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College Football Recruiting Wisdom

10 revelations and observations that will change your life in no appreciable way.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

1.  For teenage athletes, social media is cocaine mixed with alcohol chased by an ecstasy suppository. Recruiting has always been erratic, but platforms for instant mass grandiosity aren't very healthy for young aspirants who have been worshipped in their football mad communities since age 13.  Young men generally need a good ego beatdown in order for them to maximize their potential.  I prescribe a heavy dose of R Lee Ermey or Charlie Strong.

2. We learned once again that grown men will tweet teenage males lavishly praising, vilifying, or stalking them based on whether they posted #WRTS, a cow emoticon with a smiley or Dawg paw prints that day.  Unless actively cruising, you really shouldn't be that interested in interacting with a 17 year old.  If cruising, I appreciate your wide net in rural East Texas, but please consult local age of consent laws.  Here's an example of a sensible communication from a Texas fan:

Similarly, recruiting fans who describe themselves as being aroused when they learn a player is making an official visit shouldn't be.  Only posting an "Open Letter to a Recruit" or reading your parent's e-mail forwards is more regrettable.

3. The Lebron Takin' My Talents To South Beach signing announcement by a high school senior complete with lengthy testimonial video, six speakers (mother, pastor, likely street agent, coach, personal trainer, that kid Ray Ray from home room) and a highlight video (with all sweet cuts in slo-mo!) set to gangster rap promising that all soft bitches will be executed right after a solemn prayer to guide this humble young man in Your Profound Eternal Wisdom, Oh Lord is happening a tad too often.

The common retort to this is "all kids deserve their special day."  No they don't.  You know who talks about deserving "their special day?" Brides.  You know who is batshit crazy, sobs uncontrollably if the napkin swans aren't folded just so, passes out from food and water deprivation at the altar, makes all of her friends grow to hate her and will blow 70K of their father's money without blinking like a Hilton with a coke habit?


Here are some of the people who get to have "their day": George Washington, Nelson Mandela, Jonas Salk.  If you can top this list, you get to have your day.  243 yards rushing against Waco Midway isn't doing it.

4. A family will be torn apart by the recruiting process because the parents view their child as a commodity to be sold or as a tool for ego gratification. Every year, at least a couple of elite recruits move out of their homes to live with a coach, grandma or guardian because their parents have been bought or their precious self-image can't handle their kid's school choice.

Guess what?  If my son loves A&M, he's going to A&M.

Florida A&M.

No, seriously: Texas A&M.

Sure, I will pay his tuition at their registrar's office in nickels (kidding - he'll be there on a full sorghum ride).  Yes, I will scream,"Sit down bus driver!" at him when he asks me for South Padre Spring Break money. Yes, I will refuse to allow him to wash his maroon clothing in the regular wash to minimize infection vectors.  But this is all in good fun.

You know who is a better parent than you? Snoop Dogg.

5. I have seen a number of middle-aged journalists who attended leafy private schools sending shouts out on Twitter with hashtags like #GrindinEveryDay. Without irony. To describe attending a press conference or spending 45 minutes at The Opening.

You are not grinding.  You're not Kobe Bryant.  No.  No!

6. Every year, college coaches sell players on trust, the uniqueness of their relationship and the mentoring they'll offer for the next four years.  I'll be a father to you!  Immediately after that letter of intent hits, it's off to the NFL. Thanks, Dad!

7.  Like a moral magnetic north, you can always count on Bobby Petrino to prove himself to be a real piece of shit.

8. Texas high school players are spoiled.  Reviewing south Florida film was a wake-up call.  The field is a drained mangrove swamp covered in broken glass and No Dumping signs.  There's a bullet riddled cigar boat sticking halfway up out of the end zone.  The game stops whenever a pit bull wanders onto the field.  There's a referee wearing lycra shorts and tank top with a fanny pack. 14 people in the stands; two of them there to serve warrants.  Gatorade buckets full of pruno. I've counted only nine men on the field on at least half of the highlights.  Meanwhile, Texas kids have been training like Ivan Drago since they were 11 and their stadiums are Elysium.

9. Q: What do you call an incredible, can't miss recruit once he reports to campus?

10. A: Third team.