As we noted in yesterday morning's Dawg Bites Virginia defensive end Josh Sweat announced his commitment yesterday. He chose Florida State, but I was on record as believing that Sweat would stay instate and choose the Virginia Tech Hokies. Judging by this thread on the Virginia Tech 247Sports site I wasn't alone. Go ahead, give it a gander. Rubber-necking is really only dangerous when you're behind the wheel or in the middle of a bear pit at the zoo.
A few observations. One, we take recruiting coverage very seriously here at Dawg Sports, and we hope that it shows. That being said, there's such a thing as taking college football recruiting too seriously. Don't do that. Second, no one recruit is going to make or break your football program. The guys who run the pay sites rely to some extent on us not getting that. Big commitments and little tidbits on potential commitments drive their bottom lines. But that's not the case here. We're not going to make that big of a deal of losing guys like Sweat, even big time, instate prospects who go to hated rivals.
Why? Because of Da'Rick Rogers. And Omar Hunter. And Darren Miles and Markeith Ambles and Tai-ler Jones and Jabari Davis. The truth of the matter is that even the biggest recruit is unlikely to be a genuine, all on his own, difference-maker. The key is actually recruiting lots of guys who can make a difference and getting more of yours to pan out than the other guy's.
No one is saying to ignore college football recruiting. It's the lifeblood of any successful college football program. Or, as Bear Bryant so prosaically put it, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken crap. This is an especially good year to be both a Georgia Bulldog and a recruiting fan, because Mark Richt and crew may be putting together the best class of his 14 years in Athens.
But let's not get too wrapped up in it. The best way to win college football games remains to develop players and to prepare them to perform optimally every week. Let's worry about that challenge, too, shall we? Until later...