Terrebonne High School junior Maason Smith broke Twitter last weekend when he announced his recruiting “Top 10” — the top schools currently on his radar.
Smith said in his social media post that he would still take interest from other schools outside of the Top 10, but that he will focus his energy on the schools he listed going forward. This, of course, means that it’s highly likely that one of the 10 schools listed in Smith’s list will secure his services at the next level.
Smith’s list is a who’s who of collegiate powers. In its entirety, the list consists of: Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Miami and Virginia.
The list has sparked a ton of social media chatter and speculation, as one might guess. Smith is a 5-star prospect and one of the best local prospects this area has ever had.
So I got to thinking this week — what would I do if I were in Maason’s shoes?
I know one thing — I’d enjoy every, single last second of the process.
When I was a student at LSU, I got to see first-hand the game that is recruiting. I often saw prospects frisked into and out of the Manship Building. They were escorted by the big wigs — the deans of the school. Their “recruiting team” just so happened to be comprised of some of the most beautiful women on campus.
If I were Smith, I would use this opportunity to see the country. I would see as many schools as I could possibly see and meet as many people as I could possibly meet. Even if there is a clear leader and a school that is a “leader”, I would take my trips. They’re free, so why not?
Some coaches think you’re “playing them” if you make a visit, but aren’t serious about attending their school. I say that’s wrong. Coaches sign kids on the promise that they’ll be your coach for 4 years. But often they leave the second that someone offers them more money. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Smith should take all of his trips — even if he has a clear favorite. He should enjoy being courted, wined and dined. He may never get to experience anything like that for the rest of his life, so live it up and soak it all in while it’s in front of you.
I also think we, locally, have to have some perspective as this decision nears.
I’m an LSU graduate. There is nothing in the world I would love to see more than Smith signing at LSU and then going on to Baton Rouge and dominating and making it to the NFL. That would be like a dream scenario for me, and thousands of other locals, too.
But at the same time, I think we all need to sit back a little, exhale and let the kid make the best decision for both he and his family — no matter what it may be.
So much of the conversation surrounding Smith’s recruitment goes like this. Local fans say they are happy for the prospect; they say they are eager to see him at the next level, then they drop a subtle or not-so-subtle hint that they want him in purple and gold.
I get it.
I’d love that, too.
But this is not our decision to make, and we have to stay out of Maason’s judgement and let him evaluate everything himself with his own eyes.
And besides, heck, there’s still so much time left.
Maason doesn’t have to make a decision until December of 2020. That’s literally an eternity away in football time. So much could happen and so much could change.
By the time next year, that Top 10 list may look drastically different.
I’ve covered the world of recruiting a long time, and I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
Congrats on your Top 10, Maason. We’re proud of you, bud! Keep up the good work!