The business of college football recruiting is a reminder of how sick college football fans really are.

Throughout the college football season, fans salivate over the prospects of getting one 6-foot-2, 220-pound recruit after another. They get giddy because an 18-year-old kid might go to the same school.

It’s almost like your best friend in middle school having a chance with the head of the cheerleading squad. And the way fans talk about it isn’t dissimilar.

Did you hear who Alex likes?

Yeah. Mike told me at lunch he likes Michigan, Southern Cal and Ohio State.

Dude, I was talking about the girl across the table.

Oh.

Once the college football season ends, we have the opportunity to rekindle friendships lost during the year: best friends, significant others, parents.

Instead, we look forward to today, National Signing Day, the culmination of our sickness. That’s because after a year of tracking the statistics of high school seniors, fans finally know where most everyone is going to college.

And can college football fans think of the last time they anticipated the arrival of anyone as much as the possible arrival of a recruit each season?

The pope in 1979? Nope.

The World Cup in 1994? Not a chance.

The birth of a first born? Almost.

College recruiting has hit epic proportions. Websites like Rivals.com are dedicated to making sure you know everything about potential recruits. Height and weight just scratches the surface.

You can watch clips of players, have up-to-the-minute stats from their high school games and even know what their mother’s five favorite schools are.

Soon, we’ll know who they take to prom.

And as the popularity of high school sports continues to grow and fans keep looking at younger and younger athletes to find that one diamond in the rough, the insanity of recruiting will only get worse.

Case in point: Ronald Johnson.

Last Sunday, three hours before the biggest sporting event in the world, my co-workers and I were glued to a computer screen, constantly refreshing the page to find out where Johnson was going to school.

The Super Bowl started in three hours, and we were caring about a player that hasn’t proven anything at the collegiate level!

As a collective fan base, we must save ourselves. Work hard not to check out the prep stat lines in the local newspaper.

Fight the urge to “go check out” that hot-shot power forward you heard about on the radio.

And, for the love of God, don’t spend hours on fan forums just to have long discussions with someone who probably lives in his parents’ basement and doesn’t see daylight for more than two hours at a time.

Then again, there is something mildly amusing in trying to figure out which recruit will go where. I mean, hey, people love to predict the Grammys, why can’t college football fans try to guess what school Donovan Warren is attending? (It’s Michigan, by the way.)

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe I should embrace the recruiting culture. Maybe I should actually do the reading that’s assigned in my classes.

Just hours after the Johnson announcement, Scout.com posted that the first Michigan commitment for the class of ’08 was Boubacar Cissoko. And a new recruiting season begins.

Hmm. Maybe I’ll go check him out next fall.

– Bosch can be reached at hectobos@umich.edu.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.