Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Draft Day for Colleges

This is one of the busiest days of the year for media types who cover high school and college sports. It's national signing day, the first day football players who are seniors in high school can formally commit to a college. The local stud is Khiry Cooper, a three-sport star at Calvary Baptist Academy, who has decided to go to Nebraska. He is expected to play wide receiver and outfielder for the Cornhuskers. This is a big recruiting coup for our pals in Lincoln.
This is always an exciting day, because it's filled with hope. Parents are celebrating because their sons are getting scholarships. Student athletes are excited because their hard work and commitment are affirmed. Fans are excited because they think they have a handle on who their teams' future stars will be.

Most Won't get Scholarships
Originally uploaded by Daddy D.
It's also a day of disappointment for many, because substantially more athletes don't get any kind of offers. Those are the ones who are sitting around, seeing what falls through the cracks. The athletes and their parents have made commitments to the sport, also. Maybe they're just not big enough, just not fast enough, just not quick enough to play college football. Now, Mom and Dad have to cobble together something to make college happen. Maybe the kid walks on. Maybe he walks away from football.
Those stories rarely get covered. Sports stories are tales of triumph and achievement, and those are the strories you will see today and tomorrow as National Signing Day is chronicled across the country.

Byrd - Shreve, originally uploaded by Daddy D.

LSU picked up 26 commitments, and is considered to have one of the top 10 recruiting classes in the nation.

LSU megaphones
Originally uploaded by Daddy D.

That's great, but it's slightly disappointing to some fans. After all, the Tigers are the only program to have won the BCS championship twice. LSU's status in the college football heirarchy should arguably attract a top 2 or 3 class. It's all art, not science. Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley summed up well, when talking about his recruiting class of 16: “We’re very pleased with the quality of players we got in this year’s class,” said Dooley. “However, the final analysis on how productive this class will be will be measured four years from now.”

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