The world of recruiting can be cruel.
We hear far too often about kids losing scholarships amid a numbers crunch, but what happened to Taurrian Stafford, a class of 2018 offensive lineman from Miami, goes way beyond that.
On Tuesday, Stafford received what he thought was a phone call from Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand. During the call, whoever was on the other end offered him a scholarship — Stafford’s first from a major college program. However, Stafford later found out it wasn’t Hand calling him after all.
Stafford told 247Sports.com he was the victim of a cold-hearted prank:
“I went and Googled him,” Stafford said. “I was talking to him and he was like, “I like your film, I like how aggressive you are. I like the way you drive block.’ “
And then, the person on the other end of phone gave him some unexpected news.
“He was like, ‘I would like to offer you a scholarship,’ “ Stafford recalled. “I cried. When I got that offer, it was the high point of my whole life.”
But, there was a problem. It wasn’t Hand on the other line. And, as Stafford would later learn, there was no offer.
“I got pranked,” Stafford said Thursday evening.
Stafford’s coaches at Miami Central High School got in contact with the Auburn football program in effort to verify the offer. They soon found out from Herb Hand himself — the actual Herb Hand — that he hadn’t made the phone call.
Stafford, understandably, was devastated.
“(Hand) called and said, ‘I’m sorry for the incident, but that was not me who called,’” Stafford told 247Sports.
I just pray the blessings stay upon me on my journey to success???? pic.twitter.com/PCZqMdSKFu
— Taurrian Stafford ひ (@teedo56) March 30, 2017
Something positive did come out of the experience, however. Herb told Stafford, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds and has an offer from Florida A&M, he would make the trip down to Florida during the spring to evaluate him in person.
Hand also offered a message to the demented individual who called Stafford.
Only a true scumbag would 'prank' a HS athlete w/a false scholarship offer-If that's you, you should reevaluate the priorities in your life.
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) March 31, 2017
Well said, coach.
More college football from Yahoo Sports:
For more Auburn news, visit AuburnSports.com.
– – – – – – –