So it is less than 24 hours before the beginning of the mad rush of commitments on National Signing Day, and right now College Football fans can’t get enough of where about 100 or so High School studs are going to be playing on Saturdays. Or to put it in a more truthful terms, fans are infatuated with where their team ranks in this popularity contest.
There is no doubt that this phenomenon is more of a beauty pageant than it is passion about recruiting.
Seriously, think about it folks. Let’s put this in perspective and compare it to, say, the Miss America Pageant. There is no way someone can tell me one of those 52 ladies is hotter than the others and is more deserving from a talent perspective.
Whether you’re talking about lovely ladies in a bikini twirling a baton or a 6-5, 245 pound linebacker who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, it is the same. How are you suppose to tell one is better than the other? How can someone say, without a doubt, that Robert Nkemdiche will be the best and most dominate player in the college game when you have 50 guys with a similar skill set?
There are an inordinate amount of recruiting websites out there claiming that they are the absolute king when it comes to ranking players. Of all those sites, though, you have one who has the Michigan Wolverines No. 1 and another who has them at No. 18. Another site has the Florida Gators at the top and another has them at No. 7. Every site has the Alabama Crimson Tide somewhere in the Top Five with an asterisk that they probably will end up No. 1.
So what does one need to look for as tomorrow unfolds?
It probably has more to do with the off-the-field stuff than on-the-field to be honest. If your team has a bunch of 3.0 to 4.0 GPA athletes who can run a 4.7 40 and has the coaching and atmosphere of winning established, then don’t get in a tizzy if you end up at No. 41 in this recruiting class.
There are so many players out there who are gifted athletes with God-given, can’t-miss talent. Drive is the factor that separates the elite from the average. A three-star kid who strives to learn in the classroom just as much as he does on the field is going to be a winner.
Yes, the Bama’s and the Florida State Seminoles of the world will add to their depth, but don’t lose heart if your team ends up with a “disappointing class”.
M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.
Follow him @woodysmalls.