National Signing Day is supposed to be one of the more exciting moments of a young student-athlete’s life. It’s the culmination of lots of hard work, determination and thought between the recruit and his family.

It’s supposed to be an enjoyable moment and one of relief for most. But the truth is, once a recruit has made his decision, he is most excited the entire process is over so he can begin the next chapter of his life.

The signing day experience and rigorous recruitment process is something that most people will never understand. The letters, the phone calls and the never-ending judgement and talk from recruiting services and coaches is a lot for teenagers to handle.

And as ridiculous and sad as it is, fans and the so-called “die-hards” of their respective programs often show more immaturity than the recruits during the recruitment process.

Every program has them. But this problem seems to be more prevalent in the Southeastern Conference because of the mystique, importance and the undeniable significance of college football in the South.

In the past, the badmouthing and chatter regarding recruits stayed within the confines of each team’s message boards, such as Hogville.net for Arkansas. But with the advent of Twitter, it is now possible for any and every fan to interact with each recruit.

Twitter allows people to create a profile and remain anonymous if they so choose, and not be held accountable for their tweets in the process. This leads to fans of the programs following the every thought and tweet of the recruits.

Twitter has also become a realm in which the recruits announce their life-changing decisions by simply tweeting to the general public. And sadly, this is where the nasty side of recruiting occurs.

Since anyone and everyone can make a profile and follow whoever they want, a lot of times that means their sole purpose is to follow every recruit their school is targeting to get a sense of what he’s thinking.

The sheer nastiness of the whole process comes when a recruit announces via Twitter that he will be decommitting or not attending a fan’s school. Twitter allows 140 characters per tweet per person, no matter how loaded with ignorance it may be.

And some fans, who have little else going for them in their lives and nothing better to do with their time, bash recruits and fill their notifications with hate-filled garbage.

Surely you have something better you could be doing than criticizing a teenager’s decision. If not, then it’s probably time to reevaluate your priorities.

My message here is simple: Just don’t don’t it. Don’t tweet them. Even if you’re not among the group of fans every program has that lacks any common or moral sense; just don’t do it.

There are still ways to support a kid without directly tweeting him, “GLAD TO HAVE YOU ON BOARD BROTHER! #WPS4EVER.”

Just follow him on the field, and be a fan. There is no sense in getting yourself involved with an 18-year-old kid’s life.

It’s that simple. You want to follow the recruit? That’s fine. But don’t directly message them, or personally tweet them. The extent of the interaction you should have with the recruits is either retweeting or favoriting a tweet of theirs.

Just remember this come National Signing Day: these recruits don’t know you from Adam, and nor do they care what negative trash you have to say about them. So save the ignorance for something else.

 

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