Now that this great day in recruiting is in the books, I'd like to look back on the pageantry and spectacle surrounding Nationing Shining, err Signing, Day.
Kirk Herbstreit called it an "embarrassment," and he is right. He expressed his disappointment in the way the whole situation is covered, and it was done by his boss network. To me, it is a day for Rivals Main Board nuts and Message Board fiends to get their rocks off, along with the high school players making their announcement. There's nothing a young athlete likes more than attention and love, which makes today their one moment to shine. "Today, I'm announcing, I'm going to the University of..................... this school! Just kidding, this hat!!! HAHA! Just kidding again........ ALABAMA! For real this time, Alabama..."
The amount of joy and disappointment from fans surrounding this day is completely unnecessary, because who knows how these guys are even going to do? Some of them may never even see the field because of injury, rule violations, or any other reason. College recruiting has become (to fans) a Miss America pageant, and nobody wants Miss Idaho, they only want Miss Texas or Miss Florida. The problem with that is, in all actuality, any of us would be happy with Miss Idaho.
The word that comes to mind when I watch any recruiting show is "development," for several reasons. First, the difference between most five-stars and the four and thee-stars behind them, is their early age development. Number one WR Dorial Green Beckham is a manchild, and so are the rest of the country's top recruits, because they developed early. The second way the word "development" applies to recruiting is that most coaches get the players that fit in their system, then develop them into the appropriate weapon. Most people don't pay attention to the players their favorite team is is getting until today, so when they see three stars next to their commits' names, they assume they aren't good. They fail to realize that the foundation of every team is built on these guys. Good coaches DO see that though. They see two/three/four stars that flew under the radar, but fit perfectly into their scheme. They see some players with chips on their shoulders, because they didn't get as much love as the "Rivals 100" or "ESPN 150" recruits.
Don't get me wrong, I watched every hour of National Signing Day, and was disappointed with every recruit Arkansas and Florida missed out on, and sure, I would love if my team's starting lineup was made up of 22 five-stars. But there isn't any reason to be upset, because you can't truly analyze a recruiting class until after they step onto the college field for a few years. So Florida State had a top recruiting class, again. We saw how that worked out last year, right? And Florida the year before that? Recruiting is the most integral part to building a consistent team, but the way fans look at recruits is all wrong. Before you start pulling your hair out because you missed out on that five-star defensive end that runs a 4.5 40-yard-dash and mauled about 15 high school quarterbacks that weigh 1000 pounds combined, take a look at the players you did get, and see what positions your team needs filled. I guarantee you won't be so upset.
Take your arbitrary accolades and rankings and shove it, I'll be the judge of how my team recruited. I've seen more five-stars fall flat on their face in college, and seen a ton of two/three/four-stars exceed expectations and become All-Americans. Don't let any disappointment from today throw you into a whiskey-bending depression, save that for when your team goes 2-10.
Quote of the day from TWO-STAR LB Vin Ascolese, "I've signed with Arkansas...and I'm looking forward to hitting those who didn't." - That's what I'm talking about.