Thursday, February 07, 2008

Detroit fishwrap comment of the day - Recruiting news is creepy

I'm quite happy I was away from both the web, and the media in general, yesterday. When I logged into my Google Reader last night, I was overwhelmed by the massive amount of recruiting news in my RSS feeds. It was both disturbing and funny. Then again, the whole fascination normally sane adults have in college recruiting is creepy.

The Freep has an ENTIRE section devoted to signing day. A Freep commenter named tater responds to an article detailing Rich Rodriguez's thoughts from his signing day presser.

Recruiting Florida is a great thing. USF has become a sorta top-25 program by recruiting kids from Florida who didn't get serious offers from top-25 schools.

The best recuiting story for this year comes from Florida:
EIGHT Miami Northwestern players signed en masse with Miami yesterday. This is even better than the seven from Lakeland who signed with Florida last year. The quality is slightly higher and the players are staying home.

Who has the energy or the need to track college football recruiting this closely? Why would you even care? I barely know, or to be honest, give a shit, whom Michigan signed, let alone what's happening a continent away. Those whom are so into recruiting they can tell you the 40 time some some bumpkin kid from Backwater, USA? They have issues.

In the early, primeval days of TWFE, I wrote that one of my biggest pet peeves was the coverage of college football signing day, and the recruiting process in general.

I have NO IDEA who these kids are and why I should be excited. None. I honestly believe that the so-called recruiting "Experts," such as Tom Lemming,, Scouts Inc., and others of their ilk, don't either. They are just making it up and slinging player BS as they go along. It's pure guesswork on their part. Highly paid NFL scouts and front office people have trouble projecting how well a much more mature college player's ability will translate to the next level. The Lions' drafts are a prime example. Take a look at the crapshoot that is the MLB draft, the success of high school players are basically a flip of the coin, and it's not much better for college players. The NBA have washed their hands of high school kids altogether. So I'm expected to take the word of some wannabe working out of his basement projecting the skill level of 17 year old high school kids? That takes a level of disbelief that I just don't have.

I wrote the preceding diatribe 2 years ago. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. If anything, it's gotten worse.

The Free Press seemingly leads with the latest in the Terrelle Pryor saga every God damn day. The college blogs and message boards post every and any sliver of unsubstantiated gossip regarding recruits. The 4 letter made a day of it, with breathless coverage on The Ocho ESPNU. I have Detroit sports talk radio on in the background, and a day later, they are STILL talking about the results of signing day.

It's all bullshit.

"Experts" are dissecting 17-18 year old high school kids who aren't even close to being physically and emotionally mature. Yet these kids are being hounded like Britney Spears after her latest meltdown. They are stars before they even set foot on campus.

This is what bothers me the most about what's become a big business. If highly trained and paid scouts from the NFL, MLB, NHL, and the NBA have trouble projecting the skills of these kids, how can you believe the rankings of some self-designated high school recruiting "expert?"

For all anyone knows, Terrelle Pryor may not be the next Vince Young, and end up as the next Ron "He'll win 4 Heismans" Powlus. There is no sure thing when you are talking about HIGH SCHOOL KIDS!

Recruiting coverage is nothing more than a sideshow full of scary geeks, all desperate for attention.


  1. A heartfelt thank you.

  2. amen amen amen amen Al.

    Worst part of my job is pretending to give a crap.

  3. You're welcome, Unc. You have my sympathies, Kurt. I don't know how you do it...

  4. Couldn't agree with you more, Al. You just know that the dudes on the recruiting message boards have another window open on their computer where they're trying to get 12 year olds to come "party" with them at their homes. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Tom Lemming is the next guy caught on "To Catch a Predator".

  5. Very, very true.

    I wasn't that obsessed with high school boys when I was a high school girl. (Although I credit that to having younger brothers. Why would I ever be interested in dating if it meant more of those things around?) :)