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As I sit here writing this, I actually have no clue when National Signing Day is for high school football players to officially declare where they are going to play in college. OK, I have a clue. I probably would not have been asked to write this if it wasn’t coming up soon.
As it stands right now, National Signing Day hasn’t inspired me enough to enter “When is national signing day?” into my computer’s search engine.
I don’t really care either.
I’ll admit that I followed the recruitment of former CU tailback Darrell Scott with fervor. I checked the recruiting Web sites, watched him walk the sidelines during his recruiting visit, and even tried to pull information from his uncle, also a former CU player, Josh Smith.
But those days are over.
Why? If anything, the recruitment of Scott taught me that trash talking conference opponents over the destination of a kid who hasn’t put on his prom tuxedo for the final time is just a waste of time. In Scott’s case, the opponent was Texas and the recruiting battle went on until the very last moment when Scott went on to national television to announce that he was going to be a Buffalo.
Mudslinging ensued. Rumors and accusations of foul play arose from the Texas football message boards. Not that such places are a source for credible information, but the whole ordeal had turned into a show. Scott was followed around by a New York Times reporter in the days leading up to his announcement and ESPNU arranged for him to come on live to tell the country where he was going to school.
But why do we care? Where is Darrell Scott right now? Seriously, where is he?
I have no clue.
The five star, “best running back in the country” was a complete bust for the Buffaloes. I know you’re probably saying, “But it wasn’t all his fault. What about Dan Hawkins’ role in not playing him?” This is valid but can be quickly brushed off by the fact that Hawkins has, so far, been a complete bust of a coach here in Boulder, a figurehead of wasteful spending.
My point is why do we focus so much on where high school kids decide to go to college? They have proved nothing until they arrive and replicate their high school performances on the next level.
Scott isn’t the only superstar high school player to commit to CU in the last couple of seasons who turned out to be a complete bust. Remember Lynn Katoa? I saw Katoa double-fisting red cups of Keystone Light more than I saw him play in a Colorado uniform on gameday. He played in the Army All-American game along with Scott. Now he is gone. Again, I have no clue, nor do I care, where he ended up.
It’s almost sad in a way. Recruiting Web sites and the increase notion that college football is a business has caused an obsession with high school athletes that doesn’t only inflate their egos, but also sets unrealistic expectations for them.
Yes, there are many exceptions. Some high school players make elaborate announcements about where they are going to college and they show up and meet expectations. But it is all arbitrary.
CU’s most exciting player in the past two seasons has arguably been Rodney Stewart. Stewart held no flashy press conference. Nobody, aside from CU and some mediocre Midwest schools I’ve never heard of, cared where Stewart went.
So with signing day (presumably) approaching. I will continue to follow the NBA, NHL, spring football scrimmages and college basketball and I’ll wait for whatever batch of soon-to-be Buffaloes that actually show up and actually do something worth me writing about.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ryan Callahan at firstname.lastname@example.org