I love college football. I watch every Saturday, I have both a podcast and a site about college football. There aren’t many aspects to the sport that don’t hold my interest. I get into the crazy uniforms, the bands, and Oregon’s all the cheerleaders. I can’t get into signing day. I understand why it’s important for the kids, but I don’t get tracking the roots of why one recruit signed with one school over another, or why adults are into tweeting 17 year-old athletes that make the “wrong” decision. Granted, a lot of those same 17 year-olds look older than I do at 32, but they’re still 17, and some probably aren’t as mature as many their age. So what’s the get? What’s the draw? Sites like Rivals, JJ Huddle, Scout, 247 Sports, etc. probably make millions on ratings and determining who is the overall number one five-star prospect for this week.
Honestly, all the ratings and stars feel like pre-season polls. The overwhelming majority of these kids won’t play for their school for at least two years, and many of them will fail to provide significant value or be memorable at the end of their collegiate careers. Fewer will advance to play professional football, and yes, as we’ve all seen – no five-star recruits played in Super Bowl XLIX.
See how these recruiting rankings feel like pre-season polls? How many times have the pollsters put Notre Dame, USC, and Texas in the top 10 before the season only to wonder where they those schools are at the end of the season?
Some of these athletes will be really good at football, significantly more happen to be in the right place at the right time and have great coaches who are good at selling kids, and some can just flat out play…high school football.
My real question is, why are you so excited? Figuring out if a college recruit will be good is almost as easy as figuring out the MLB draft. No one understands how that works, but people get stupid excited for that.
I don’t know why Byron Cowart (someone’s consensus #1) picked Auburn after dragging the process out needlessly, but what if he’s a bust? Why the all the exclusive coverage? Why the press conference to pick a hat? Everyone hated when LeBron James basically did the same thing in 2010, but in it’s OK for high school students to do the same?
Athlon Sports recently published a list of the biggest five-star busts in the last 10 years. It’s worth reading. Here are some of the names that Athalon considers busts: Ryan Perilloux (LSU), Kevin Grady (Michigan), Mitch Mustain (USC), Eugene Clifford (Ohio State), Dayne Christ (Notre Dame), Darrell Scott (Colorado, South Florida), and Isaiah Crowell (Georgia). There are tons of names that I left out, and some of these players have gone on to the NFL, but how were they in college? Were any of the above named worth the hype that fans gave them?
When some of these players (not the ones above) get into trouble and fans complain about how players act better than everyone else, are those the same fans fawning over these players when they’re picking colleges?
Why do so many people get upset when commits flip from one school to another? I know I’m being naïve, but I for many of these kids, earning a scholarship is the only way many of them will have a future for themselves or for their families. Who cares if they decide to leave Ohio and play at Michigan even if Ohio State offered them?
I don’t get the anger or the excitement of the decisions of minors. The media hype comes because we the fans have the desire to know who our schools are recruiting, but remember, the majority of these kids aren’t playing in the next year or two.
Do you get excited for National Signing Day or is it just another day for you? Do you think we as fans go a little overboard on these details of college football?
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