The recruiting process is a long and laborious one that sees college coaches spend an extraordinary amount of time attempting to woo 16-18 year old kids.
High school recruits, particularly in football, love to bathe in the attention and the glow that comes with being sought after by the high and mighties of college football like Alabama, Ohio State and others, and don’t truly return the favor.
In this day and age with social media being as hot as it is, these highly sought after kids are also after Twitter followers, retweets and favorites. It never ceases to amaze me when a kid asks a fan base to help get him to a certain amount of followers before a certain date. it’s just another way the kids use the schools recruiting them to build themselves up.
And while I normally don’t have a problem with kids promoting themselves to help ensure a better future, it’s about time the recruits start holding up their end of the deal as well.
There’s a route recruits can take to reciprocate the love in a simple, yet honorable, way. How about this: on national signing day, or whenever you commit/sign to a program, get the name of the school right in the announcement.
The issue I’m talking about is easily my favorite part of recruiting, but it’s also the most irritating because of the undeniable carelessness they show in these situations.
I know what you’re thinking, in the dead of the summer this topic can seem a bit random, but the issue arose again and caught my eye this week when James Franklin and Penn State – or should I say ‘The University of Penn State' – got a commitment via Twitter dot com.
Happy Valley was no doubt smiling at the sight of a summer commit, but you can’t convince me James Franklin looked at that tweet and didn’t get somewhat irritated the kid couldn’t correctly announce the name of the school he’ll be attending for the foreseeable future and that’s been sending mail to his address for years.
You see where I’m getting with this. It’s irritating, plain and simple.
There are other memorable instances of this happening, especially a few years back with the commitment of stud Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, who signed with "The University of Ole Miss" on his big day. Seriously.
Another instance, and one of my favorites, is LSU defensive back Jamal Adams committing to "The University of LSU." It leaves one to wonder what the U in LSU could possibly stand for. Georgia Tech University is another great one.
I know I’ve harped on 16-18 year old kids a lot in this column, but I don’t think it’s asking too much of a kid to just get the name of the school right. Not sure how you want to announce? Just go the safe route – say Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma State, Penn State, etc. It isn’t hard.
Meanwhile, some schools aren’t exactly doing their part to make it easy for kids. For example, the University of Oklahoma’s logo is "OU," giving some the idea the school’s name is Oklahoma University. The University of Tulsa is the same way – on their school site you see TU used quite a bit. It can be confusing.
But over the summer months I'm sure we’ll see more commitments from recruits, and I hope they will not only take their talents with them, but not commit to a fictitious program in the process.