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December 22, 2013

Sunday Soundoff - Countdown to signing day

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Commentary

Signing Day - where Adults act like kids and kids act like adults

Ah the joys of signing day - and the build up to it - where 17 year old kids make their first major adult decision and adults act like 17 year old kids.

Last week Tarpon Springs East Lake WR George Campbell reportedly decommitted from Michigan - sparking a flurry of unflattering tweets from mystery accounts that popped up and disappeared just as quickly.

The tweets were hateful, bigoted and contained such vile thoughts that I'm not going to dignify it by telling you what they said. Suffice it to say - they left an indelible impression upon Campbell, and many other high school athletes.

Take former USF commit Chase Litton - who was ostracized by the Bulls faithful when he decommitted - and called 'ungrateful' by some overzealous USF fans.

"I am going to take my visits, but I'm going to keep them private," Litton texted me. "Sorry, but I just don't need the bashing on twitter or the unnecessary comments."

Kind of sad to think that a 17 year-old, who has all of the alumni and fans from the schools he's considering waiting on his every word like he's the messiah. Then when they disagree with it - he's yesterday's news… trash-talk - fodder for the twitter warriors.

It's an all-too-commonplace occurrence in this world we call high school football recruiting.

And it's disgusting.

Litton hasn't said much since decommitting to his hometown school. He hasn't done many - if any - interviews and hasn't spoken publicly about the recruiting process since.

"I don't need people who feel their opinions on other people's lives actually means something," Litton said. "When in reality - it's us (the college-bound students) making the decisions - not them."

Athletes can go from relatively unknown to rock-star status with just one offer. If a Florida State, or a Alabama suddenly issues a relative unknown - then his star rating seems to go up. By the same token, if he's dropped from a BCS school to a lessor-known school, it seems the 'ratings' system drops with him.

I realize some may think I'm 'biting the hand that feeds me' - being that our site is powered by Rivals.com - but let me explain.

Other than recommendations and some minor film work, we - the publishers - have very little to do with the ratings. Those are handled by our recruiting analysts.

It's a cruel and inexact science - rating high school athletes. It's an even more cruel method of endearing and enraging fan bases across the country with a simple pick of a hat on a table.

If I had one wish for the college football world - or for the kids who are playing it (and at 50 years old, I consider them all 'kids') - it's this: It's just a game - go have fun.



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