Okay, listen up all you recruiting nuts out there. I know your type. You run to the keyboard every early February like kids to their stockings. You tear up the Internet like a squirrel on a nut trying to get to your favorite sports website (which should be ours) as quickly as possible.
You've just got to know: WHO DID MY SCHOOL GET!?
It's a shame you beat the rooster to the sunrise on such a defective day. The names you see on your computer screen don't mean a thing. This recruiting fairy tale you fans have in your heads is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
That's right. National Signing Day, and it pains more to write it with all caps like it's some kind of inauguration, means diddly-squat.
Zip. Nada. Ziltch.
At least for the universities it does. Nobody on your recruiting wish list is going to make a guaranteed difference this fall for your school. They just aren't. Go around and ask other college players if they care how many stars you have next to your name. Nobody else gives a rip how many schools recruited you.
Every name of every kid on that recruiting website you're reading from (again, we should be your homepage) is nothing more than untapped potential. Just 200 pounds of pigskin unknown dressed up in cleats and a helmet. Their football futures are as steady as feathers in the breeze. These young men are educated guesses at best. Their 18-year-old pseudo stardom and overnight name recognition (thanks to recruiting geeks like you) does not equal wins on the field. These kids that sign letters of intent with USF, Florida, Florida State, Miami or anywhere else on National Signing Day have not earned anything -- yet.
The only thing they have done is proven themselves at a minor level to the point where coaches like Willie Taggart and Will Muschamp were convinced enough to take a chance on them.
Will they be good enough when they get on an equal playing field, where EVERYONE was the best player at their high school? Maybe.
Will they be able to handle the added pressure of living away from home and not having mommy or daddy to help them through struggles? Hopefully.
Will they be able to earn good enough grades to even remain eligible? Gosh, I hope so.
I wish these teenagers success in the future at whatever university they hope to play football for this September. But, I hope they're not banking on it.
It's great they all get to go to school for FREE. It's great that they have put themselves in a position to set themselves up for the future. I don't think you should plan on booking a plane ticket to the national championship game next year thanks to this crop of high school.
After all, these recruiting ratings are an inexact science. And that's being kind. Yahoo! Sports rated Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel the 45th best quarterback in THE STATE OF TEXAS last year. Not the nation, THE STATE. Oh by the way, he won the Heisman as a, ahem, lowly 3-star recruit.
Florida State QB E.J. Manuel was ranked as the top passer in Florida when he came out of high school. FSU went 21-6 in his last two seasons and he threw 47 career touchdowns. Is that what a 4-star recruit is worth? Is that good or bad? What about the highly touted players behind him? Are they worthy of more playing time?
Nobody knows. Florida's Jeff Driskel is a 5-star recruit according to Scouts.com. ESPN agrees. Yahoo! only gave him four stars. What's the difference? Nerdy conjecture.
Again, nobody knows what to expect. I guess that's part of the "wonder" of the day. For some it's like Christmas morning! For me, it's more like Flag Day.