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Westsider Rider

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Next year I will attend the University of...

Welcome to Michigan Carlos and thanks for making our week

It's amazing how a high school athlete can finish that phrase and hundreds if not thousands of people across the country are affected by it. When Carlos Brown committed to Michigan earlier this week it brought about numerous reactions across the country from Michigan to Georgia to South Carolina. The message boards at all three schools immediately went crazy when the announcement was made. For the school that misses out on the kid there are always the sour grapes fans that will immediately start talking shit on the choice that he made, then there are the calm ones that will say good luck to the player and remind everyone else on the message board that their school will eventually get the players they need. There's a wide range of how the fans of the school that doesn't get the athlete will react and I've seen plenty of it. For the school that is gaining the commitment there are the "Holy Crap we got _______" or the "Welcome to ________" while some others start talking about how great the recruit is and how they will impact the team the next season.

What is it that causes us so much excitement, anticipation, anger and sadness from one athlete's decision of where to attend school? I know I'm not the only one out there that's been affected by this and I won't be the last as recruiting becomes bigger across the country as top recruits are now holding press conferences and announcing live on TV. I've spent ridiculous amounts of time following recruiting and I doubt that will stop. The biggest thing though in the emergence of recruiting is the internet. There are numerous sites for major programs where hundreds, if not thousands of fans pay money for premium content and it just keeps growing.

A big reason why I've followed so much recruiting is because it turns my favorite sport into a year round event. The season doesn't end when the games end as there's recruiting and signing day, then come the juniors which turns into spring ball then summer camp visits and then the season will start and the cycle continues. I've been through my share of joy and pain following Michigan recruiting, more pain since we seem to finish 2nd for a large number of recruits every year. But the Carlos Brown commitment this week brought me back to why insane fans like us follow recruiting. In a year where we've had our disappointments in missing out on some kids we thought we had a great shot at such as Darrin Walls or Justin King last year, out of nowhere we get a huge commitment and it brings back the fun of obsessing over where the future stars of our program will come from.

You can just see this from posts from other Michigan blogs Schembechler Hall and MGoBlog along with the comments received after Brown's commitment. I remember the first time I followed recruiting was during my senior year of high school after I had been accepted to Michigan and I found The Wolverine and followed along for the Lavell Blanchard recruitment then I became hooked. Yes I admit it I pay money for information on where high school kids are going to end up playing their college ball, I love sports enough to do it. I spend a large amount of my time on the internet on message boards following this information. When Justin King last year, after having Michigan has his leader for much of his recruitment, and considering he was a definite position of need where the depth chart was wide open decide to go to Penn State I was devastated and it definitely ruined my day. When Matt Gutierrez was down to Michigan and Oregon and decided to come to Michigan it made my week, I love it especially more when Michigan can get California kids out there to play as was the case with him. There are countless recruiting stories I've been following throughout these years so there's not enough time for me to get into but all these recruiting battles are another game, you chalk them up into wins and losses and helps you when you're having football or basketball withdrawal during the offseason. Sure I may be "one sick son of a bitch" as some of my friends call me but you can know one thing when another big time recruit that Michigan is recruiting is making his announcement as he says "I am going to the University of..." I'll be on pins and needles waiting for that last word to be Michigan.


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