ART OF PERSUASION
Ty Smith, who coaches the outside linebackers at Florida, gets our vote as the alltime best recruiter. Seems that in 1984 Smith went to Jacksonville with his heart set on landing Jason Lamberth, a nifty linebacker for Parker High School. Trouble was, others were also keen on Lamberth. But Smith persevered and got him.
During one visit to the Lamberth home, Smith happened to notice pictures hanging on the wall of Jason's three good-looking sisters. He learned that one was not married and that she was a nurse. After calling several hospitals in Jacksonville, Smith finally located the unattached Lamberth sister, Dorla. On the night Jason signed with Florida, Dorla and Ty met. Says Dorla of her initial impression, "There was no great romance."
But, again, Smith persevered. Six months later, in the summer of '85, they were married, which meant that Smith would coach his new brother-in-law. Says Smith of Jason, a sometime starter who finished his second season on Saturday, "There are times he'd like to choke me."
Jesse Lamberth, father of Jason and Dorla, says of Smith, "He got my son. He got my daughter. I finally told [head coach] Galen [Hall] not to let him get my wife."
PUTTING A RIBBON ON THE YEAR...
...or wrapping up the season with the good, the bad, the ugly and the real ugly.
?BEST GAME. On Oct. 4, with 1:15 left, San Jose State trailed Fresno State 41-31. San Jose miraculously won 45-41 with 18 seconds to spare, after Spartan quarterback Mike Perez threw for 433 yards. The victory snapped Fresno's 11-game winning streak, the longest in the nation. Runner-up: Notre Dame's 38-37 win over USC.
?BIGGEST BORE. The Heisman race that never was.
?BONEHEAD TELEVISION DECISION. For the first time since 1968 the Ivy League title came down to a final game between two teams undefeated in conference play, Penn and Cornell. But public television instead aired a battle of those 3-7 giants, Harvard and Yale.