Wednesday, February 6, 2013

National letter of intent day

I don't know when certain events like the NFL Draft and Selection Sunday first started to take off as pseudo national holidays, but I've been following both for decades.

Speaking of sports activities that don't get your heart racing (unless you're an NFL prospect or an NCAA college basketball team sitting on the bubble), National Letter of Intent Day(the day when highly touted college football recruits make it official and pick a school to play for) has started to gain traction in recent years as a significant day in the sports world.

Not for me, of course. However, that didn't stop me from spending the entire morning worrying about Tyler Boyd and whether or not he would honor his verbal commitment he made to Pitt last month and sign on the dotted line.

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea who Boyd even was, but by about 9:30, getting this kid to play for the Panthers was paramount to the program's future in my eyes.

As it turned out, Boyd did sign with the Panthers, and he'll be calling Oakland home for the next four years (or less if he leaves early for the NFL Draft).

I must admit, I don't know much about college recruiting, nor do I care to know much about it. However, there are people out there who live and breathe this stuff, and every now and then, I'll engage in a conversation with one of these folks about who the top recruits are in the country. For me, it's sort of like having a discussion about physics with a CMU grad. In other words, I'm totally lost.

However, I do find it fascinating that, in places where college sports dominates, National Letter of Intent Day is a huge deal. As a sports fan in a major city with three professional teams, I've always been intrigued by regions where college athletics is the only game in town, and people pin their hopes and dreams on the actions of 18 and 19 year olds.

And when it comes to high school recruits, I'm even more befuddled that people spend so much time and energy worrying about the decisions of 16 and 17 year old kids.

My job requires me to supervise kids in that age-group, and let me tell you, if Tyler Boyd worked for me, it would probably take years to train him to do his job properly. Yet, there are thousands of Pitt fans who are pinning their hopes for a long-awaited BCS-berth on his playing abilities.

And if today is important for Panthers fans, the excitement is probably 10-times greater in places like Alabama, Florida and Arkansas.

Apparently, Pitt did pretty well with its 2013 recruiting class. Although, according to ESPN, the program didn't even finish in the top 40.

Should I be concerned about it? Nah. Alabama's recruiting class probably doesn't know how to stock shelves, either.

And I'm sure they spend way too much time playing " Angry Birds" on their cell phones.

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