NSD == No Serious Determiner

OK, so the title is a stretch. Trying to come up with a decent alternative acronym on the fly that also relates to the point of your post requires more thought and coffee than I’ve got right now.

But, the basic point is still valid: As far as I’m concerned, National Signing Day has become a giant hypefest with very little real meaning.

For years, we have heard how so-and-so is a four-star recruit, or even – OMG!! a FIVE-STAR coming to OUR TEAM! We have heard how this team’s recruiting class is ranked first, or fifth, or 37th, or 85th. (Actually, if the class is rated 85th, we don’t hear anything, because the athletic department unplugs the phones, turns off the lights, and pulls the blinds.)

And you know what? In the long run, it doesn’t matter. Not all five-star recruits become five-star players. Not all two-star recruits become also-rans. The schools with the top recruiting classes don’t automatically get handed the championship trophy a year later. As the PTI guys say, that’s why you play the games.

I’m also frankly offended by the hype. We put some 17-year-old on national television just so he can announce which football team he’s going to play for — not the college, necessarily, just the team, because that’s all that matters — and then we wonder why he gets the big head and becomes a “problem.” I suppose you could see it as a reverse character test: if we give you everything in the world, can you still remain humble and grounded and teachable?

Don’t get me wrong — I understand the importance of recruiting. I just think we have blown it way, way out of proportion, to the point that 40-year-old men are groveling before 17-year-olds who haven’t voted, paid taxes, or worked a full-time job. And then we put the whole thing on television, and moan or celebrate because that kid chose our school (really, just our team) or not.

So, I’ll read the National Signing Day stories, and scan the ratings. Then, I’ll make the same final comment I make every year when this happens: “Get back to me when they play an actual down.”