By Shawn Stinson
February 6, 2014
If you are a true college football fan then you spent all day Wednesday watching ESPNU and checking your Twitter feed to see the latest recruit to send their letter of intent to the school of their choice.
Unlike in the past when recruits quietly signed on the dotted line in their coach’s office in between classes, everything now has to replicate LeBron James’ “The Decision.”
Today, players sit behind a large table with their family, while their teammates, friends, classmates and others watch as they pick up a hat, helmet or whatever to make their announcement.
Luckily, things were much more low-key at Richmond Senior this week. Three players — Darreal Chambers, Diquon Cox and Brent Flowers — made their college selections and shared the moment with their family.
Richmond coach Paul Hoggard attempted to interject a little festive atmosphere into Signing Day a few years by having some food, drinks and decorating a small conference room at the school. All of those little touches were ignored and everyone was more focused on getting the LOIs signed.
Things were a little different last year when Tyrone Crowder, one of the nation’s top offensive linemen recruits, “made” his official announcement from the ESPNU studios in Charlotte in the afternoon. In reality, Crowder had signed with Clemson earlier in the day along with the rest of his teammates in the school’s Media Center, but his decision had to be kept quiet until he revealed his choice on TV.
But the focus at least here in Richmond County didn’t shine completely on Crowder. And that’s a good thing because while Crowder was a coveted recruit, he wasn’t the only one making their college selection that day. Five other Richmond athletes were also signing their LOIs and shouldn’t have been minimized because they weren’t all going to play at one of the premier football programs in the country.
This is how it should be, no fanfare, no television cameras, no big pep rally. Just a player, his family and a sheet of paper.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.