The big day is coming is coming for college football recruits, fans

dshirley@macon.comFebruary 1, 2013 

National Signing Day is coming up Wednesday, and with it comes a lot of excitement and silliness all at the same time.

Here is some advice to keep in mind as we prepare for teams to sign the next crop of talented players (or maybe not-so-talented players, which will cause much angst for some fans).

Be a grownup: Whatever happens Wednesday, don’t overreact. Be an adult.

If a teenage football player chooses your school, or doesn’t choose your school, it’s not going to be the end of the world. It’s certainly no reason to attack the character of the players who don’t choose your school.

We’ll see that, for sure, because people get too emotionally involved and respond like children because they don’t know how to act when they don’t get their way.

But these young men have to make the best decision for the next few years of their lives, and they can’t worry about what a fan at another school thinks about that decision. And they shouldn’t have to even know about or hear what those fans think. If you feel like attacking a player, step away from the chat room for a bit and don’t hit the post button on Twitter or Facebook.

Be a grownup, II: Hat ceremonies are silly. Few people would dispute that, but they are a fact of life with signing day.

But for the players out there who will be involved in these ceremonies, please don’t go over the top with it. Don’t take one hat, put it on and throw it across the room before putting on another one for your choice. You look ridiculous by doing that, and there’s just no reason for it. For the adults involved in the ceremonies, be it the parents or coaches, if your son/player is planning something like that, please stop them. If you don’t, it says even more about your character than it does about theirs.

Don’t focus on stars: Good players are out there all over the country, and some just don’t have the hype following them that others have surrounding them.

We have seen it before: Four-star or five-star can’t miss players do miss and don’t live up to the attention that follows them to college. And then there are players who fly under the radar and get on a college campus and thrive.

There is no way to know how a player is going to handle the big adjustment to college or project who can make that jump and who can’t. While the people doing the rankings know their craft and work hard at it, the ranking system is not an exact science; it can be right in many cases and way off in just as many others. It won’t be the deciding factor for how your school’s team will do on the field and how this year’s class will affect that success, so don’t get too wrapped up in how many stars your team lands next week.

Please, no drama: It’s coming. Something is going to happen Wednesday that will make us cringe. We don’t want it to, but we know it will.

Last year, it was the Josh Harvey-Clemons debacle and if he would sign with Georgia and the family drama that surrounded that decision. It was hard to watch from afar, and it had to be excruciating to be involved in within that family.

It’s hard to understand how it would come to that on that day because it would make sense for all of those issues to be figured out long before signing day. But sometimes that’s just not the case.

Have fun with it: Finally, don’t take the day too seriously. You never know what it is going to happen with the players who sign Wednesday. Will they be stars or not pan out? We just don’t know, and in some cases, we won’t know for a couple of years down the road.

This certainly is an important step down that path, but it’s just the first step for these players and their new teams.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or

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