It has to be said that for every attention hungry blue chip drama queen out there, there are plenty of top prospects that choose to not play games with the media. They are straight forward about their preferences, and once they announce a decision, it is for good.
This past year, Jadeveon Clowney was the best prospect in the country. In fact, after checking all of the top recruit evaluation sites, I failed to find one where he was not considered the #1 player in the 2011 class.
Clowney isn’t the kind of guy who likes having the media all in his business, so he would often just give simple answers when necessary. This article has a quote from his high school coach about how he doesn’t like a lot of attention, and how you couldn’t get him on the phone unless you’ve known him for years.
He never lied to the media. When he attended the U.S. Army All America Bowl, he admitted that other commits tried to sway him to join them at their respective schools, and he just told them what they wanted to hear. But he never went out and publicly said anything that was untrue. He met Nick Saban, the “king of all of football,” and when asked about it, he made a joke about Saban only being 5’5″. How could a 6’6″ 240 lb monster be intimidated by a shrimpy guy like that? You get the feel from listening to him that he is very grounded, and he is just all about working hard and playing ball. He seems like the kind of guy every coach would want to have on their team.
He did push back his announcement date until past signing day, but that was only because he wanted to wait until his birthday to announce. So we see a situation where a very mature young kid dealt with the media very well, and never looked to showboat or brag about his athletic abilities. He never tried to act like he was leaning a certain way so that he could extract special attention or perks from certain schools. He didn’t treat it like a business, and he didn’t take advice from someone else, not even his mother. Instead he lived out his senior year of high school, and chose the school that was closest to home, and closest to his heart.
I guess the media can’t corrupt everyone… 😉