I first started following college football recruiting several years ago – I hadn’t even begun high school yet at the time. These days, I’m still doing so, but faced with the increasingly weird prospect of hanging on the exploits and decisions of kids significantly younger than I am. With the high school class of 2008 mostly signed up, focus is already shifting to the class of 2009 – a milestone in that it’s the first graduating class with which I shared zero years of high school. I can’t imagine how weird it’s going to seem following this stuff in 20 years, but I’d better prepare – because if anything, my interest is increasing. Luckily, keeping tabs on this stuff occasionally yields spectacular benefits.

Take the early consensus #1 player for 2009, Mater Dei (Ca.) High School (alma mater of Colt Brennan and Matt Leinart) quarterback Matt Barkley (pictured above). There won’t be much of a circus surrounding Barkley’s recruitment, as he ended the process early by committing to USC. (It is seriously unfair how easy it is for them to get top players.) In the middle of looking up some info about him and watching some YouTube highlight clips, I found out Barkley has already won a few awards. Some, like his Gatorade National Player of the Year award, are of trivial importance. One, however, stood out to me.

That’s right, it’s the Glenn Davis Award. This is a real award. It was actually given to this hotshot prospect – handed to him, of course, by me, personally. Or at least it should have been. This is honestly the best thing recruiting has helped me find out since last year, when I saw there was a top QB prospect named Star Jackson, and my mind immediately conjured up an image of a bigshot walking down the street wearing these. (Don’t even try to convince me that he doesn’t do this.)

See? I told you being into this stuff isn’t pathetic. Actually, come to think of it, I never said that. I wonder why not?