A Signing Day For Everyone

Dan Shanoff, occasional college football columnist for Deadspin, reflects on college football's signing day today. Email him to let him know what you think.

Kevin Hart did it right: Buy into the dream that a big-time college is recruiting you, hold a huge press conference to announce your commitment, then have it revealed that the whole thing is a sham.

As high school seniors, we should all have been so lucky.

We should all have been ogled by skeevy grown men who drool over our 17-year-old "hip swivel" and text us day and night ("So R U Going 2 FSU?") when they aren't stalking us in our high school parking lot.

We should all be rated on a star system, one through five, even though unless your name is Vince Young, being a "5" usually no more guarantees ultimate success than being a "2." (Why do we never hear about "1-star" prospects?)

We should all be the subject of ugly rumors on message boards at web sites bought by Yahoo for $100 million. ($100 million! For a glorified message board!)

We should all get a series of YouTube clips that show only the greatest highlights of our potential, set to a soundtrack of Souljaboy, death metal or catchy Christian rock. (Screw Sam McGuffie: Where was the video of Big Daddy Drew as a high school senior, regaling classmates with dick jokes that flashed his future promise?)

We should all have enjoyed a Signing Day moment on ESPNews, putting on an ugly hat (Shocker: Haverford over Penn!) while mumbling thanks to mom and boasting of Econ stardom as a true freshman.

We should all enjoy being the center of a recruiting battle between Michigan and Ohio State that has bloggers like Brian Cook dissecting every sliver of new info... then ditching both schools for Penn State. (No, I have no special inside info about Terrelle Pryor. Stop emailing me, Coach Rodriguez.)

We should all be able to commit, de-commit, then re-commit to the college of our choice, with that college's faculty recruiters lapping our taint every step of the way.

We should all be able to use the phrase "strong lean" as it relates to our stress-addled teenaged mind's decision-making ability and have adults we have never met before spend more time parsing that phrase than they spent with their children that week.

We should all be part of an incoming freshman class that is ranked against every other freshman class in the country, then have that ranking debunked by everyone as being complete and utter bullshit.

(Oh, wait: Rivals and Scout rankings may be ridiculous, but U.S. News and World Report college rankings are still the unrivaled king.)

Kevin Hart knows, that's what Signing Day is really about: Inflated hopes, unfulfilled promise(s) and a bunch of sketchy-ass people telling you things you shouldn't believe, but do anyway. Hell, that's the entire college experience. (So who's going to let the kids in on THAT?)

As usual, send comments to danshanoff-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com.