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The Insanity They Call College Recruiting

Recruiting is sick and twisted. Those who've been regulars at Track'em Tigers over the years know that I'm somewhat skeptical when it comes to ranking high school football players and assigning stars beside their names.

There's no need to rehash past columns other than to say I believe it's impossible to take the top 50 prep athletes across the country and put them in any meaningful order.

So with that logic in mind, why did I feel like I'd lost my best friend Wednesday afternoon when a kid named Cyrus Kouandjio decommitted from Auburn after pledging his allegiance to them only hours earlier?

Damn ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader and other specialty web sites have taken a process that got virtually no attention 15 years ago and made people like me care too much. So what if I'd only seen grainy YouTube like clips of Koundjio on the internet. I wanted him in orange-and-blue and I wanted him that Wednesday.

The gurus told me he had five stars and was the nation's top offensive tackle and by damned I expected him to fax in his letter of intent. And when Auburn didn't get it that day, I moped around the house like my wife had just run off with my best friend.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I found myself sitting in front of a television and computer most of the day, watching my mood change as a bunch of unproven 18 year-old kids made their college choices.

How silly.

There's something not quite right about a middle-aged man sitting glued to a television watching kids pull bulldogs, hats and God knows what else from under the table to reveal their college destinations.

I don't blame the athletes. They're just gifted kids. I blame myself and the talking heads that make the whole darn process so incredibly intriguing. Even though I'm somewhat ashamed of the whole production and my role in it, I must admit that I've already taken a peak at the class of 2012.

I know. I'm like a dog to trash.

When word came late Saturday afternoon that Koundijo had chosen (or rather his family had chosen) Alabama, I'd already rationalized the snub.

Does Auburn really want a kid who's not bought into the program? After all, Auburn is about being All In. Besides, he could end up like all these other five-star prep players who never make it. Right?

I feel better already.

Cyrus, I hardly knew you. Best of luck!