The story of Matt Elam is much simpler than those of Dupree or Brown. Elam was a blue chipper who always knew where he wanted to attend school, but he kept the world on our toes trying to figure it out.
Elam committed to the Gators in October of 2008, over a year before his National Signing Day, saying “Florida has always been my team and I have always wanted to play there.” And for all practical purposes, it was a done deal. Not so fast, here we go.
In June, 2009, Elam announced that although he was still committed, he would be taking a look around at other schools. In October of the same year, he announced that he would not take his planned official visit to FSU, and that his recruitment was over, with the gators as his final choice. In December, after Urban Meyer announced his resignation as head coach of Florida, Elam, along with the rest of the gator class demanded answers about the future of the program. Four days later, Elam switched his commitment to FSU, stating that Meyer was the only reason he had committed to UF. Elam also said “I’m happy its over with” in early January of 2010, one month before National Signing Day. THE NEXT DAY, Elam speaks with Urban Meyer, and tells the media “It really touched me so my decision might change.” Even the University of Georgia was suggested by one media outlet as a possible suitor. As you may have guessed, Elam switched commitments again on Jan. 9, when he chose the gators, saying “I’m positive.”
This story teaches us that although the media cannot be blamed for a kid changing his mind over which school to attend, the fact that they allow these young kids to have the spotlight means that the players can abuse the attention. Elam’s own mother said, “The media keeps coming to him, and he likes the attention.”
Is the media evil? No, I don’t think so, but constant media attention does give these kids a false sense of entitlement, and that leads to immature decisions.