College football thoughts of the week: The life of a recruitnik
Anyone here are recruitnik like myself? You know who you are. If you know the word “recruitnik” you are one. If that word seems made up to you — it is — you are not one. A recruitnik is someone who follows the recruitment of high school players to college, and in this case it refers to football recruiting.
If you are a recruitnik, you obsess over decisions made by teenagers you have never met (from high schools you never heard of and towns you might not be able to find on a map) who plan to go to college for three to five years. Of course you want the five-star kids (Rivals.com started a ranking system using stars, five being the most elite players in the nation) to choose your school and all the one- and two-star kids headed to teams you hate (looking right at you, sooners).
There is, of course, no guarantee that star rankings and high school hype will produce anything more than February euphoria for recruitniks, because these are teenagers we are talking about. They might not be at the school anywhere close to three to five years, because they might fail out, or quit, or get arrested — or just not care as much as you do. They might just be content with a free education and preferred status in line at the clubs.
But then again, maybe they are everything they were supposed to be and then some. Maybe they take your program back where you think it belongs, like VY did for Texas. Or maybe they bring you out of the decade-long slump, like Johnny Football did for A&M. You just don’t know, and that’s part of the fun. It’s betting futures, more or less, and it’s awesome. The risk is high, but so is the reward.
College coaches invest a lot of time, money and energy into finding those once-a-decade types, and recruitniks are right there with them the whole way.
As a recruitnik you know that every year there are stories that seem like made-for-TV-movies that would be a little too USA Network hokey if it weren't real life. Stories like these.
Alex Collins. The 4-star tailback out of Plantation, Florida committed to Miami last January, but after looking around, he ended committing to Arkansas on TV last Monday. Signing Day was Wednesday and Collins and his mother showed up at his high school to make it official (players and their parents must sign a letter of intent and submit it to the college of their choice) at a ceremony, only before the ceremony she left.
Mom wanted him to go to Miami. Alex apparently surprised her with his public decision on Monday, so she left and didn’t sign it for him. According to a friend, later that night things got better because “... at least they are talking right now. It's been pretty tough on Alex since he made the decision."
He isn’t the first or the last kid that got crossways with his parents over his college of choice, but his mom is the first I’ve heard of that hired a lawyer as a result. Collins signed with Arkansas on Thursday with his father present and no sign of mom.
Myles Crosby. Crosby, from Colleyville Heritage High School in the Dallas area, is a two-star quarterback recruit that committed to play for the SMU Mustangs in October. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-3, a 200-pound drop back passer that likely redshirts this fall and competes for playing time later. But that’s not the story. Turns out Crosby is also the 11th ranked male model in the world and has appeared in GQ, Esquire and Vanity Fair doing ads for, among others, Calvin Klein. And yes, apparently they rank male models and he’s No. 11. Or he was. He is giving it up.
Myles Crosby has dreamed of playing college football ball his entire life, so he is foregoing a lucrative modeling career to play for June Jones and the Ponies. Top male models make mid-6 figures a year and, you know, hang out with female models in exotic locations all over the world. But he’s undeterred and wants to play ball and get an education. Many are critical of his decision, but he’ll still have model looks in five years, so I expect he’ll be fine. Yes, a quarterback/model is going to be just fine in college. Marty Cherry says hello.
See? That’s pretty amazing. It’s the sort of thing you see every year as a recruitnik. I encourage you to jump in and see for yourself. Now if you'll excuse me, I’m off to see what’s what for the class of 2014.
See you next week. Follow me on Twitter for more nonsense @TreyMcLean