I wish I was there. You know, Cullman's Sporting Goods, on Feb. 6, 2010. I would have liked to have been among the 100 or so Alabama fans that showed up to watch a high school junior waffle on the biggest decision he has ever been asked to make in his young life.
Earlier, Spencer Region had visited the UA campus on Junior Day and received a scholarship offer from Coach Nick Saban. Was that a big deal for him?
"This is the offer I have wanted. I grew up an Alabama fan. I love Alabama," the 6-foot-6, 330-pound tackle told Scout.com. "I have always hoped that one day I will get to wear the crimson and white. It will hurt if I don't get to do that. Alabama is my overall favorite. I feel at home there."
Flash forward to Feb. 6, 2010. Just a mere two hours before his announcement Region was still an Alabama commit. "This is a dream come true," he told Scout.com before leaving for Cullman's Sporting Goods. "Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to run out of the tunnel at Bryant Denny."
But between his home and Cullman's Sporting Goods something happened.
Spencer Region changed his mind.
"Due to changes, I am de-committing from Alabama and I am committing to Auburn," Region said. "I will be an Auburn Tiger, where I feel they really care about me."
I wish I had been there. Not to see the stunned faces of the Alabama fans that came out to greet him, although that must have been something. But I would have liked to have seen Spencer Region's face as he took in the after-effects of his bombshell.
There is not an argument in the world that would convince me that this was not a cold, calculated move on Spencer Region's part. One doesn't go from Rudy ("... I have always wanted to run out of the tunnel..." ) to Benedict Arnold in 90 minutes.
If 15 minutes of fame and a few hundred blurbs on some sports blogs was what Region was after then he did good. Mission accomplished. But I've seen enough reality television shows to know that 15 minutes is never enough.
That might explain why Spencer Region felt the need to inform the press three months later that, "I'm still committed, but my recruitment is pretty much open." He told one Auburn website, "I'm back to being undecided."
Maybe this kid doesn't know the definition of committed. But he is still interested in Texas, Southern California, Georgia, Ole Miss, Penn State, and yes, Alabama and Auburn.
How maddening it must be for coaches. But the truth be told, they bring it upon themselves.
Maybe juniors should be off limits for college recruiters. Or maybe we should start teaching kids the meaning of the word commit in middle school.
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