UPDATED 3:44 p.m. ET: After bailing on a scheduled press conference earlier in the day, Davonte Neal returned to the elementary school and announced that he will be signing a Letter of Intent with Notre Dame.
Good luck, Irish. That is all.
Reason No. 1,877 why the recruiting game makes one both feel the need to take a shower and embarrassed over the way far too much attention, media and otherwise, is lavished on a bunch of teenagers.
On Tuesday, wide receiver Davonte Neal, the highest-rated unsigned recruit in the Class of 2012, was scheduled to announce whether he would attend home-state Arizona, Notre Dame, Arkansas or North Carolina. Instead, the player was a no-show for his own signing announcement, leaving hundreds of people young and old twisting in the wind.
Reportedly, there is an ongoing “power struggle” over the decision. The player apparently wants to stay near home and play for the Wildcats, while the father wants his son to play for the Irish.
There’s no word yet on when an announcement on Neal’s school of choice will be made. Or whether anyone should really care at this point thanks to what transpired.
Simply put, the entire Neal family should be embarrassed over and ashamed of what took place late Tuesday morning at the receiver’s former elementary school.
Not because of the fact that Neal didn’t announce his decision, mind you. This is the most important decision of the young player’s life, and he deserves whatever amount of time necessary to officially map out his future.
Rather, the fact that more than 600 kids and their teachers and school administrators — God bless the principal who kept the collection of kids ranging in age from five to 10 years old from throwing their juice boxes and Gummi bears in disgust at the screen showing Neal’s highlights — were pulled out of class and waited over an hour for nothing. Friends, former teammates and the media took time out of their collective days to lavish attention on an individual who’s done nothing beyond the high school level, again for nothing.
Untold individuals went out of their way for Neal and his family, preparing the school and disrupting classrooms so that Neal could have his moment in the spotlight. All so they could get stood up because a family couldn’t get on the same page even as they called a week ago for this celebration of a signing?
Here’s a hint to future recruits and their families: if you’re going to call a press conference, at least have the common decency and courtesy to ensure that everyone in the family is onboard with the decision before, ya know, wasting everyone’s time and embarrassing yourselves.
Or, as Scout.com’s Brandon Huffman said…
“This is just an absolute terrible indictment of the whole recruiting process. It ruined what should have been an exciting day for Davonte — and for the kids, too. That it happened in front of grade-school kids, it’s indescribable.”