College Football Recruiting: The Flip-Flop

Oscar PSenior Analyst IFebruary 7, 2008

In politics it is called the flip-flop. We can thank John Kerry and the 2004 election for the term in this context.

Politics and Football go hand in hand, and as is proven year-in and year-out, player after player, following the whims of high school seniors can leave some die-hard fans emotionally spent for no good reason.

In the case of Terrelle Pryor, the kid has taken a beating from writers for delaying his commitment until he gives each school a fair chance.

Has his deciding process been clean? Of course not. Could he have handled certain aspects of it better? Yes. Do I think he is doing the right thing for himself? Absolutely.

The Signing Period lasts until April 1st, and there is nothing stating that a recruit has to sign on the first day. In many cases, however, it is wise to do so because the scholarship may not be there later on. In the case of Pryor and many other four or five star athletes, delaying is a very feasible option.

Why do I think that Pryor has done the right thing for himself?

It is simple, if Pryor or any member of his family is having doubts about where to go to school, then it is wiser to make a more informed and thought out decision. I believe Pryor already knows where he wants to go to school, but his family may not, and family opinions can be very important.

From all accounts it sounds like his father wants him to check out Penn State. I say that there's nothing wrong with that. This is a decision that will not only effect Pryor for the next three or four years, but probably for the rest of his life.

It is not a small soup or salad decision. If Pryor or his family is not completely certain, they should take the time to make a pragmatic decision, and should not be slighted as showboating.

He is a teenager, and he is going to make bad decisions, it happens. We should applaud him for trying to take the time to make the right one. 

In sharp contrast to Pryor, I would like to point out another recruit. Four-star prospect, Dwayne Allen, a TE from North Carolina who over the past few weeks was hedging between UGA and Clemson.

On Monday, Allen held a press conference stating that he would be staying with the Georgia Bulldogs. On signing day, two days later he signed with Clemson, stating it "was the hardest decision of his life."

I don't doubt it was. As a Georgia fan, I wish Allen the best of luck. Clemson has a stellar class this season and it is very likely he will see playing time at Clemson much sooner than he would at Georgia.

However, it seems like Allen was not very sure about his decision either way by the time signing day rolled around. Obviously, his scholarship was not as guaranteed as Pryor's offers, so he was under a little bit of a time crunch.

The time crunch, though, did not require that he sign immediately on Signing Day. He could have just as easily called both head coaches and told them that he was having a hard time with his decision and might need a few more days.

He could have asked the coaches how feasible it was for him to take a few more days. Obviously, the word of a coach is not his bond, but it could have given Allen a little insight.

Allen seemed, over the past few weeks, to be very unsure of where he wanted to go to school. I do not think it would have hurt him terribly to not make an announcement before signing day telling the coaches that he honestly was having a hard time making a decision. Coaches might not understand much, but they do understand the toughness of making this choice. 

In the end, Allen chose Clemson. For him, there were many positives in attending each school, but he had to choose one over the other. He probably would have been able to buy himself a little more time to make that decision, but chose not to.

Perhaps the stress of recruiting was too much. Perhaps he was more sure of himself than he indicated in his plans. Only Allen really knows.

In the end, though, I think with either school he would have made a fine choice. In Clemson,  he has a rising program and the possibility of playing time much sooner.

After that long Signing Day, many players have found their new home and a few haven't. I think, in the end, we should realize these are 17 and 18 year old kids, who, for many, have just made or are about to make the toughest decisions of their young lives.

Cut them some slack if they choose your rival and wish them the best of luck. They just made a tough decision that they believe is the best for their future. You have to respect that.

Meanwhile, deep down, think to yourself, "DANG! If we had gotten him, we would win the National Championship!"

If only.