Sometimes the recruiting process boils down to timing…being in the right place at the right time. Just ask Frisco, Texas, signal-caller Will Secord, whose year-long commitment to Arkansas went up in flames just three weeks before signing day thanks to the eleventh hour offer from the king of closing, Coach Bobby Bowden.
“FSU offered me the second week of January and I couldn’t believe it,” said the Wakefield High School prospect. “Coach (Jimbo) Fisher called, wondering if I would be I’d be open to an offer from Florida State. I’d been committed to Arkansas for over a year and I thought I should at least go see one other school before I decide to spend the next four years there.
“Coach Fisher came out to watch me throw and talk with me and my parents about playing for FSU,” Secord said. “The next thing I know I had the offer. It all happened so fast.”
Secord contended that he was always secure with his commitment to Arkansas and never second-guessed his early decision in the least. “Arkansas was my first offer, “ the Scout.com three-star prospect added. “I didn’t have any real direction when I started the recruiting process. It was totally wide open. My sophomore year we sent out about 30 tapes to different schools and Arkansas saw it and wanted to see more.
“My parents took me up to their junior day last year and we got to see the campus and facilities,” he said. “I got to meet Coach (Bobby) Petrino and QB Coach (Garrick) McGee and I really liked them a lot. We left feeling really good about the visit. I just felt really comfortable with Arkansas and where Coach Petrino was taking it. It just seems like a good fit. Why drag this out if we don’t have to?
“We called Coach Petrino and committed the next day. I really never had any second thoughts at all…until FSU I mean.”
The 6-2, 204-pound southpaw confessed that he would probably still have signed with Arkansas if it would have been any other school that offered, but FSU has always held a special spot in his heart.
“I’ve liked Florida State since I was a kid,” Secord said. “And Coach Bowden is a legend, one of the best coaches of all time. I thought I should at least go see what they were like. I owed it to myself and to Arkansas. We visited Tallahassee the last week in January. We got down there and it was so nice and laid-back.
“It was just a totally different feeling than Arkansas,” he said. “There’s more of a family atmosphere, a real closeness. The coaches and the players seemed to really enjoy being around each other. And it wasn’t just all football, all the time. The relationship the coaches had with the players really stuck with me. The coaches knew more about you than just football. They were more involved with your life.
“Like Coach Fisher would ask how a test went or something like that,” Secord said. “They really care about you outside of football.”
FSU’s depth at QB was what sealed the deal in Secord’s mind. “There are only two guys ahead of me and I think they are both juniors,” he said. “The third guy left to enter the MLB draft. That’s the reason they came after me so late.
"I couldn’t pass up such an opportunity to realistically come in and compete if not this year, maybe next year," Secord said. "I don’t think I’d be able to do that at any other school in the country. I just couldn’t walk away from an opportunity like that.”
Looking back on his recruiting experience, Secord has no regrets. “I met some great people. I developed some great relationships with the Arkansas coaches and telling them I wasn’t going to play for them was the hardest thing ever. I don’t regret anything. It was just the right timing for me and FSU. It’s amazing every time I think about it. I would have never thought I’d be playing for Coach Bowden and the ‘Noles one day, but it was just meant to be, I guess.”