If you've followed college football recruiting with even mild interest in the last 10 years or so, you probably realize the element of surprise is all but dead. Kids are committing earlier than ever, and members of the media have usually found out where a player is heading and tipped off their subscribers behind the pay walls in advance of prospects doing hat dances in their high school gyms.
Dorial Green-Beckham, the country's top-rated recruit in 2012, is a notable exception.
DGB and his family have doled out information about the coveted receiver's intentions judiciously. When DGB and his father, who has acted as a gatekeeper throughout the process, have given interviews, they haven't dodged questions, but they haven't revealed much.
With National Signing Day quickly approaching, we know that there are four schools still under consideration: Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. But that's about it.
In the meantime, the DGB saga has turned into a feeding frenzy for message board "insiders" and Internet trolls. Depending on who you talk to:
- Pops loves or loathes Bob Stoops.
- Distance is or isn't an issue.
- Baby Bro is a lifelong Arkansas or Texas fan.
- Mizzou has or hasn't offered a family member a job.
I could go on and on. It has become a petri dish for wild rumors, innuendo and speculation. The tiniest bit of news coming from recruiting sites and blogs – no matter how thinly sourced – turns into an inkblot test for fan bases looking for a reason to be hopeful about their favorite team's chances.
And when you think about it, so much of this story up until now has been driven by recruiting sites run by fans posing journalists. (Hell, couldn't you say that about all recruiting coverage these days?) An Arkansas site says DGB is leaning towards the Razorbacks, with no attribution, and suddenly it goes viral.
I don't know where this kid is going to go to school, but I do know that when he finally does pick a destination, it's going to make a ton of people look foolish. They're going to try to spin their stories and tell you how "School X was really close."
Remind me again how much that counts for?
Frankly, I'm looking forward to finding out where DGB isn't going more than where he is.