Today’s Minor thoughts will focus on the recruiting process of a Lion signee from my hometown, Paris, Texas.
As most know my recruiting process that led me right down the street to Commerce was unorthodox to say the least. I was a late walk on basically showing up a couple weeks prior to the start of camp. But it worked out great as Coach Vowell gave me a shot and the rest was history (kudos to Coach Ross and his family as well for being a valued leader in this young man’s life.)
We all know the greatest Lion out of commerce was the late great Wade Wilson. Billy Watkins probably holds that title for Sulphur Springs. Greenville and Cooper have a few. Paris is no doubt Ricky Dirks.
Paris sits a mere 30 miles north of Commerce. It is the closest University to our little town. The connection between the athletes of those 2 places though is historic. As a young kid growing up there I watch Ricky Dirks lead Paris to unprecedented levels. I knew he had went to Commerce but didn’t realize the impact he left there until I arrived. Wes Tidwell was a guy a little closer to my age I had watched also and upon arrival in Commerce he took me in and taught me everything I needed to know. Eventually I helped recruit the great Michael Hightower to come to Commerce also. But enough about the old guys.
About 6 years ago my son had a 7th grade game against Paris Middle School there in Paris. That was my first time seeing Kobe Savage play. His dad and grandfather were guys I knew growing up and great friends of mine. Kobe put on a show. I talked to his father Da’on during the game and complimented him on having such an outstanding athletic son (the Savage family themselves are historic in the Paris and Detroit Texas area with a long line of great student-athletes).
During Kobe’s recruiting process which I stayed in contact with Da’on on, it led him and Kobe all over the region including 4 states at least from Henderson and Arkansas Tech all the way out to UT-Permian Basin. Eventually he found himself right down the street in front of Coach Bailiff and he said yes. He had been paying attention the last few years and wanted to be a part of it. His family was excited and so was I. This kid led Paris further than anyone had since the state title of 88. Humble kid and even more important, a smart kid. He was the QB and also safety on defense. Impact player on both sides of the ball. Ok I have to admit. When his dad sent the message to me he was gonna be a Lion I got chills like he was one of my own boys. We got a good one here. Look forward to 4 impactful seasons from this kid (he may redshirt this season) and don’t be surprised if 4-5 years down the line we look back on his career and see a future all time great having notched his name to the list of greats from Paris. Good luck Kobe!