Ahh, the sights and sounds of college football recruiting. The nationwide event that involves grown men expressing their undying love to a high school teenage recruit; singing his praises and laying out how he will compete for the Heisman at Whatever University Tech College. Then, the recruit changes his mind. All the sudden the aforementioned grown man is hurling profanities towards the once-adored recruit and wishing injuries on him.
Here’s what fans need to know about Twitter and high school recruits:
- They care about increasing their follower count.
- They care about people showing them love.
That’s it. They don’t care what a middle-aged man that never played a second of collegiate sports thinks about how he will fit in “your” system. They are on Twitter for friends, family, and supporters. They are still kids. They have a short time period to make a decision about where to play football and pursue a college education that is going to shape and determine the rest of their lives. That stress of that decision is magnified by coaches from multiple schools all telling them exactly what they want to hear. Sorry to break it to you, but your balding head and fupa aren’t going to gain the attention of a kid that is 3-4 years away from making more money than you ever will. You cannot take what you see from recruits on Twitter as the gospel. Just like they are told what they want to hear from everyone, they like saying what people want to hear from them. These recruits may be superstar athletes, but they are still kids.
Let’s take a look at Bralon Addison, a 4-star WR recruit from Houston, that switched his commitment from Oklahoma State to Texas A&M in May 2011. Since then, Bralon became a co-founder of the “Agg Swagg Movement” with Matt Davis and Trey Williams. Agg Swagg Movement is a phrase coined by the 2012 recruiting class to show their bond as a family. The firing of Coach Mike Sherman caused many Aggie fans to rush to Twitter asking the star athlete what his intentions were. Let’s see what he had to say:
That seems like a pretty strong commitment to me. As we all know now, Kevin Sumlin was hired as the new head coach of Texas A&M’s football team. Surely, Bralon would respond positively to this, right? At face value, Bralon seemed like the most rock solid commit A&M had:
For the next couple of weeks, Bralon was on multiple radio shows and doing interviews saying he was 100% committed to Texas A&M, but that he might take a couple of visits still. An adult would say that’s not exactly a 100% commitment. To a teenager, it’s as good as gold. Bralon took a visit to Oregon with childhood friend and Oklahoma State commit Chance Allen. Following the trip, rumors began to fly that the two were a package deal for Chip Kelly and Oregon. But Bralon said he was 100% to the Aggies, he couldn’t be considering flipping to Oregon, right?
Hmm, this might be cause for concern. Oh well, that’s no big deal. He is just looking for some attention and people to show him love. He posted this to his roughly 3,500 Twitter followers. I guess that means people should text him or something.
Well now that’s just a little confusing to send a tweet to 3,500 people to text you or something, and then asking for privacy. In the early hours of National Signing Day, both Bralon Addison and Chance Allen committed to play football for the Oregon Ducks. From there, it was almost like a race to see who could be the most ridiculous adult that followed his recruitment. Grown men and college graduates rushed to Twitter to send hate messages to a teenager about where he wants to play football. Let that sink in for a few minutes.
I'm not going to put up the tweets that people were sending to Bralon because those people don't deserve the slightest bit of attention from anyone.
Remember, they are kids. They change their minds on a daily basis because they can, and that’s okay. Bralon Addison will go to Oregon and surely have success in the program there. If you find yourself getting upset over the decision of a teenage athlete and where he wants to go to school, you might need to re-examine your priorities in life a little more. The team you yell until you are hoarse for will still take the field next season. They will still be coached up by the coaching staff and cheered on by thousands every weekend. College football will go on, lots of beer will be consumed at tailgates, and kids will still be kids.