In the late 80s, I verbally committed to Auburn University.
I didnt mean it. I thought I meant it, but I didnt.
It was spring of my senior year of high school, and my mom asked me where I was going to college.
Though Id always planned to leave the Valley -- maybe for a private school like Vanderbilt -- I hadnt actually applied anywhere but Auburn.
My mother told me that if I chose Auburn, I could come home every weekend and shed make biscuits from scratch and do my laundry.
I committed on the spot. But Id like to add that I never signed a letter of intent.
And no Auburn fans went to Twitter and Facebook and War Eagle Extra to celebrate the news. Of course, the Internet hadnt been invented yet, but my point is that nobody but my mother cared.
A few weeks later, I received an Army ROTC scholarship that gave me full tuition to any university that wanted me.
Vanderbilt had already accepted its freshman class, but the nice lady at the admissions office said I should fill out an application anyway and write Army scholarship in huge letters at the top.
A month before I graduated from high school, I got accepted. I flipped to Vandy on the spot. Nobody rejoiced, though my story did bring hope to procrastinators everywhere.
Nobody mourned either, though my mother did ask who was going to do my laundry.
This week, lots of people cared about where Jonathan Wallace was going to college.
The three-star quarterback from Central-Phenix City had dreamed about playing for Auburn but didnt have a scholarship offer from the Tigers.
If youre not a five-star prospect and you wait until signing day to get an offer from your first choice, then all your other offers could be filled and you could end up without a home.
So Jonathan chose Southern Miss. After the Eagles head coach bolted to North Carolina, Jonathan switched to Central Florida and says he was happy with the choice. USM fans grumbled, UCF fans cheered.
Then on Monday, Jonathan got a phone call. Auburn had a scholarship left, and it had his name on it.
He committed on the spot.
When the news became public on signing day, local Auburn fans rejoiced. UCF Knight fans grumbled.
One of them, Knight in ATL, wrote this comment on an Orlando Sentinel story: Its a big soap opera for many of these kids who love nothing more than to string along fans of many schools for months on end only to flip on national signing day.
Hey, Knight, a kid is making the biggest decision of his life to date, and you think hes changing his mind just to toy with you?
Get a life!
After he made his announcement, Jonathan told the Ledger-Enquirer, I know that looking at it from the outside people get an idea of whats going on. But until its happening to you its hard to fully understand.
You bet its hard to understand.
Around here, its easy to envy the attention and the perks that talented athletes get. But if youre a high school senior with no stars next to your name, you can be thankful for one thing: You can change your mind and nobody cares.
At least, nobody but your mama.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, managing editor/content, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.