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Editorial: Time For Chapman Quarterback Colton Bailey To Receive More Recruiting Attention

Editorial Observation From HSSR Publisher Billy G. Baker Concerning Chapman Quarterback Colton Bailey

After observing Chapman quarterback Colton Bailey play in person for the third time in two seasons Thursday night, in his team’s 53-34 win over Newberry, I can now say with a high degree of certainty that “between the white lines” he is as talented and meaningful to a team as any quarterback I have followed in the state of South Carolina over my 31 years at the HSSR. 

Too often scouting services like Rivals, 247 Sports, and Scout get too caught up on how an athlete looks in a pair of shorts, throwing to receivers in cone drills at high profile skills camps. They simply do not factor what certain players (who didn't attend their showcases) can actually do under pressure during a football game!!!  They also put way too much emphasis on how tall they are, or how much they weigh. They look at a young man like Bailey, who is 5-9 and 161 pounds and just assume he doesn’t pass the eye test. This manner of evaluation is not fair to truly talented and gifted players like Bailey, and if you have any doubts about his talent on the field just contact Dillon head coach Jackie Hayes, who will likely win his 300th career game this week, or Newberry head coach Phil Strickland who has already won 300 career games. Bailey has had four star performances against Dillon and Newberry in high profile games the past two seasons.

Back in the day Joe Hamilton, of now closed down Macedonia High, fought his own battles with recruiters before the biased star system became so debated. Hamilton was a 5-9, 180 pound player who was dropped by South Carolina and new quarterbacks coach John Reaves shortly after Ricky Bustle left his one year stint as quarterbacks coach at South Carolina to return to Virginia Tech in Hamilton’s senior season. Bustle loved Hamilton and was in the lead for him when he left the Gamecocks. Reaves told this writer, “We don’t recruit 5-9 quarterbacks at South Carolina!”

All Hamilton did was go on to Georgia Tech and finish second in the voting for the Heisman trophy his senior year. Wonder what Coach Reaves thought about that?

In talking with Bailey’s father in the stands during the Newberry game Thursday night the HSSR confirmed that Bailey currently has no offers. Wofford claims they already have a load of talented quarterbacks in place right now and they have asked Bailey to walk-on. He is keeping in touch with North Greenville but nothing substantial has developed.

One amazing shock to me is why quarterback depleted Coastal Carolina would not give Bailey a close and fair evaluation. Jamie Chadwell would be well-served to get personally involved with this young man as soon as possible. Programs like Charleston Southern and even Furman should come calling hard after evaluating this true winner perform between the white lines.

The bottom line is that had if Wake Forest commitment Sam Hartman had not transferred to Oceanside Collegiate over the summer from Charlotte Bailey would have likely made the Shrine Bowl. This writer has seen Hartman play this season and we were impressed with his accuracy and strong arm. Any Chapman High fans in the stands at the Shrine Bowl in December need to see Hartman play well in the game to be convinced he deserved to be picked over Bailey.

After seeing Bailey play three times this is my evaluation of him as a quarterback on the field: “If leadership matters this is your guy. If checking off into a positive play within four seconds of the ball being spotted is what you are seeking in a quarterback Bailey is your offer. If true dual threat relates to your offense Bailey is your offer. Anticipates a blitz at a five star rating and pursues to the seam in the defense with masterful skill and speed, playing like he has eyes in the back of his head. Still needs some work on his deep ball but throws over the middle, and into the boundary, with pin-point accuracy. His ball is very catchable. His vision down field, while escaping the rush is quite impressive, and most of all he has been to date “injury proof” while taking some tenacious hits like in the Dillon game last year and Newberry Thursday night.”

Quite honestly it is almost shameful that Bailey has just completed his 9th game of his senior year and he is still seeking some respect from the college recruiters. It is time for the colleges to do what I have done: Come see him play in person and ask yourself if your current crop of quarterbacks in your program are any better? Why are some in-state teams losing right now? Could Bailey help elevate your program?

I truly think so! (Please Avoid the attitude Coach Reaves took about Hamilton!)  


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