There is a feeling of satisfaction when you tell a college that you will be playing for their school for your collegiate career. It’s the best feeling in the world; the one thing you have dreamed about and have been through good times and bad times with has finally been accomplished.
Now, imagine having to tell those same coaches you told a few months back that you won’t be playing your collegiate career wearing their school colors. That instead of being a part of their team you are going to go play for another coach and team.
Fans never really look at the whole picture when a player de-commits from a school. They never take time to look at the player’s reasons. As Washington State fans we are all excited about the future of the football team, we all know the big steps the team is taking to become a contender in the PAC-12. And if you pay really close attention you would also know about the recruits that have committed or that have Washington State high on their list. One of the Cougars’ best 2014 recruits, offensive/defensive lineman Marcus Griffin, de-committed from the Cougars earlier this week and since some fans don’t see the whole picture I decided to give a more personal account of what it is like to commit and de-commit from a school.
I was 17 years old when I got my first offer from a school to play football for them. Three weeks later I had committed to play football for them. At that moment my goal was to play football and take that as far as I could in life. Four months later, that goal was non-existent. I was no longer a commit to play football, but instead to be a student at a school closer to home.
To those who actually knew me, they knew that I had my reasons to no longer play football in the next level, but for those fans who only saw me as a 6’6” 315 pound lineman had no idea why I “betrayed” them. I lost 63 followers on twitter the week I de-committed, got kicked out of facebook groups and email lists, no longer received phone calls from coaches, the texts from my “teammates” stopped coming in, and the letters came to a stop.
It has come to my attention that some people are not too happy with Marcus Griffin’s decision to not play football for the Cougars, but these same people are not taking the time to see the reasons to back his choice. There are many reasons as to why a player de-commits from a school and rarely will the fans hear why the player made their choice. All they see is that a player is changing his mind and deciding to play football for another school or not at all.
Throughout the processes of committing and de-committing I never thought of going to a different school to play football. When I committed that was the only school I was going to play football for and it stayed that way until I told the coaches that I wasn’t going to play football for them anymore. According to the fans when I de-committed I was planning on playing football for their rivals because they were having a better season. I went from being in their “family” to being a trader.
I noticed the same thing with Griffin. These same people that praised him and couldn’t wait for him to come onto campus no longer supported this 17-18 year old high school senior from Bellevue, Washington. He became just another player that isn’t a Coug. Sure, he is missing out on living the Pullman college life but there is more to it than that.
Coming from someone who went through these same processes that Marcus Griffin is going through it needs to be known that there are more things out there than just football and as fans we don’t know the whole story behind a de-commitment and to remember that these commits that have so much on their shoulders are just 17-18 years old and are still in high school.
Marcus Griffin is going to go on to a program and do great things for that school, and unfortunately for us Cougar fans it won’t be in the crimson and gray.