Texas A&M Football Signee Dealyn Evans Trolls Fans; Recruiting Services
I returned from dinner on Wednesday night to see most of my Texas A&M football follows on Twitter all abuzz about something that had recently gone down. Realizing I must have missed whatever it was, I checked my feed and realized that it was about Dealyn Evans, who, though committed to the Aggies, had not yet signed.
More than that, things around his recruitment had been a bit murky for a half-week or so, culminating in this tweet from Director of Recruiting for 247Sports Steve Wiltfong:
Oh, the crowing that went on from Longhorn fans when they read that second line. A current Aggie commit, saying that Texas is his dream school? Welcome to College Station, Mike Elko: this is how things go around here!
At least, that's what they were saying at the time. To the discerning eye, there was something fishy about this from the jump. Evans is known to pull a shenanigan from time to time, so this is a true "grain of salt" moment.
More than just intuition, though, commended skepticism.
In a now-deleted tweet, Dealyn's high school coach replied to a jubilant Longhorn fan, claiming that Evans had never said the quote in question. The Longhorn fan, in response, invited Dealyn's coach to "sniff [his] farts." The mystery deepened.
Enter Landyn Rosow. A controversial newcomer to the Aggie recruiting scene, Rosow is a young buck working for Rivals, hoping to establish himself as another Texas A&M football recruiting insider.
I say he is controversial because there has been a time or two in recent memory that he has perhaps been a bit too quick on the draw with information he is hearing. Of course, you need to make mistakes in order to learn, so this is simply part of the process—but some of the people who live or die with this stuff had strong reactions.
In any case, it was Rosow's recent tweeting that had sparked the firestorm to which I had returned. In another now-deleted tweet, he had claimed that he was expecting Dealyn to sign, not with the Aggies, but with the Longhorns. Chaos ensued as he deleted that tweet and replaced it with this one:
So, what was going on? Had the Longhorns made a significant, late push? Was this one really "going down to wire"?
As it turns out, this was not the sum total of why people were mad at Landyn. Apparently, word was going around that Landyn had added Dealyn to an Aggie fan group chat and bumped negative messages about the defensive lineman that had been sent following Wiltfong's earlier tweet. Hence, reactions like this one.
Again, I had a healthy amount of skepticism about all of this. Yes, Landyn is young, but he isn't stupid. I had a hard time believing that he added a prospect to a group chat and bumped negative messages in some ill-executed attempt to have the recruit answer questions (?), and I had an even harder time believing that, if something like that happened, it was the straw that broke the camel's back in a given recruitment. Rosow may cover the Aggies, and those fans may root for the Aggies, but none of them are on staff with the Texas A&M football team.
Others, though, were not about to let Landyn live this one down.
Finally, word started to leak out that Dealyn had an announcement coming on Friday evening. He tweeted out earlier in the day that he would go live on his Instagram at 5 PM. The eyes of Aggies and Longhorns everywhere would be glued to his page at exactly that time. He was ten minutes late.
Nevertheless, over two thousand were watching when he began the livestream. After some preamble, Evans began to build up to his announcement. With all the pomp and circumstance of a commitment decision, Dealyn declared that... he would be waiting until February to sign. He got up and walked out of frame, and the number of viewers plummeted.
I, among others who tuned out at this point, completely missed him leaping back into frame wearing an Aggie hat and declaring that he had actually signed with Texas A&M football. The paperwork had been sent in earlier that day.
So, was this all orchestrated? I kind of think so. Is it possible that Evans or someone close to him sent that quote to Wiltfong, precipitating this whole deal? Is it possible that Evans and Rosow cooked up the facade of an accidental offense in tandem to further the ruse? It doesn't seem out of the realm of plausibility. Myles Davis said it well:
If this was all fabricated... then well done to the both of these guys.