|USC Legends News|
Sorry for the biting sarcasm, but following where 17- and 18-year-old kids decide to go to college just doesn't really do it for me.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that recruiting is what brings in the talent to win the real national championships. But I'd rather read Obscure Sports Quarterly than read about how much these recruits bench press.
It's not like I've never been interested in recruiting. When I was in high school, I loved tracking where recruits were going to play their college ball but that was because they were older than me and I looked up to them.
I remember being so excited the day Whitney Lewis took his mom's advice and signed to play with USC rather than going to play at Florida State with his former high school teammate Lorenzo Booker. Wow, that really worked out.
I still love to read all of the USC message boards on a day-to-day basis and sometimes I can't help but laugh about what I read. Grown men write threads about 18-year-old football players changing their MySpace pages. I'm serious. It's pretty pathetic.
For example, some USC fans freaked out when River Ridge, La., five-star running back Joe McKnight took Reggie Bush off his MySpace page last week. It's just plain scary that old men are basically stalking these players.
But that's not as extreme as what happened with five-star quarterback John Brantley, whose MySpace page was filled with hate mail when he decommited from Texas and decided to commit to Florida instead. Word is he changed his mind because he wanted to be closer to his girlfriend, so some classy Texas fans wrote up some nice words of encouragment. Here's what some Texas "fans" wrote:
"What are you going to do when you sit behind (Tim) Tebow for three years and your girlfriend breaks up with you?" one wrote.
"I just wanted to let you know that my younger brother, who attends UF and is a Sigma Chi, boned your girlfriend a couple of months ago," wrote another.
So I guess it proves it's not just old men who care about these recruits. It's crazy fans who take out their anger on a recruit who changes his mind.
Here's some advice to athletes: Keep your MySpace profiles private.
What I find most sad is when grown men care more about where a recruit goes to college than where their own kids go to school. And it's really getting to that point.
These recruits know that they are in the spotlight and milk everything they can out of it. And frankly I can't blame them. If I had the media calling me every day and Fox Sports or ESPN wanted to air my news conference to announce what school I was going to attend, I would do it too.
But the problem is that it inflates the recruits' egos and sometimes it sets these players up for failure once they get to college. They are getting yanked every which way on where to play football by high school coaches, parents, fans, recruiting services and, of course, college coaches. Everyone thinks they know what's best for these athletes, when in reality the players should be able to make their own choice.
Remember, not every five-star becomes an All-American and sometimes players who were a little under the radar, such as Mike Williams a few years ago, become the real five stars.
The recruiting season is a nice distraction for fans after the real season ends, but that's all it should be. Of course I'm excited players like Aaron Corp, Everson Griffen, Marshall Jones and Marc Tyler are coming to USC, but I didn't follow their life stories before they committed. And you can't expect every player who signs with the Trojans to become a star.
What I'm trying to say is I would gladly trade USC's recruiting class with UCLA's in exchange for a win against the Bruins last Dec. 2. I'd take a shot at a real national title over a recruiting title any day of the week.
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