The Washington Times - August 5, 2008, 11:49AM

One of the press releases that soft-landed in the e-mail box yesterday was the announcement of the ESPNU 150 for the players who will be college freshmen next year.

Every year that goes by makes ponder just what P.T. Barnum would have thought of football recruiting services essentially acting as the Pavlovian bell of the sports world. Salivating fans dump a lot of money into companies that attempt to figure out which players are best, even if there is pretty much no way to accurately determining such a ranking.


Why? Unlike in basketball, these guys don’t play against each other all summer. So beyond a handful of freakish athletes who will only fail if they get in their own way, it’s hard to tell if a guy really will be good two, three, four years down the road.

A particularly rabid portion of college fan bases lives for these rankings. It’s enough to make you wonder why some people are more determined to win on Signing Days than Saturdays.

Anyway, to answer the original question, Barnum would probably think it was odd a football team would need a quarterback with a good arm, since the legal forward pass didn’t exist in his lifetime. Though since this was Barnum, he might have thought up the idea as a stunt had he cared about football when he was

And to end this ridiculous aside, a couple tailbacks who have committed to local teams are on the aforementioned list. David Wilson (Virginia Tech) is No. 66, while Maryland commit D.J. Adams is No. 133.

As for the ‘08 guys from the area programs, they include tailback Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech, No. 26), “wide receiver” Kenny Tate (Maryland, No. 134) and wide receiver Kerry Boykins (Maryland, No. 139).

 —- Patrick Stevens