Longhorn Panic: Sealy WR Ricky Seals-Jones Decommits
It wouldn't be June if we didn't have some sort of off-the-field drama to worry about with our college football. And since the realignment talk this summer is at a dull roar at best, and since the resolution of a college football playoff is still several weeks away, how about a little recruiting angst?
Freaking out in Austin.
We all know that college football fans follow the collegiate futures of football recruits closer than they do the futures of their own children. It's an illness that, at one time or another, any alum or fan of a big-time school has suffered from.
If you have been afflicted, you know it. No need to say it out loud, just admit it to yourself.
Longhorn fans have been on both ends of the whimsical nature of 17-year-olds, with high-profile recruits in years past having decided to switch to another school after committing to the Horns (remember Ryan Perrilloux?) and others deciding to bring their talents to Austin off of a reneged commitment elsewhere (Torshiro Davis this past recruiting cycle).
However, this week, one of the top potential gamebreakers and commitments in the Class of 2013 decided to reopen his recruiting. Courtesy of USA Today, here's the story:
Ricky Seals-Jones, considered the best recruit to come through Sealy, Texas, since Eric Dickerson, is backing away from his commitment to play football at the University of Texas.
Seals-Jones, listed as the No. 1 receiver in the 2013 class by Rivals.com and the No. 7 player overall by ESPN.com, said on Feb. 22 he planned to sign with Texas. Recently, however, he attended a recruit picnic at Louisiana State.
It's rare that an in-state player who commits to Texas backs away.
Sealy football coach Jimmie Mitchell said he had not yet spoken with Seals-Jones, but says his star quarterback, who ran for 950 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, may have just decided on a school too soon.
"I can't say I'm real comfortable that this is going on," Sealy football coach Jimmie Mitchell said. "It was a little bit of a shock. We had a plan to visit a number of different schools back in March, but instead he decided to commit to Texas. Now, he's had a change of heart about seeing other places."
Seals-Jones, who is 6-5 and 220 pounds, is also considered a top basketball recruit and LSU and Baylor have given him the option of playing both sports.
Naturally, this has Longhorn fans everywhere scrambling for message boards so they can call Seals-Jones and his family every name under the sun. And it has them looking at the other commitments and targeted recruits to see what Plan B at the wide receiver position might entail. (As you can see, there is a very specific playbook that Spurned College Football Recruiting Dork executes.)
There was a time when I worried a little too much about recruiting. Never to the extent that I got personal with recruits or their families about it, but certainly to the point where I'd fret about depth chart ramifications of "star" players changing their minds.
Thanks to Web sites like Rivals.com now having nearly a decade worth of raw recruiting rankings and historical data to work with, we can better assess just how impactful (or unimpactful, as it were) a decommit could be. Of course, the data is based on a process doused in subjectivity, but it's the best we have.
With that in mind, let's use history to assess just how much Longhorn fans should be chewing their nails over Seals-Jones's possible change of heart. Seals-Jones is the top wide receiver in the country according to Rivals.com. He is also listed as a four-star player (out of five). It's the first time in the history of the Rivals.com rankings that the top wideout has been anything less than a five-star recruit.
So armed with that basis, let's look at the historical collegiate results of five star wideouts from 2002 through 2010 (this upcoming season's junior class), since in theory these players were all seen as "better" than the four-star Seals-Jones coming out of high school. At the conclusion of the roll call for all 33 five-star wideouts from 2002-2010, we will see just how concerned they should be on the Forty Acres.
Let's do this: