doering is listed as a co-starter with Julian Vandervelde this week. Nonetheless, on the article's date of publication, Doering's participation had been minimal. Context!