Signing Day is here

Published 3:35 am Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Football junkies and internet message board nerds rejoice: Today is National Signing Day.

The draft in college football, if you will.

The day 18-year-old kids sign on the dotted line and pledge their allegiance to their respective new universities and football teams.

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The day college football fans curse the existence of said 18-year-olds when they spurn the fan’s beloved college team.

The day college football pundits prematurely baptize national champions in waiting based on their newest stash of high school talent.

Above all, this is a huge day for these 18-year-old kids who get to reap the rewards of their hard work and enjoy a day celebrating their achievements. A day to publicly announce their school of choice. An opportunity that very few will ever have.

But let’s all cool our jets for a second here and take a look at that last line one more time.

These are 18-year-old kids. High school seniors who are just beginning to dip their respective toes into the waters of the college football world and, even more importantly, the “real” world.

With the technologies we have today like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, this recruiting process leading up to and including National Signing Day has become even more interesting.

Anyone anywhere can tweet at these student-athletes, trying to convince them to come to their favorite school, chatting it up with said athletes and in some cases, berating the student-athlete when they either don’t choose their favorite school or commit to a school, change their mind and commit to a new school.

Let’s lay off these 18-year-old kids.

On a day that is supposed to be the biggest of their lives to date, they should be afforded the opportunity to make a decision, one that could forever alter their lives, without the vicious profanity-laden input of some bad college football fans.

Sure, the Internet has afforded college football fans more access than ever before, but with this great new technology comes great responsibility.

Just because a prospect commits to your favorite school then changes his mind does not mean he is a bad person. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your school. And it certainly doesn’t warrant a prospect to be on the receiving end of your profane tweets.

Here’s what it does mean — it means these kids are 18-years-old. It means that this is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

It means that every high school senior has made mistakes or changed their mind on what they want to do with their life.

This is certainly not to say that all college football fans are guilty of belittling high schoolers trying to find the best fit for them in their next stage of life.

But for the vocal minority, maybe take tomorrow off from social media. Your heart might thank you and so will these prospects.

To the rest of football fans — the majority of you — enjoy your 2015 signing day.

And especially to the 2015 signing class: Congratulations. You deserve it.

Enjoy your new home and good luck in your future ventures.

Who says football ends after the national championship?