Landon Collins—ESPN’s No. 1 ranked safety and No. 7 overall prospect—made his collegiate decision on national television Thursday night during the Under Armour All-America game.
Collins had whittled his list of schools down to Alabama and LSU, ultimately setting on Alabama after quickly declaring “Roll Tide” and throwing an Alabama cap on. Yet, instead of the typical family embrace that most players receive after making the biggest decision of their young lives, Collins mother sat next to him with an unmistakable scowl on her face.
Collins mom didn't clap. She didn’t smile. She didn’t acknowledge the fact that her son had just lifted a huge monkey off of his back—finally ending speculation on which school, LSU or Alabama, would reap the benefits of the 210 pounder's blue-chip talents.
I have never been a parent—and quite frankly—I’m not close to ready yet. But I do know that this was not an easy decision for Landon. Collins declared that his decision had been made two years ago. So, while it may seem that this decision was a breeze, you can be assured that he second guessed his decision every day just as every recruit does.
Heck, it's not uncommon for a recruit to change their mind multiple times. So when he finally makes up his mind and announces his intentions, his own mother publicly humiliates him and tells the entire country that he made a poor decision. I have no problem with in-house scolding, but on national TV? After you've known about his choice for a week? And not only that, but you proudly exclaim, "Go Tigers" while your son sits next to you, embarrassed.
I’m no genius, but I do know that that was a major parenting foul. Landon might let go of it at a personal level, the media won't let him forget it.
Not to say that Collins mother wanted anything but the best for her son. She was clearly in love with LSU, and felt that her son’s future was best protected at the close-to-home school.
But at a certain point, you have to let your kid make his own decisions.
Choosing LSU vs. Alabama is a lot like choosing a Ferrari or a Bentley. You really can’t go wrong—especially when you have surefire talent that ensures you’ll be playing soon.
While steering your kids in the right direction is a natural parental instinct, it is the worst thing she could have done at this stage of the decision process. Any decision her college-bound son makes is practically set in stone as Collins has until Jan. 9 to change his mind. Any wrist slapping should have been done behind close doors, NOT on national television.
Now instead of finally putting this situation to rest, Collins’ train wreck of a decision will likely be replayed all over ESPN’s first-and-ten tomorrow. He will be laughed at, and his mom will be scorned.
It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that footage of the decision might even be played before the LSU-Alabama championship game to play on the intense rivalry the two schools engage in.
Congrats, Ms. Collins.
If I were your son, I’d be embarrassed, humiliated and years away from making decisions for myself. Your son knows you will ultimately support him and love him no matter what he does, but there are certain things you just don't do regardless of that notion.