Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ghost Ride the Prowl

So lately, this has been all the rage:

"Get out the way, let Trooper Drive! Ghost ride, go crazy, who's that driving? DL Coach, Tracy!"

Initially, my reaction was simply to laugh. This has got to be the biggest offseason publicity stunt an Auburn coaching staff has ever put together. But then it gathered a little momentum and I began taking it a little more seriously. After all, isn't recruiting just one big publicity stunt? Everyone's stepping up their recruiting game. At Tennessee they're ripping their shirts off, Bammer's (allegedly) giving out Dodge Chargers; we've got to do something to keep up, right? And apparently, it's paying off. The so-called "Tiger Prowl" has gotten everyone's attention. The state's talking all about the Prowl and seem to have forgotten about any other team, at least for the moment. Even the Bammerham news media is all over this. So hey I'm all for it. The target of the Prowl is the big name recruit who idolizes the NFL life of flashy expensive things like this, so whatever Chiz and co. have to do to attract that, they have my full support. The world of recruiting is a mad world, so I suppose we're gonna have to do something a little weird if we're a part of it.

All this stuff about the Tiger Prowl got me thinking about recruiting in general. It is now May 2009, and we've already put a bunch of 17 year-olds all over the headlines of recruiting services and news media all over the country--17 year-olds that aren't even graduating high school for another year, and won't be on a college roster until August 2010. Names like Lache Seastrunk, Marcus Lattimore, and Michael Dyer are already household names, especially among houses of the Auburn Family. I know this because I was recently lambasted by a few friends for not knowing some of these names. That's right, I was blasted for not knowing all about some 17 year-old kid because I haven't researched him enough on this here interweb.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't following high school juniors around online normally put you on Chris Hansen's short list?

"Hello Rivals subscriber, why don't you have a seat over there?"

And signing up to pay someone to help you stalk these kids? That's got to be several kinds of illegal.

OK, maybe that's harsh, but all statutory jokes aside, you get what I'm saying. These guys aren't going to set foot in a college classroom for another two years, and already they're the next Carnell. Forget the fact that all those incredible videos you see of them are against severely over matched high schoolers, most of whom will most likely never play another snap of football after they graduate, these guys are stars!

In case you haven't noticed, I don't take much stock in the whole recruiting business. Not necessarily the recruiting, but more the grand publicity stunt that recruiting has become. It's not that I don't think recruiting itself is a very important thing. These kids are the future of Auburn football. But until they sign, give them a break. The only people that need to be that concerned about it are Gene Chizik and his coaching staff of super recruiters. I never pay attention to recruiting until February rolls around. Then I'll review the lists and read some of the endless commentary on the things. But I'm not about to let recruiting buzz rule my opinion about the football team. If you ask me, us getting all excited that Seastrunk had a "great visit" is as ridiculous as the Bammers claiming a national championship in recruiting. It's just laughable. Recruiting isn't a sport, so I won't follow it like one.

So best of luck to the Auburn coaching staff and the Tiger Prowl. I hope they get all the stars they want. But until next February, don't ask me my opinion on it, because it will not be informed. Frankly, no one's opinion will really be that informed until two or three years from now when these guys actually see some playing time.

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