How will Roquan Smith’s decision to only sign scholarship papers and bypass the national letter of intent impact the future of recruiting?
We asked some of the state’s top signees from this year:
Arrington Farrar of Woodward (signed with Wisconsin): “I think this will only happen with kids who blow up late, like the kid (Chris Williamson) from Gainseville. Because for kids who have been recruited for months maybe even years, I believe they will have taken visits and be able to make a well thought-out decision. I believe the problem begins with recruits allowing themselves to be tricked. Recruits need to inform themselves on situations like these, so they will be able to make a decision based on the feel of the school, not the coaching staff. But it’s also important to not complete cast the coaches aside, because they could end up coaching you in the NFL someday.”
Herb Griffin, father of McEachern’s Taj Griffin (signed with Oregon): “I think the entire process is slanted in the favor of the colleges — from coach’s being able to leave without notice to kids being locked into a contract that penalizes them if they desire to leave for another school. But that’s why it’s imperative that you do your due diligence during the recruiting process.”
Darius Slayton of GAC (signed with Auburn): “It sounds like a smart choice in his case if I understand (what he’s doing) correctly.”
Dr. Ralph Abernathy, father of GAC’s Micah Abernathy (signed with Tennessee): “I don’t believe the coaches are lying to the student-athletes. I believe it’s the coaches taking the best opportunity that is presented to them, regarding their coaching career. A letter of intent should be just that — an intent, and any student-athlete should be able to change if they so desire to.”
Chuma Edoga of McEachern (signed with USC): “I think that a lot more kids are gonna take this route instead of signing the LOI in February, but i feel like some kids might do it that necessarily shouldn’t, so their spot might get taken by someone who’s willing to sign.”
Evan Shirreffs of Jefferson (signed with Miami): “I’m sure more kids will end up doing things like that. It seems pretty innovative.”