D’haquille Williams decommitted from the LSU football team Tuesday.
If you belong to the increasingly small demographic that doesn’t follow — and by follow I mean live and die — football recruiting with missionary-like zeal, this is not going to register as much of a blip on your radar.
If you are recruitnik, more specifically an LSU recruitnik, this is news that registered on the Richter Scale of your soul.
To sum up Mr. Williams, formerly of East St. John High School in Reserve, is currently playing junior college ball at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He is rated by 24/7 Sports, one of the big four on the Mount Rushmore of national recruiting services, the No. 1 junior college prospect in the entire nation.
His commitment last week was the social media equivalent of V-J Day in these parts. Message boards erupted, Twitter messages (including some from your’s truly) started flying like fighter jets off carrier decks. LSU’s Class of 2014 ranking shot up like a hot IPO stock to No. 1 on the 24/7 Sports list.
Now he’s gone, and the euphoria in Tiger recruiting circles has been replaced by despair.
Oh, the Hindenburg of it all.
Of course, Williams is not exactly gone. Reportedly he’s basically told the LSU coaches he made a bit of a hasty commitment and still wants to have a look around at some other schools.
At this point, the college football world is Williams’ oyster. Just about every BCS school that considers itself a major player has offered the lad a scholarship and would stand on its helmet for an official visit.
For their part, we hear LSU coaches are much less freaked out by Williams’ retraction than LSU football fans are. There is every expectation that Williams will make his football version of an Australian walkabout and eventually sign with LSU.
The one silver lining is the likelihood that Williams will get this over with fairly quickly. His aim is to sign in January so he can practice in the spring.
It would be nice if we didn’t have to know or care about where Williams is going until he gets there, if recruiting coverage hadn’t become a multimillion dollar business. Then again, so many people are now working in the cottage industry that is recruiting media that if the business disappeared overnight the national unemployment rate would immediately spike three-tenths of a percent.
The point is there is no need to hyperventilate over a move Williams — or any recruit — makes in May, nearly nine months before he can sign with anyone.
If he goes to LSU, which is likely, he has a good chance to be great. If he goes to LSU and doesn’t pan out, or signs with another school, the Tigers will have signed someone else who can run the routes and make the catches.
Not to say Williams’ recruiting saga isn’t important. It is.
At least until the next uncommitted blue-chipper comes along.
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