Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Offseason

A week or so ago my cohort Ben Berryman had a great write up as he attempted to remove all of his “I bleed maroon” bias and write-up “a look into A&M through the eyes of a recruit”. I loved it. You know why? Because like Ben; I love recruiting, subjective talent reports, vibrant potential, and basically just the hope for a better tomorrow.

What kills me about losing in college football or basketball is that absolutely, positively nothing good comes out of it. In the pros I can slowly accept a losing season by the Cowboys or the Mavericks (my respective teams) and begin planning for an exciting draft pick that will ultimately lead to more fruitful talent. In college football it is the opposite. You win more, you get more talent; you lose, the talent goes elsewhere. That is why unfulfilled potential is the worst pain of all.

Now, it should be mentioned, recruiting rankings are subjective. It is merely a scout providing his opinions on the talent of a rapidly growing high schooler (far from an exact science). But with that said, recruiting analysts know what they are doing and more often than not can point out the most talented players. If anything it provides a sturdy basis unto which we can attach our hopes. Talent is a fickle thing for high school athletes. Once they set foot on campus it is then up to the coaching staff to help them find this so-called “greatness” that they have been told is a foregone conclusion. Time to go to work Mr. Sumlin.

Recruiting is also a large reason why I have come to enjoy the offseason far more than the regular season. Losing a recruit to another school is easily forgettable (there are always other fish in the sea to distract my internet surfing), but landing a top 100-talent… heck that almost feels as good as a real-life conference W. Losing conference games on the other hand, brings more despair and heartbreak than any human rightly deserves on his Saturday afternoon.

Thankfully, our struggles last season did not hinder us from pulling in some top-flight talent (thank you SEC brand image). We successfully landed a top 15 recruiting class and can now ride a wave of optimism into the touted SEC. I have all the hope in the world that Matt Davis (Mr. AggSwagg) has a rocket of an arm, that Trey Williams and Thomas Johnson are too quick to handle, and that DaVante Harris can become our own version of the Honey Badger. The sky is always the limit for recruits. Potential is truly tantalizing until it is either realized or, seemingly as often, forgotten.

I have a fortune from a Pei Wei fortune cookie in my wallet (true story) that reads, “the pleasure of what we enjoy is lost by wanting more”. It is a fantastic reminder to be thankful for what we have. Unfortunately, as an Aggie fan I have had limited pleasure in regards to what has happened on the football field for the past couple of years. Alas, our current recruiting class, the move to the SEC, and our victory in the Meineke “what’s its name” bowl has me thoroughly enjoying my favorite time of year… the offseason.

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