Alexander: Redlands’ depth chart is re-e-e-e-eally deep
When the emailed press release first dropped into the inbox, I did a double-take.
The University of Redlands was introducing the new members of its football team, and the list darned near lasted forever. There were 69 names, to be exact.
A typo, maybe? A mistake? Nope, head coach Mike Maynard said.
“We had a big recruiting class,” he said with a chuckle at the top of a phone conversation Wednesday.
Consider this: Redlands won Maynard’s 10th undisputed SCIAC title (plus two co-championships) in 29 years of coaching last fall with a published roster that had 118 players. The 2017 Bulldogs, who open their 2017 season Saturday night at home against Trinity (Tex.), have a 132-man roster.
And none are walk-ons.
Every one of those players was recruited, Maynard said, which should erase any assumptions about Division III football. Just because they don’t award athletic scholarships doesn’t mean they aren’t competing for every good athlete they can find.
“Many of our students receive academic scholarship (money) and what we call need-based scholarship,” he said. “It benefits us to recruit the best and brightest students we can find, because they get more academic scholarship. That’s always an advantage.
“I think all schools look for America’s best and brightest people. The difference is we’re not able to provide any financial incentive based on their athletic abilities. But there’s still a lot of young men who … maybe they’re a few inches too short, or a second too slow, or something that makes them less desirable by Division I standards. But they have big hearts, they love to play football, and you don’t have to give them a scholarship. They just love to show up and play.
“And that’s the part I love about Redlands and our young people. We don’t have to coach effort very much.”
Yes, there is something refreshing […]