Wow. That was a wild day.
I talked to Tony Benford about the exchange he had with Arkansas State coach John Brady, talked to Dan McCarney about Justin Gaines, wrote a story about Jacob Holmen and Justin Patton hanging it up in their senior seasons with the UNT men’s basketball team, talked to Jermaine Antoine and Kahlee Woods about their decisions to not sign with UNT and tried to get ready for signing day.
As far as the blog goes, let’s split this in half and talk football tonight and basketball in the morning — mostly because I wrote a story on “Benford-Brady Gate” for tomorrow’s paper that gives Benford’s side of the story that people will see late tonight/early tomorrow.
Dan McCarney returned my call late this afternoon and said that Gaines resigned to pursue other opportunities and said he wished his former cornerbacks coach well.
Gaines is the second guy to leave in the off-season. Kent Riddle joined the staff at Arkansas State, where he is now the assistant head coach (big promotion).
I heard both those guys names a lot when it came to recruits I talked to who were considering UNT. That will leave a void for McCarney to fill.
McCarney said that he received a ton of interest in Riddle’s job before he hired former South Alabama assistant Tommy Perry and expects a ton more interest in his latest opening.
I would expect McCarney to try to find a good, young minority assistant.
It was a pretty tough day for UNT on the recruiting front.
I know this won’t make UNT fans feel any better, but Woods, a linebacker out of Sherman, said that it was really hard to turn down an offer from UNT to commit to Texas Tech. Woods said he really believes that McCarney will turn the program around at UNT. He really likes UNT staff. The opportunity to play in the Big 12 and the big crowds at the Big 12 venues was just too good an opportunity to pass up. Woods also liked that Tech has a program that will help him reach his goal of being a pediatric dentist.
Antoine, a cornerback out of Louisiana, didn’t have a whole lot to say, but his high school coach Trent Delahoussaye said that Gaines leaving the staff was probably the final strike against UNT in its battle with TCU.
“Coach Gaines had been here 10 or 12 times,” Delahoussaye said. “He felt comfortable with him. He wasn’t comfortable after that. He had a great visit with coach [Gary] Patterson and offensive coordinator [Jarrett] Anderson. He really liked the idea of playing against LSU in the opening game next year. They laid out a plan. They really liked both TCU and North Texas. He and his father had great things to say about North Texas. They weighed their options.”
Antoine never made a big issue of it with me when I talked to him, but for what it’s worth, TCU recruited him as a wide receiver. UNT recruited him as a cornerback.
I did put a call in to Van head coach Jared Moffatt to check in and see if his defensive tackle Syd Moore had decided what to do. Moore visited UNT and UTEP the last couple of days. I never heard back.