By Shawn Muller–
National Signing Day for college football took place yesterday, and although the majority of each universities incoming classes were already filled, there were still plenty of highly regarded prospects that remained uncommitted, and ready to make a decision. It seems like a pretty simple process right? A prospect has a list of potential schools, picks the school of his choice, and it is all done.
Instead of a simple low-key affair, some of these “stars” feel the need to turn their signing day into a miniature spectacle. I find it a little ridiculous when some recruit places the hats of his finalists on the table in front of him, and then tries to be cute with some sort of dramatic pause or “psych out” toward the crowd on hand, before they finally pick one. It is a brash way to announce one’s college destination and it is a slap in the face to the coaching staffs that spent a lot of time and effort on the recruiting front. As ridiculous as I feel it is, however, part of me cannot blame these players.
If it weren’t for the various recruiting websites and recruiting “experts” out there, these types of displays of grandeur by kids would not take place. These recruiting sites rate players across the country based on a star system that is flawed at best. From day one, these highly rated players have people—be it parents or handlers– chirping “sweet-nothings” into their ears, raving about how great they are. They have recruiting analysts telling them how great they are. They have college coaches telling them how great they are.
Sooner or later, these kids start to believe their own hype.
But what exactly have they proven?
All these kids have shown on the football field is that they are better than the competition at the high school level. There is no guarantee their successes will follow them up to the collegiate level…and many of them will become complete burnouts…never to be heard from again. The ridiculous amount of expectations placed upon them by outside influences, needs to be scaled down just a tad, don’t you think?
Teenagers are the most impressionable people in our society…athlete or not. Telling high schoolers how great they are, when they really haven’t accomplished anything in life– other than maybe getting a driver’s license and graduating from high school– is a recipe for disaster. Not for all of them, but for a lot of them. For every NFL Pro-Bowler that was a “5-star” player in high school, there are hundreds more that never even make it to the league.
People that get so wrapped up in college football recruiting, need to take a step back for a second, and try to get a grasp on reality. Before crowning these kids as the next biggest thing to hit the football field since Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, or Jerry Rice, let’s see how they compete at the college level.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in Chicago for 7 years. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and just recently received his certificate in radio broadcasting in October of 2010. Sports have always been a passion of Shawn’s. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, “Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.