The college recruiting process begins first, at a much younger age than suspected. As of last week, an intensely popular recruiting website known as “Rivals” decided it was time to allow the addition of profiles for 6th graders for recruiter’s viewing. Rivals created my personal profile when I began 9th grade.
Personally, I believe that kids should be able to live their lives and have fun with the game of football at a young age as well as being a developmental and educational experience. Recruiting is becoming a big business for even children, and I don’t think it’s fair for them. They should be able to be regular kids – children shouldn’t be getting interviewed at 11 years old. My brother is 13 years old and entering the recruiting process soon. I’m glad that he hasn’t entered the process until this point because he deserves to just enjoy the sport without the pressure of recruiters.
Once Rivals has created their profile, recruiters will expect new tapes of play and interview of the athlete and his coaches. These young children haven’t fully developed yet, nor do they understand their possible potential. Having cameras in kids’ faces throughout their childhood isn’t going to help them in the future and may even contribute to the destruction of their self-image.
The game of football is very popular in our country as not only a sport but an entertainment center, as markets spend millions of dollars to enjoy it. With that being said, I don’t think it’s right to exploit our youth for other people’s entertainment.
My brother, Devin Williams (’20), says, “After seeing how stressful the recruiting process was with you, I am more than willing to wait until I’m in high school. I want to enjoy my childhood time while I still have it. I can only be a kid one time in life. Also, there are too many politics and I’d rather wait until the time is right.”
The following url will link you to the first ever 6th grade football recruitment profile: