College Football's Current Season is Recruiting Season and It's Highly Overrated
If you are a slavish devotee to College Football there is a very good chance you count seasons. There's the Regular Season, Bowl Season, Recruiting Season, Spring Practice Season and Fall Practice Season.
And for you, Wednesday February 7th is the culmination of Season #3--Recruiting Season.....
"National Signing Day" is finally upon us--though for one really big reason, it's not quite gotten the hype and craziness of years gone by.
The reason: It's the second "Signing Period" of the Winter.
Yes, that's right there are now "2" Signing Periods.
The first happened in December when many of us were paying attention to our holiday plans and preparing for Bowl Games. If you blinked---you likely missed it.
Yes, that's right. 3 days in December, the 20th through the 22nd, a total of 1,976 potential College Football players signed their "National Letter of Intent" leaving only a handful of "Elite" players left.
So what does this mean:
Well, I'm glad you asked. We (me, OSG Nelson and Wilkie) talked about this at some length on the OSG Sports Report Podcast this week (available on I-Tunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud along with Barnburner in Canada).
Really, it doesn't mean much--it just takes the hype out of February's signing period.
If you're so serious about following recruiting, you already know what your school has. There's the whole "Cottage Industry" of recruiting websites and blogs following your team of choice and they've likely broken down the list of 4-star and 5-star athletes your school recruited and told you how awesome your team will be in 2018 because of it.
Don't believe the hype:
I'm here to dispel the notion for you. Recruiting is a business just like College Football. There are guys who get paid a shit-ton of money to "Rank" recruits. And yeah, sure every once and awhile you stumble on to a Jake Fromm or someone else who excels as a true freshman but that is the exception rather than the rule.
Understand that High School kids are never "Sure Things". Many of them have never spent any time away from home. Many are leaving their small, rural towns and living with their parents and some structure with someone to answer to for the opportunity to go away to College.
And if you're over the age of 25, you know full well what that means. No parents, temptation and opportunity everywhere.
Sure, you've got coaches and teammates but it's the first taste of freedom an 18-year old likely will ever experience. Even if the kid is level headed and behaves...there's on the field issues to.
It's not so easy for many kids to deal with being in a place with similar skilled athletes. Playing in a small town, they often dominated everyone at every level. Going to a "Power 5" school and all of a sudden you're surrounded by guys just as good if not better than you.
How do you handle that?
The business, like most of College Football is geared towards the "Power" conferences and power schools. Rarely do the Vanderbilt's or Oregon State's or Kansas's of the world stock up on the Elite recruits. It's always Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State or Clemson. Otherwise known as the "Revenue Schools"....
Don't get me wrong--I once stated recruiting is a complete waste of time. Clearly it isn't. There are opportunities to find a game changer in the High School ranks ready to step in and compete at the highest levels of College Football. It happens more and more every year.
And I can't even slam the incessant "Hype" machine, this year is the first I can remember I've not heard the incessant rumblings and reports from various outlets touting one kid or another and debating whether the kid will flip his commitment.
Though honestly---I do have to confess, the whole premise of a kid having puppies or playing 3-hat monty (Jon quote) made "Signing Day" much, much more fun.
And then it's done.....Spring Practice is less than two months away....