Most of the commitments are out of the way. High school football players fortunate and talented enough to be courted by college coaches and recruiting reporters will now get some peace.
The cell phones will stop ringing with calls from strange area codes. The e-mail boxes won't get so cluttered anymore. These upper echelon players can now relax and have a little fun and play in a few all-star games.
That's the idea for Groveland South Lake cornerback <runtime:topic id="PESPT008783">Nick Waisome</runtime:topic>, who finally shored up his college plans last week by decommitting from <runtime:topic id="PLGEO100100400000000">Florida</runtime:topic> and committing to state rival Florida State. Now he's signed, sealed and will be delivered to FSU as a spring enrollee next week in <runtime:topic id="PLGEO1001004000001585">Tallahassee</runtime:topic>.
This week, though, is all fun.
Upon arriving Friday for the preparation leading up to Wednesday's <runtime:topic id="ORCRP017348">Under Armour</runtime:topic> All-America Game (<runtime:topic id="HOC792">ESPN</runtime:topic>, 7 p.m., Tropicana Field), Waisome was already hamming it up with his buddies SS <runtime:topic id="PESPT008774">Ha'sean Clinton-Dix</runtime:topic> of Dr. Phillips (<runtime:topic id="PLGEO100101300000000">Alabama</runtime:topic> commitment), TE A.C. Leonard of <runtime:topic id="PLGEO100101018611235">Jacksonville</runtime:topic> University Christian (Florida), TE Brandon Fulse of Fort Meade (uncommitted), and fellow FSU pledge SS Karlos Williams of Davenport Ridge Community.
"We're having a good time hanging out," Waisome said. "A lot of people talking all that trash. I'm on the Red team and we're winning it, no doubt. We're stacked with all the players."
Williams and Waisome actually got split up, and Williams will be playing on the White team Wednesday night.
"Karlos is a fool," Waisome said on the phone with his good friend Williams nearby. "He comes in talking about how they got all the players and they're going to win, but he knows we're stacked. Everybody knows it here."
But besides the talking trash, these guys relish the chance to get together and talk about things that are going on in the world of recruiting and college football. A chance for like-minded guys to get together and hear opinions to which each of them can actually relate.
"Everybody is talking a lot. We're just sitting in a circle talking about things going on with the coaching changes. There is a lot going on right now," Waisome said. "Gives us a chance to see what other kids are thinking … to see if they are thinking the same way you are. Get different points of view.
"And of course we talk about who's the best at their positions, and who could beat each other in a race."
And the recruiting that goes on at these events is well-documented. It was probably the days leading up to the Under Armour game last year that swayed players like Dominique Easley to choose Florida after he got an earful from then-Gator commits such as Jonathan Dowling, Cody Riggs and Demar Dorsey.
"A.C. was riding me hard [about UF] in the car on the way down here," said Waisome, who hooked up with Leonard as a traveling partner to <runtime:topic id="PLGEO100100410140000">Orlando</runtime:topic>. "That's a small piece of the game. They can't say nothing that's gonna change me though. You gotta do what's good for you.
"It's just an honor to be here. I've never been around something like this and it's my first time playing in this kind of atmosphere, like a little bowl game or a championship atmosphere. And then to get to play against some of these top athletes is a great opportunity."
Chris Hays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org