It seems that every year national signing day gets just a little bit nuttier. In recent years, it appears that Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs are right in the middle of the nuttiness. First it was Josh Harvey-Clemons and his disappearing grandfather, now it is the uncertainty surrounding Macon County linebacker Roquan Smith.
SB Nation's Peter Berkes has a pretty good summation of where things currently stand with Smith. There's also a good bit of background on exactly what went down yesterday morning in Montezuma. On the one hand, I for one am absolutely shocked that such a paragon of moral virtue as Jim Mora would sit on the news that his Defensive Coordinator was leaving for an NFL job until after his remaining recruits sent letters of intent. On the other, I am fairly proud of the Georgia staff for immediately jumping on the news as soon as it broke, and not giving up on Smith.
I do not know that he will yet end up in Athens. It seems that if he were actually as torn as he indicated, the decision at this point would be a no-brainer. Instead, we have Smith and his coach Larry Harold saying that his recruitment has been reopened and it may be sometime before a decision is made. There have also been rumors that other schools outside his final four (including Florida State) are now trying to get in on Smith's recruiting. There is no more red and black town in the state then Montezuma, home of the Macon County Bulldogs (who also wear red and black on Friday nights). My sense is that Roquan Smith wants to do something other than what he's being pushed to do, And go somewhere other than where he feels he's being pushed to go, or where everyone just expects him to go.
It's also entirely possible (and reasonable) that Smith did develop such a strong relationship with UCLA's Jeff Ulbrich that he needs some time to figure out his next move. There's nothing wrong with that. And it strikes me as a little dissonant to see people who lambast recruits for their hasty decisions now lambast Smith for not just picking a school already. Life's funny that way I guess.
In the end, this is a reminder that we're dealing with teenagers being asked to make a critical life decision, often while in the spotlight, and frequently while being tugged in every direction by hope, fear, greed, guilt, and all the other emotions that go into human decision-making. My sincere hope is that, wherever Smith ends up attending college, this isn't the high point of his notoriety.