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Calm Down, It's Just National Signing Day

The title is a hint as to how I view National Signing Day. My enthusiasm for National Signing Day is only matched by my enthusiasm for women's basketball or peeling dead skin off of sunburns.

For every Tim Tebow there is a Xavier Lee. For every Brandon Spikes there is a Willie Williams. Florida has been spared an epic flameout like Lee or Williams, although the 2005 class of Avery Atkins (committed suicide after getting kicked out), Josh Portis (suspected cheater) and Ronnie Wilson (Iraqi-style gun play, fighting people) wasn't exactly busting the doors. And there is always the Bull, Taurean Charles, who was sent away by the Gators after trying to beat someone up with a beer keg. He also once tried to beat up a girl. Charles ended up at Bethune Cookman and was undrafted.

The common theme for these athletes is maturity. Or a lack of it. Players will mature over the course of 3 or 4 seasons, but unless there is some maturity at the beginning, the demands of Division 1 football or the demons that everyone encounters in college can bring them down.

Enter Andre Debose; Florida's star recruit. Who took a trip to FSU last weekend. I understand how stressful the selection process is. But at this point in the game, after a declaration on ESPN, what is the purpose of a visit to a blood rival of your "declared" school? A free meal? I'm all for a free meal, but Orlando-to-Tally is a long trip for that. I don't care if the kid runs a 3.9 40. If he's not mature enough, then he won't be successful.

Percy Harvin was one of those guys who was immature in high school. Getting in fights with officials would send red flags, unless you have superhuman speed. Harvin grew up though and will leave Florida as a success.

As much as we'd like to believe that high school seniors are grown men, they are no where close. It does not matter if you are a stud linebacker from Miami or a straight-A student from Tampa, you are not an adult your freshman year in college. Both of our hypothetical people have the same chance of getting kicked out of UF. (I know someone who qualifies as the second person.) As we head into another signing day, all of us, from the creepy fat guys from Scout and Rivals that video high school practices to those who have Debose's highlight video on our YouTube favorites, have to understand this. Our obcession with college football is fine, but it's spread to high school and middle school in college basketball. Perhaps a little moderation is in order.

Of course, that won't happen. For most of us, our mood rises and falls not with the amount attention we get from the opposite sex, but from how much UF is winning by. But, unless there is a gamebreaker player like Tebow or Reggie Bush out there, Wednesday will not change anything. And Debose is a long way from those two.