LANG: National signing day is overvalued

011_LANG_AARONBecause highly recruited players believe in their own hype from National Signing Day, many of them fall into the trap of believing they are great without accomplishing anything yet. The fans take fault in the underachievement of most highly ranked college football players coming out of high school. Simply, fans beg and plead for high school recruits to choose their school, which sometimes tarnishes a players career.

Fans put too much stock into this one day. Often times, people assume that the signing of a coveted five star recruit automatically deems their school elite for the ensuing years. Fans tend to forget that there are a maximum of 105 other players on a division one college football team. Consequently, fans deem it appropriate to beg and plead for these recruits.

Not only do the fans believe in the hype, but the players fall for it too. As a result, players’ egos grow to the point of destruction. Often, coveted recruits assume they will go to the NFL solely because they have special talents causing them to become complacent. They begin to enjoy college a little too much and become hot-heads that can’t stay out of trouble. I mean, who wouldn’t? They are praised as God figures.

While the highly ranked recruits are taking advantage of the adornment they receive, the overlooked prospects are trying to prove people wrong. Because no one respected them coming out of high school, they had no chance to believe in their own hype. They observe the love and affection the coveted prospects receive and decide to work harder to reach the point of decoration. Eventually, the lower recruits out work the talents of the high recruits.

Although this narrative does not describe every recruit and every player’s situation, it epitomizes the story of many players. According to, in the past ten years, 262 players received five stars as a high school recruit and only 116 (42 percent) of those were drafted. Even more astounding, only 42 (16 percent) of the 262 were first round draft picks. According to, in the recent Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, the average star rating of each player in high school was an astonishing 2.4 rating.

Locally, Missouri fans remember the anguish that Dorial Green-Beckham, the number one rated player coming out of high school in 2012, created. At Missouri, Green-Beckham could not stay out of trouble eventually causing him to be kicked out of Missouri. He transferred to Oklahoma; however, he did not play one snap there because of more off the field issues.

Also, arguably the best player in the NFL right now is JJ Watt of the Houston Texans and he received a rating of two stars. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, was awarded the MVP this year and he was only a 3 star coming into the NFL.

Fans trick themselves into believing the star system. Although sometimes five stars do pan out to be great players, not all have the success everyone assumes they will have.

“I don’t like [National Signing Day]…if you go to a big time football school, it’s a day of great hope and I understand that, but I hate to point out that half of them get hurt and never play,” co-host of Pardon the Interruption Tony Kornheiser said.

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