Just 24 hours after his dramatic commitment to the University of Florida, Gator-watchers and fans alike have pronounced the highly touted qb recruit Tim Tebow "the biggest bust in the history of the program."
"There were such high hopes for him," said self-styled recruitnik ApopGator 86 of the GatorSports message boards. "He could run, he could pass. He was perfect for Urban Meyer's system. But after watching his underwhelming press conference, I can safely say that he's the next Bobby Sabelhaus: a complete bust waiting to happen. If he'd committed a week earlier, I'd be talking differently. But after watching him not rip his shirt off to unveil a full chest tattoo of a Florida Gator at the press conference, I have to say that he'll always be a disappointment to me as a Gator fan."
Fellow recruiting pundits agreed:
"Gator fans were ecstatic over his announcement intially," said recruiting guru Tom Lemming. "They were particularly excited over his thickness and ability to run as well as pass. But his lackluster reading of his speech, his post-dated 1999 hairstyle, and his frequent use of the word 'awesome' dashed Gator hopes immediately. Even his continuously polite yessirs during the interview quickly became a source of annoyance to Gator fans. From the five minutes of exposure we've had to him, it's obvious that's he'll never master the spread option."
"He probably should have gone to Notre Dame," Lemming added.
Pronouncing a recruit as a bust immediately is an unprecedented move by recruit-watchers, with the previous record going to Tennessee fans for their pronouncement of Michael Munoz as a bust just two weeks after signing with the Vols. Munoz's unimpressive performance at a local Taco Bell was cited as the reason in his case, with Randy Eggers of Soddy Daisy leading the charge on Vol message boards:
"I saw Anthony at the Taco Bell and he only ordered three chicken soft tacos. Three soft damn tacos, and he left half on one on the tray when he was finished. HE DIDN'T FINISH LUNCH, PEOPLE!!! To be a champion, you gotta be hungry, people. It's clear that Michael Munoz, who we all hoped would bring us national titles, doesn't even have the hunger to finish lunch, much less win at the University of Tennessee. What a bust."
Eerily similar reactions could be found across the internet and talk radio community yesterday immediately following Tebow's announcement. Even the mainstream media got in on the act, with Peter Kerasotis of Florida Today getting in on the act:
Yesterday, Florida waited.
Today, they know.
Now, they're disappointed.
As the unprecedented verdict swept its way across the internets, recruitniks were pondering new ways to push the envelope of prognostication following the Tebow incident. Jamie Newberg of the Insiders.com thinks the possibilities are endless.
"We're working on ways to prognosticate not only busts on signing day...we're working on forecasting them as busts while they're still in high school. We're simulating them in NCAA 2005, actually, designing them and playing out full seasons. In fact, we'd like to just go ahead and predict that Tebow fumbles four times against Tennessee in two years, since that's exactly what we did. Barring the invention of a better button to press on those option pitches, we'll stand by that forecast."
Tebow and his new coach declined to comment for this article.