Who’s McCallum going to call, dad or high DI?

Posted by Andy Durham on September 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm under College, High School | 2 Comments to Read

Since we have been hitting on so much of the recruiting talk here at the site, I thought this dilemma facing a kid in Detroit, might just be exactly what we are looking for here early in the week, as you put your recruiting shoes on and get ready to make several visits in the next few weeks and months.

This is a problem many people would love to have and we need to send a few DI football recruiters down to Eastern Guilford so they can get a look at Josh Morehead. He has been putting up some staggering numbers this season and nobody is offering, due in part to the fact that EG has gotten off to an (0-5) start.

We have to get Josh on the map and we’ll talk more about his numbers and our others for the week in a later blog/post on Monday afternoon.

The story on Ray McCallum Jr. from yahoo.com:

DETROIT – Ray McCallum Sr. is living the dream of a basketball dad.

His son, Ray Jr., is one of the most coveted recruits in America, juggling scholarship offers from UCLA, Florida, Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Minnesota. There were more schools before the list was cut.

Ray Jr. can name his future, dealing with phone calls and recruiting pitches at a dizzying pace; Ben Howland holding while Tubby Smith knocks on the front door. And as proud as the entire thing has made his father, there’s one unique aspect about this recruitment.

Deep down, McCallum Sr. doesn’t want his son to accept any of those big-school offers. Not any of them.

Florida and Kansas may have combined to win three of the last four NCAA titles, but McCallum wishes his son would instead choose the University of Detroit, a mid-major program that finished 7-23 last season and played in front of an average of 1,893 fans a night.

That’s because Ray McCallum Sr. is the school’s basketball coach and Ray McCallum Jr. is the most decorated recruit the Titans have a shot at signing in November.

“It’s a different situation, that’s for sure,” Ray Sr. said with a laugh.

McCallum Sr. has heard all the jokes, about how he might shut off his son’s cell phone to keep the other coaches at bay. Or how this is the one recruit in his career he can buy a car for and not worry about NCAA investigators (parents trump the rule book).

He’s entering his 13th year as a college head coach (Ball State and Houston previously) and has recruited hundreds of players. This just happens to be the first one who sleeps down the hall. And it’s the first time he’s ever sat in on the home presentations from the opposing recruiters.

Here’s the human dilemma:

Professionally, McCallum Sr. would love to add a player such as his son – a 6-foot-1 point guard ranked No. 60 in his class by Rivals.com. A program such as Detroit has only so many chances at a player of that caliber.

Yet personally, he wants his son to be happy and make his own decision.

Yes, his team could use the talent, he’d love the opportunity to be around his child and he’s confident that he can develop his son’s game as well as, or better, than anyone else. The last thing McCallum Sr. wants to do, however, is guilt-trip his son into joining the “family business.” He isn’t going to badger at the breakfast table.

“I think it has to be something that he really wants to do,” McCallum Sr. said.

While the McCallums’ situation is unusual, it’s hardly a first. Just a few hours drive up the road, Central Michigan coach Ernie Zeigler is recruiting his son Trey, a top-30 player nationally. So too is Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan, Oklahoma, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and others.

Two dads, one state, same situation.

While it’s one thing for a high-profile son to join his father at a major program, it’s another deal when the dad is at a mid-major.

McCallum Sr. is entering his second year at U of D and his track record of success says he’ll build a winner; he’s won nearly 200 games and helped develop 10 NBA players. Detroit itself has a winning history of NCAA tournament appearances and is a strong academic school. But it will never have a 15,000-seat arena or play on ESPN twice a week.

In 1993, Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel III was Ray McCallum Jr., a top recruit whose father, Jeff II, coached at mid-major Old Dominion. He chose to play at Duke and a couple years later his brother, Jason, chose North Carolina. Their father wound up getting fired from ODU and is now an NBA assistant.

Now Capel’s trying to get Ray Jr. to follow his lead to OU. And Smith, whose son Saul played for him at Kentucky, is trying to tell Ray Jr. to leave his father behind. It’s a dizzying mess of loyalty vs. opportunity.

To read on and get the rest of the story with the full scoop just Click Here.


  • A&T AGGIE 91-996 said,

    I think I remember Jeff Capel II came to A&T from Fayetteville State at that time. He stayed at A&T for one year. His son went to Duke and Capel gets the job at ODU. He didn’t get the job at ODU until his son went to Duke and he got Coach K’s recommendation. It’s not the same at all. The younger Capel was NC bound from the jump, but there were stories that he might go wherever his dad was coaching. A&T dreamed of the younger Capel until dad bolted for greener pastures.

    Good Coach at Fayetteville State
    1 above average year at A&T
    Fired from ODU
    NBA assistant

  • Andy said,

    Jason Capel was an eighth-grader at Greensboro Day School during the brief time his dad Jeff Sr. was at N.C. A&T as the Aggies’ head coach.

    Jeff Sr. was a good man. I met him while he was an assistant coach at Wake Forest under Bob Stack. Coach Capel had been succissful at Pinecrest High School before he was added to the staff at Wake Forest.

    Both Capel kids were talents and now both are into coaching with Jeff Jr. at Oklahoma and Jason at APP State with Buzz Peterson.