College football recruiting is nothing like it was 10-plus years ago. It's become a spectacle to a certain degree, with 17 and 18 year-old kids courted like superstars. Commitments mean nothing until National Signing Day, and there are constant events sponsored by major apparel brands throughout the year so players can flaunt their skills in front of coaches and scouts.
On Saturday, the top 11 quarterback prospects of the 2018 class worked out in Nike's Elite 11 competition — which is essentially chance for the players to compete in combine-like drills in front of talent evaluators and media.
It's fair to question why kids even go to these events if they have honest expectations of following through with their commitment. What more do they have to prove?
For me, it means that anything is possible. Maybe No. 1 overall QB commit Trevor Lawrence will switch it up and leave Clemson in the dust, or No. 1 dual-threat prospect Justin Fields will back off his Penn State commitment and head to the SEC.
Fields has been gaining hype as of late, and some believe he could emerge as the top QB of the class because of his diverse skill set. The 6-foot-3 prospect clams he's "100 percent" committed to Penn State, yet continues to keep Florida a major possibility. Am I the only one who thinks that makes zero sense? Nittany Lions fans better take notice.
"I'd like to check out Florida," Fields told SEC Country after Saturday's event. "Coach Nuss is doing great things on offense. I saw them play against Tennessee last year. I lke Coach McElwain. He just got there and they were the first coaching staff to make the SEC Championship in their first two years, so I'm looking for big things in the future from them."
For Gators fans who are starving for an exciting, capable quarterback like Fields, obviously this is a good sign. Any player who is "100 percent" committed somewhere probably wouldn't flirt with the idea of checking out another school. Just saying.
— David Waters (@GatorDave_SEC) June 3, 2017
As far as Fields' showing on Saturday? He was impressive as expected.
"When asked to drive the ball down the field, Fields separated from the pack quickly with dime after dime on fades and corner routes," said Luke Stampini of 24/7 Sports. "While the other quarterbacks struggled, Fields appeared to thrive stretching the field vertically."
I'm sure Gator nation will take to Twitter will put on the full-court press to try to sway Fields to Gainesville. Isn't college football recruiting fun?