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    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Interview with Chris Anderson of EERSPORTS (247 Affiliate)

    In a continued effort to expose our blog readers to all that is out there for Mountaineer Sports consumption. I have decided to once again get the perspective of yet another contributor to the discussion on all points WVU athletics.  

    Da Geek:
    First off a huge thank you Christopher Anderson from WVLawGeeksWestVirginaSports for your willingness to do this interview for our blog.  My name is Chris Cooper, aka the Geek. I am excited to get to know about yourself and your website Eersports.com the 247 affiliate. By way of background what brought you to this job? Where did you go to school? How long have you been in the "business"? Where are you from now and originally? 
    Chris:
    A little about myself: I was born in South Charleston, WV in 1984 and I still have family there along with Bluefield, Princeton, Beckley, Amma and Morgantown. I moved around a lot when I was younger before ending up in Virginia for high school. I was a decent basketball player, even being recruited by John Beilein when he was at the University of Richmond. At one point, I almost ended up at Marshall (yea, I know. Ew.) under former coach Frank White. I made my way around before eventually ending up at a powerhouse Division III program called Hampden Sydney College in Virginia.
    As for writing, I’m fairly new to it all. I wrote a few pieces for my college website about my travels abroad. I was hired to write for Eersports in mid-August and have put out around a hundred articles since then. Since I’m only two months in on a site that was started by Admin and Anthony over a year ago, there will be a few questions I can’t and probably shouldn’t answer.

    Da Geek: Fair enough Chris.  Maybe we will hit up Anthony for anther interview at some point in the near future.

    Da Geek:
    There are several active blogs, message boards and recruiting sites that are operating her in good ole WVU, do you read those sites or converse with those other providers during your work life here? (Full disclosure, I have relationships with most of the providers out there. I have found that most of them are pretty darned good people trying to do well by their product.)

    Chris:
    To be honest, I don’t really frequent other boards. I have been a premium member of other boards in the past (BGN and Rivals) but left for different reasons in each instance. I talk regularly with guys from different sites through text and Facebook chat, but mostly about everyday type things and observations of different games and current news. 

    Da Geek: 
    I have been producing my small time blog www.wvlawgeekswestvirginiasports.blogspot.com for 6 full years now.and have found it to be a labor of love. So you take this job that you have as a dream-job? I mean covering Mountaineer Football, Basketball and recruiting is a whole lot of fun if you ask me. 

    Chris:
    I love this job. Unfortunately, at this time, it’s not something that I can sustain a living on full time. I have a regular 9-to-5 job, but find myself doing this as much as possible. I enjoy it so much because I'm passionate about the game and everyone that I talk to is the same way – whether it be fans, recruits, current players or coaches. Spending my time with like-minded people and sports is always fun. 

    Da Geek
    With the caveat you issued above, what is the mission statement of 247, and what is the mission statement of EERsports?

    Chris: 
    I don’t want to speak for the guys at the top of 247sports, but I do know a few things. They are some of the original founders of Rivals – so they certainly know what they are doing. They’re really busting their butts behind the scenes to make the network the premiere recruiting source on the internet. Although it’s an uphill battle with so many people stuck in their ways with sites that have been here for awhile, it seems to me like they have taken the best parts of those sites (including a lot of analysts and reporters) and put them together at 247sports. The absurd amount of growth that the site has seen proves that. Once again, I’m the new guy on the block so I don’t want to speak for everyone.  

    Law Geek: 
    What does this site bring to the table that you think makes it unique among the "message-board/news sites"?

    Chris:

    There are a few things different with Eersports than what you will see anywhere else. As many fans have attested to, the message board is much more civil and not filled with a lot of the clutter that has come to define other sites. We try to keep the conversation adult and the in-fighting at a minimum. On top of that, I believe Anthony and I’s interaction on the board is second to none. I’ve heard from new members that elsewhere they will post a question that will sit there for days without an answer, if it ever gets one at all. That won’t happen with us. We’ll answer it in a timely manner or, if we don’t have the answer, let you know that we’re going to do our best to find it for you. 

    Da Geek
    You have been getting your membership to explode here of late. Congratulations. To what do you attribute this explosion in interest? 

    Chris:
    Thanks. Anthony certainly took me under his wing and talked me through a lot of the tricks of the trade. After that, I took some of the things I knew I always wanted as a member and tried to do them. One thing was constant interaction, which I mentioned above. Another is a steady stream of information. Whether it is large or small, just keep the news coming. For instance, earlier this morning I got a text from a 4* offensive tackle telling me WVU was in his Top 5 and getting a visit. He couldn’t do a full interview because he was busy, but why hold onto that? Throw it out on the board – people want to know. Like I said earlier, I’ve done about 100 articles not including message board threads in about two months. I’m not trying to pick on anyone, but there are other sites that don’t put out that many recruiting interviews in an entire year. It boggles the mind.  

    Da Geek:
    So just how tired are you of the Conference realignment saga? I know personally I am quite fatigued by the whole thing. That being said I simply can't turn away from this train-wreck. 

    Chris:

    Incredibly fatigued about conference realignment. The thing that bothers me most is how it causes fans to act. Suddenly WVU fans are eating their own, so to speak, while still some are in "woe-is-me" form. Heck, the other day I broke news that a 4* WR was visiting and it didn't even get a blip while two day old alignment talk was still going strong. I want it over just so everyone can sit back and enjoy a great time in Mountaineer football. 

    DaGeek:

    So tell my about relationships with Coaches, administrators, parents, friends, and staff during the recruiting process. I have said in the past that they are key to getting any information about recruiting. Is the true? Could you give my readers an anecdote or too about how those relationships are developed? 

    Chris:

    It’s definitely true. I’ve found that some of the most beneficial relationships come from high school coaches. While obviously talking straight to the player has its advantages, you’re still talking to a kid and I think a lot of people forget that. I had one prospect who wouldn’t talk to me for awhile before eventually giving me a nondescript interview. A couple days later, I talked to his high school coach who told me the reason he acted that way was because he was about to commit elsewhere but didn’t know how to tell me. Heck in the past couple days, it’s how I’ve become a stalker for Coach Gillespie – back to back texts from different high school coaches in south Florida telling me that he was at their school. 

    Da Geek:

    The new Coaching staff how do you like them? Do you see any recruiting all-stars in the making? I am a fan of Gilllespie, Dawson and Roberts from the newbies I have always been a fan of the defensive staff, but I am guessing that they can all close well. What is your take? 

    Chris

    . I haven’t been able to talk to them much, particularly because we aren’t allowed to discuss recruiting with them. However, this is exactly how I would set up a coaching staff in a dream scenario – if the egos can hold out and it can essentially be “two head coaches.” Dana Holgorsen brought in some great minds that he was already familiar with on the offensive side and he recognized Jeff Casteel’s skills and just said “I know offense, you do your thing, Jeff.” I love it. I think we have one of the best coaching staffs in the country. Certainly top three coordinators on each side. 

    Da Geek

    This current class of verbals are pretty darned impressive. Do you see that class staying solid with their commitments? Do you see this list being upgraded by years end or do you see the conference reshuffling and negative recruiting associated with it having a negative impact once February rolls around? 

    Chris

    While Deontay McManus, JT Washington and Devonte Robinson have all taken, or will take, visits, the only player I worry about is Joseph Jackson. Other than that, I don’t see many defections in this class, regardless of what happens. I think the staff will add only high-end talent from here on out, certainly players that will please the “star-gazers.” 

    Da Geek:

    For me, this season has been quite exciting on the grid-iron. I simply see that there is really no reason for WVU to fall short of its goal to win the Big East out-rignt. DO you agree?

    Chris:
    I called 11-1 and the Orange Bowl before the season. I just did a mid-season report where I stuck by it. There isn’t a game left on the schedule that this team shouldn’t win by double digits. 

    Da Geek:
    If you could pick 3 concerns for this years squad what would they be? 

    Chris:

    This year’s squad? 1) Poor special teams play. 2) Geno trying to do too much and falling apart like he did against Syracuse last year. 3) Defensive secondary against a good short-passing game. 

    Da Geek:
    If you could pick 3 superlatives to bestow upon this years squad what would they be? 

    Chris: 
    Explosive. Dynamic. Young! 

    Da Geek:
    If you could have your pick of our BCS bowl destination what would it be? 

    Chris:  Well, obviously the National Championship Game, but I see a more likely destination of the Orange Bowl in Miami. Would be a good game and WVU can beat up on the ACC champion in a nice locale for January. 

    Da Geek:
    What other teams in the Big East give you pause and why? 
    Chris:


     USF worries me because it’s in Tampa where WVU hasn’t won since 2005. Having trouble getting a read on Rutgers. They demolished Pitt and have a Top 12 pass defense. Still, they’re Rutgers. Pitt will always be a rivalry game and I’ll never underestimate that again. Having said all that, I still expect double digit wins in all three games. 

    Da Geek:

    Where does Eersports tailgate on game day? 

    Chris:
    Anywhere and everywhere. Always (somewhat) responsibly, though. Haha. 

    Da Geek: well Chris you are welcome to come have a beer and some vittles at our tailgate at any home game from here on out. 

    Da Geek:
    When basketball season gets going in Ernest an we do this again? 
    Chris:
    Sure. Always down to talk basketball.

    Well Chris I just want to say again a heart felt thank you for your taking the time to get to know you and through you this wonderful web site.  Please blog reader go to EERSPORTS (you will find a link to the same on the left side of this blog furthermore you may follow their twitter feed at @EerSportsDotCom .  


    I  hope you enjoyed this interview as much as me.
    Go Eers!




    Da Geek

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