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Posted: January 30, 2017

College football recruiting? There’s a country song for that

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 19: (L-R) Musicians Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum perform onstage during the 50th Academy Of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 19: (L-R) Musicians Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum perform onstage during the 50th Academy Of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp)

By Marcus Hartman

Staff Writer

College football national signing day is near, and that can only mean one thing: Drama.

So rather than try to figure out which experts to listen to, why not turn to those who know drama best: Country music singers.

Here are eight songs that describe college football recruiting perfectly:

“15,” Taylor Swift 

While many recruiting decisions used to be made during a prospect’s senior year, early commits have become more the rule than the exception over the past decade. 

Coaches have also begun handing out offers earlier and earlier in an effort to make the first impression on a future star. Because after all who can dispute that “when you’re 15 and somebody tells you they love you, you’ve gotta believe them”?

How Do You Like Me Now? Toby Keith 

This might be the most common story you hear about after signing day.

Everyone who gets passed over by their local school loves to come back and stick it to them when they get the chance — Remember Ryan Brewer, Ohio State fans? 

“Unanswered Prayers,” Garth Brooks 

But sometimes recruiting is as much about who you don’t sign as who you get.

One year’s can’t-miss prospect could be next year’s troublesome presence in the locker room -- or name on the police blotter -- so there are times fans will ultimately count their blessings in ways they don’t expect. 

(Garth honorable mentions: “Shameless,” “The Dance,” and, of course, “Friends In Low Places”)

Dancing Away with My Heart,” Lady Antebellum 

On the bright side, the players who don’t pan out (and don’t get the program in trouble with the law or the NCAA), have name recognition that will last forever. 

At least among hard-core fans and recruiting wonks, those players “will always be 18 — and beautiful. And dancing away with (their) heart(s).”

You Never Even Call Me By My Name,” David Allen Coe 

Our area is home to one well-known case of mistaken identity, but the story of Curtis Enis of Mississinawa Valley being misidentified in recruiting correspondence seems to be an issue that repeats itself from time to time.

Any little thing can get you crossed off a prospect’s list, so never underestimate the importance of proofreading.

Is Someone Else Calling You Baby?” Luke Bryan

This one might be self-explanatory but just in case: It’s common place for players who commit to continue to be recruited by many other schools.

That inevitably leads to a lot of anxiety for fans (and if they’re willing to admit it coaches, too) starting to think, “If you’re over my love, lay it on my heart, don’t try and save me…”

Bless the Broken Road,” Rascal Flatts 

Hey, spin is important. Sometimes coaches don’t get their first choice, and power programs are often lucky to have other big-time prospects waiting for offers when they get turned down by that five-star from across the country.

“Others who broke my heart? They were like northern stars… ”

Whatever works, right?

“Close Enough to Perfect,” Alabama 

Continuing with that theme, no coach has ever put together a class he didn’t say he loved on signing day. 

Whether that group is ranked No. 1 or 100, it is just full of guys the staff is ecstatic about even if they acknowledge nobody signs everyone they want.

Or, yeah, we just needed to make sure “Alabama” was mentioned somewhere in any recruiting story. 

(Hey, we resisted the urge to do a list solely of songs by George Strait, Johnny Cash or Taylor Swift. What more do you want?)

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