by Jimmy Chitwood.
Even when they’re bigger, faster, and better, White kids still get screwed.
Collegiate recruiting, we are told, is simply a matter of finding the best possible athletes. Bigger is better than small, faster is better than slow, and explosive playmakers are what all coaches covet — at least, that’s what the fans are told. There’s nothing more to the recruiting process than that, because talent is all that matters.
So we’re told, over and over. . .
Sports fans love making comparisons, arguing over which player or team is better. I enjoy making comparisons, as well, especially when the comparisons make the Caste System easily visible to even the most disbelieving. So let us make a comparison between two talented players with similar attributes and allow the rest of the story to tell itself.
Player A and Player B, both juniors (Class of 2015), were each named to the Michigan high school football All-State Dream Team as running backs this season, and each led their respective teams to undefeated regular seasons before losing in the playoffs.
Player A is 5-foot-10, 205-pounds. He runs a reported high 4.4 in the 40, but he doesn’t run track so his speed could be said to be inflated. This season he rushed for 1,654 yards on 134 carries and 22 total touchdowns, after he rushed for 1,346 yards as a sophomore. He plays in Michigan’s largest classification.
Player B is 6-foot-1, 205-pounds. He runs a reported high 4.4 in the 40, and he backs that up by having run a 10.75 in the 100-meters as a sophomore. This season, he rushed for a state-record 2,962 yards on 295 carries and 36 total touchdowns, after he rushed for 2,163 yards and 27 touchdowns as a sophomore. He plays in Michigan’s second largest classification.
One of these players held scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, and Syracuse after his sophomore season and currently also holds offers from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Ohio State, among others. That same player is also ranked a 4-star recruit by Rivals as the #11 running back in the nation. Which player is it?
From the concise player profiles above it would seem obvious that Player B, the runner-up for Michigan Player of the Year, appears to be the better prospect. However, in the world of the Caste System, that isn’t the case.
You see, Player A is the athlete that is coveted by major programs across the country. Conversely, Player B doesn’t have a single scholarship offer to report. In fact, he doesn’t even have a Rivals profile.
If you understand the Caste System, you understand this phenomenon quite well, because Player A, Mike Weber (Detroit-Cass Tech), is black and Player B, Alex Grace (Saginaw-Swan Valley), is White.
The honest assessment skews even more in favor of Grace when you take the analysis even deeper. Weber put up his numbers on a gifted team that had 12 players sign Division I or II football scholarships in 2013 and several more are expected to sign this spring. Meanwhile, Grace put up his numbers on a team without a single (other) collegiate prospect, meaning that every team he faced knew exactly what was coming — and they still couldn’t stop him.
Additionally, Weber already features a heavily muscled physique on his smaller frame, which indicates that it will be difficult for him to add weight at the collegiate level and still maintain his speed. Grace, on the other hand, is still relatively slender, which implies that he will be able to add more muscle mass to his larger frame and possibly increase his strength and speed once he hits the collegiate weight room.
You’d think that college “talent” “evaluators” would be salivating over Grace as a prospect, because he has so much “upside.”
But once you understand the Caste System you know why it is, in fact, Weber who is considered to have tremendous “upside,” while Grace isn’t considered at all.
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