It is the beginning of another eventful recruiting season and already some of the leading prospects in the country are reneging from their early commitments and starting to look around for other schools.
It is hardly surprising. In fact, it is a trend. Last year, close to 200 players de-committed and opted for other schools. This year? The figure will be between 150 and 200.
Why? Kids commit without thinking about the process. They are very impulsive and often jump at the first offer that comes along. Then they are intrigued when other schools show them some attention. College coaches don't honor early commitments. They lack maturity and integrity. And many kids, thriving attention, like to open the door to one and all.
The highest rated player to de-commit so far is Craig Loston of Houston, Texas, the best defensive back in the nation. He is rated as the No. 5 player in the senior class. He committed to Clemson but now desires to look around. He likely will consider LSU, Oklahoma and Texas.
Kevin Newsome of Chesapeake, Va., was going to be Michigan's quarterback of the future. Rated as the No. 37 player in the country, Newsome now says other schools are telling him that Rich Rodriguez, Michigan's new coach, doesn't develop NFL quarterbacks. But Newsome is perfect for Michigan's spread offense. He is expected to consider Penn State and Virginia Tech.
Michigan also lost William Campbell, a defensive lineman from Detroit and the No. 42 player in the country. He originally committed to former coach Lloyd Carr. When Carr left, he had second thoughts.
Like Michigan, Clemson also lost its top two recruits. Another defector was free safety Devonte Holloman of Charlotte, N.C., the No. 43 player in the country. After Clemson lost to Alabama, both Hollomon and Loston announced they were going to look elsewhere for their college educations. In fact, Holloman said he wants to look at Michigan.
Darius Winson of West Helena, Ark., the No. 44 player in the nation, committed to Arkansas last January, de-committed two months ago, then re-committed to Arkansas. But is he sure? He said he wants to play at Clemson or Michigan.
And how about defensive lineman Lendell Buckner of Leo? He committed to Illinois last January. And his pledge apparently remains firm. But, curiously, last week Buckner announced he was committing again to Illinois.
And it's just beginning.