The anticipation of the ShrineDog Awards always makes me happy. If you’re not familiar with this FishDuck.com original award, you may get a better explanation from the first ShrineDogs article here.
Another signing period is over, so that requires me to evaluate and analyze the talent that pledged for the next three to four years to their university of choice. Of course, I’m obligated to seek those special individuals I feel may not have received great guidance or counsel from those closest to them. The choice was made, and the letter of intent was signed and faxed. It’s official. Now the fun begins.
Sometimes selecting the ShrineDog candidates is challenging and takes some time; however, the first was easy, as a Ducks fan. My job isn’t as easy as stating some random name. I need to prove to everyone else the reasoning behind my choice of the winner of this crazy award.
I declare Vavae Malepeai of Hawaii is the winner of the first 2016 ShrineDog Award. Congratulations, Vavae!
Malepeai was a mere 3-star talent out of Mililani High until the University of Oregon took notice and extended an offer to this flashy, quick running back that cut so sharp and tight that it broke ankles in games and at camps during one-on-ones. Duck fans throughout the world applauded the verbal commitment to Oregon as they instantly fell in love with the shifty back.
Malepeai offered constant praises of Oregon and confirmation of the “solid” commitment during each interview he gave while his popularity increased. His stock soared and soared. Oregon’s staff was deemed brilliant when a fourth star was placed on this prep stud.
What happened next was the biggest shocker for all Duck fans, and possibly the coaches as well.
Malepeai chose to visit USC the weekend prior to signing day, misleading the Oregon coaches into thinking he was home that whole weekend instead. He enjoyed the trip so much that word got out that he could possibly flip. Sure enough, USC’s great class gained another 4-star.
Sure, Malepeai might be laughing now and starting his journey to hating the Ducks, but this will become a mistake that he will regret for years to come. Strictly based on a new formula by yours truly for FishDuck.com, the Comparative Recruiting Index allows me to give a big, deep chuckle inside as the Oregon snubber gets a glimpse of his future of success (or more accurately, lack of success).
The CRI is introduced in this amazing article by Mike Ostrom here. Oregon does better with “lesser” talent than schools such as USC and UCLA and most SEC schools. The Trojans’ success lately has been miserable compared to the expectations based on how well recruiting is each year. This has nothing to do with depth charts this time.
I can’t feel sorry for a guy who doesn’t do his research prior to picking a school or changing to another school. I wonder how much it will sting when Malepeai loses to Oregon over and over.
Oh well — congratulations, Vavae. This ShrineDog is for you!
Top Photo by Isaiah Hole (247sports)
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