National Signing Day is exciting for pretty much everyone involved in the hectic process.
My favorite shareholder of National Signing Day doesn't involve players, parents, or coaches though - my favorite participants are the fans. If you enjoy watching the slow train wreck of unintentional humor then you surely enjoy National Signing Day. What should be a joyous occasion often takes a not so subtle turn into a rage induced emotional explosion, and my god is it entertaining.
I've been following recruiting closely since a can remember and every single year the same stereotypes play out the exact same way. While you sit back and watch as players pick hats and sign pieces of life-altering paper on Wednesday, I hope you can appreciate just how truly bananas this all is, and how absolutely hilarious certain people act over children choosing a college. The entire point of this article isn't to make fun of those who follow recruiting, but to have some fun and realize that we are all, collectively, insane.
So, as the big day draws near, we thought it'd be fun to rank all the beloved "Recruiting Fanatics" because most of us fall into at least one of these categories.
1. The "Insider"
I 100% love the insider. Perhaps the most self-delusional person in the history of earth, the "Insider" believes in their heart of hearts they're actually Chris Mortensen. You see, the "Insider" caught his first big break when his younger sister's best friend started dating the third string quarterback. Said QB3 met him once at a party, where the "Insider" was significantly older than anyone else, and he made the monumental mistake of giving the "Insider" his phone number. Back in 2009, the "Insider" text QB3 "Hey man, how do you think we are going to finish in recruiting this year" a whopping 39 times before QB3 finally cracked and replied "We are confident." From that simple reply the "Insider" extrapolated the following information and posted it on his favorite message board...
.... "BEST FINISH IN SCHOOL HISTORY!!!! - Guys just got of the phone with the big dog. Again, I can't out my sources, but trust me, no one is closer to the program than him. He said to me that this was going to be the greatest finish in the history of the program. Multiple surprises!!! Buckle up guys! We are on our way to the top!!1"
That's my favorite part of the "Insider," he works solely in absolutes. Everything is either great, or it's awful, but you best believe it's accurate.
2. Mr. 2*
Heart, blood, sweat, tears; these are the things that make a great football player. What about size, talent, and actual football ability? Those are all secondary to players that "bleed razorback red." You will often hear Mr. 2* say things like, "I'd rather sign 25 two stars that want to be Razorbacks than 25 four stars who don't want to be here." And he absolutely believes that. Recruiting rankings? They're just flat out ridiculous. THE GAME IS PLAYED ON THE FIELD! Ever heard of JJ Watt? 2 star! What else you got Mr. Recruiting guy that can basically show all successful programs succeed in recruiting? Any other hogwash you want to throw Mr. 2 Star's way? Mr. 2 star's favorite slogans include: "Find the diamonds in the rough," "Glory last forever," and " You gotta WANT it!" Below is a typical Mr. 2* player evaluation...
... "I love this kids talent. I know he's a short undersized wide receiver but he's got "it"? You know? Those intangibles are off the charts. His only other offer is Hofstra? Well, have you heard of Marques Colston? He just so happens to be an NFL wide receiver. Hofstra knows how to evaluate wide receivers. I love that offer. Can't believe he is only a 2 star with the Hofstra offer. 4 star talent."
You simply can't argue when Mr. 2* drops knowledge bombs like Marques Colston. So fierce.
3. The "True" Fan
Let me tell you the easiest way to spot a "true" fan. They say, "I'm a true fan" a lot, and by a lot I mean that basically every single statement they make is prefaced with the understanding that they are a "true" fan. Criticism isn't allowed in the true fan's world, no way. You have to back the program 100%. No room for anything but blind following.
We had a horrible finish in recruiting? Doesn't matter. True fan still believes in the coaches and the direction. Don't you dare even consider critiquing a coaching decision, because if you do then you are nothing but a bandwagon fan.
As an aside, has there ever been more botched term than "Bandwagon fan?" A bandwagon fan jumps from successful program to successful program because it's easy. If you are a Razorback fan right now it is an impossibility, by definition, to be a bandwagon fan. The ‘True" fan often points out that if you weren't a D1 athlete or coach then your opinion, assuming it is critical, is absolutely worthless. Trust the coaches because we pay them money to coach. That's the mindset to live by.
4. Social Media Recruiter
Thank GOD for these gems. Listen, nothing in this world is more important than Twitter follows and shout outs. School academics seem important, but they pale in comparison to the power of the RT. Early playing time can be a huge factor in deciding a school, but at the end of the day which school gave you more followers? That's how decisions are made.
The best part of the Social Media Recruiter is how self-inflated their value to the program is. You'd assume that they were on the staff with the amount of hours they put into tweeting 17-year-old kids. SMR's have a 2 phase life cycle. The first phase is when they follow, retweet, and favorite every single recruit they can find.
The second phase is when that recruit choses another school. I cringe when this happens to the point where I can't even check social media. So many nasty things said by SMR's to kids and it's pretty disheartening especially when most SMRs probably consider themselves "true" fans too. If there is anything you get out of this article then let it be this: don't tweet at recruits who go to a different school. Just don't do it. "Anti Nike" twitter for a while.
5. The "Insider" Entourage
You know when you watch shark week and they have those enormous sharks and there are always those fish that swim around them just looking to snatch some loose food? I have no idea what you call those, but naming them "Insider's Entourage" would be fitting.
The "Insider" Entourage guys constantly try to convince people whom they haven't met to trust other people whom they also have never met. Oh, you don't think that "BigtimeHog4Life870" is a trust worthy insider? Well let's throw that impossible opinion out the window because "PetrinoDynasty69" just informed all of us, "Guys, I know BigtimeHog4Life870 he's as legit as it gets!!" Boom! There you go. Enough said. I was a little taken back when BigtimeHog4Life870 said we will land the best player in the country who has zero connection with the school whatsoever, but hey, when PetrinoDynasty69 backs someone then you know that info is rock solid. Take it to the bank.
So which one of these do you fall under?