post like it last year with the same exact title. Yep today is signing day for future college football players. Fans, coaches, and analysts wait on the whim of a 17 or 18-year old kid to fax in his letter of intent to their future school.
Last year I looked at why people are insane enough to follow the whims of a kid. It's insanity was my conclusion. This year I want to look at why I've always taken today with a grain of salt.
Player Development In College Is Just As Hard as The Pros: SB Nation had a round table discussion of their favorite recruiting stories and each player mentioned, except Desean Jackson and surprisingly Bryce Brown*, flamed out in college. Besides a couple of those players getting in trouble with the law the rest of them flamed out spectacularly at their original choice of school. Why? Because these players have to be developed just like rookies in all leagues. Recruiting is easy for some coaches (see Ron Zook) it's the development and coaching part that is the hardest. This is why I believe college coaching is a little bit more stressful than the NFL. Not only do you have to have recruiting chops, but you also have to know how to coach. It's the reason why so many coaches fail. I take today with a grain of salt because you just don't know who is going to flame out or not.
*I put an asterisk next to Brown because in reality his college career did flame out but he somehow carved out a nice little niche for himself with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
The Players Are Most Of The Time Over Ranked: Going back to that SB Nation post, all of those players were over ranked except Kevin Hart*. College recruiting is a lot like watching the NFL Draft. You have some sort of recruiting version of Mel Kiper telling you this kid is special and deserves that 4-star ranking he has. Most of the time though these kids are severely over ranked or they don't receive the proper coaching development and flame out. I would venture to say that out of the top 100 high school kids today faxing in their letter of intent that about only 20 of them ever develop into something special enough to be drafted into the NFL.
*Kevin Hart was the kid from Nevada who pretended like he was recruited by Cal and Oregon only it turned out to be a hoax by him.
It's Hard Correctly Predicting the Future: I've always taken predictions and projections in sports with a grain of salt. It's hard to correctly predict the future in sports because so many little things have to go right. And that goes for these college recruits as well. You would think a high star ranking would say that a recruit is going to have a great college career, yes? But so many little things have to go correctly for that prediction to come correctly.
So will I follow today's coverage of signing day? You're damn right I will because I'm just as insane as the rest of the people following today's coverage. I'll just follow today though while shaking my head and smirking.