Someone once said recruiting is the lifeblood of any program. There probably isn't a more accurate statement when referring to the future of ones team. Coaches scramble, break down film, hold camps and evaluate kids year around and beyond now with hopes of stocking the covert, and finding that next exciting play maker. That guy that will take their team to the next level.
Fans have always been interested in who their team picks up each year and rightfully so but since the interweb boom - fans have taken their interest, and their stupidity to another level. It has become so fanatical that people make millions off these idiots. Don't believe me? Check out rivals, scout and several other outlets for recruiting.
Not only have sports fans become more fanatical, they have become just dumb. Message boards start to catch fire around October as recruits start taking visits to their campus of choice and the things people say - I wonder is that person really real or a bot?
Person X on team university will say. "OMG I hope we get this guy! He's a stud! He runs a 4.19 forty! You wont stop him baby!!! whewwww hewww." Ok first thing moron; nobody runs a 4.19 forty. and this guy is about to loose his lunch over a seventeen year old boy.
Person Y is ecstatic that player-player commits and says, "welcome about MR player! we are so glad to have you sir. I know you will dominate for us next year. Looking forward to your excellence on the field. Now lay some wood!" <--- I didn't make this up. I have read this exact line and many more like it on many teams boards.
First your calling a 17 year old sir and Mr. I know its the south but Good God man are you serious? And did you really just tell a kid that wont even read your dumb response to go lay wood? I digress.
Fans should be concerned and dialed in to who their team gets. The rankings do matter - to a degree. Just go check out my boy Dave at collegefootballmatrix.com and you will see that. But, there is so much more to this than just getting the kids to sign. You have to get them on campus, they have to adjust to life away from mama, train them, and then pray they don't get locked up or kicked out.
And remember when I said the rankings matter - to a degree? Just because you rank in the top 20 in rivals or scout doesn't mean instant success. See Texas, Clemson, Notre Dame,Tennessee,FloridaStateand many more that have unreal numbers in recruiting, but on the field - they do not meet those expectations of radical fan.
Nobody is a better example of this type of fan than that of the University of Mississippi. (bring on the butt hurt, I know its coming reb fan).
Last year the Rebs ranked in the top 20 per some sites. Racked up on many top recruits within the state of Mississippi despite a 4-7 record the previous year and Houston Nutt declared that class "special" "took his breath away". The fans bought it hook line and sinker. This group of freshmen were going to make the ole Michigan Fab Five look like spam on wheat thins. All summer long these freshmen are the best we've ever seen in our coaching lives.
The recruiting Kool-Aid was in full affect. People believed this group of 17 year olds that were just playing high school football and chilling in the sonic parking lot were going to win the SEC, the National Title and dare the Green Bay Packers to step on the field.
Result? a 2-10 record. Only a few freshmen had a role on the team in a positive way. Now now reb fan I am not picking on you - well I am kinda but my point is fans get to emotional, and radical about recruiting, Not just at Ole Miss but all over the country and especially in the South Eastern Conference.
There will always be that Julio Jones, AJ Green or Marcus Lattimore to surface each year, but to expect your team to flourish next year due to a "ranked" class is like praying the economy turns around tomorrow. It just doesn't happen.
My advise to you? Enjoy recruiting, stop stalking these guys on facebook, twitter and at the local pool hall. And if you want to know what your team looks like for next year? Look at the roster already in place. Very few of this years class will pay dividends in eight months. You better have a staff in place that develops those signed the previous years and a strength coach that's making them into men.
But I know asking fans to take my advise is like asking my dog to not get in the garbage. Somewhere right now, some fan is breaking down a top players face book and rolling over to a message board to tell all that will listen - he has inside information, the kids coming to his school, he runs a 3.57 forty, has a 50 inch vertical, can bench press a house and will deliver his school a championship - and I ask myself, is this person really a real person? Sadly - yes. Its the finatical fan that has been bred by this thing called recruiting.