Recruiting. It will drive you crazy.
The latest evidence is the 11th-hour de-commitment of quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who jilted the Arizona Wildcats for a second time Friday, this time at the altar.
With Signing Day less than three weeks away — and Burmeister already having missed his planned start of Arizona’s spring semester — the four-star prospect from La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day switched his commitment from UA to the Oregon Ducks.
As mentioned last week, other schools have been coming hard after Arizona’s top recruits, as UA coach Rich Rodriguez tries to regain his footing after a 3-9 season.
The bailing of Burmeister hurts. No doubt.
Arizona has invested its time and effort into recruiting him as its top 2017 quarterback prospect for probably close to three years. He originally committed to the Wildcats in November 2014, de-committed in March 2016 and then, in a rarity, re-committed in May.
As a senior at his small high school, Burmeister set several prep career records for the San Diego area, including passing yards and passing touchdowns. There didn’t seem to be an issue with his early enrollment at Arizona until last week, when Oregon, with new head coach Willie Taggart, got involved and offered Burmeister a scholarship.
And, like that, without having even taken a visit to Eugene, he was gone to the Ducks. He plans to enroll at their quarter break in March.
He has left Arizona in a bad spot.
Burmeister, a dual-threat whose passing and running are well-balanced (think a more athletic Anu Solomon) figured to be no worse than the third-string quarterback for Arizona’s spring practice, which is scheduled to begin soon after the Feb. 1 Signing Day.
Junior-to-be Brandon Dawkins will be the presumptive No. 1, followed by rising sophomore Khalil Tate. With Solomon’s announced transfer from the program, there won’t be another scholarship quarterback on the UA roster until Rhett Rodriguez, the coach’s son, arrives from Catalina Foothills High School.
Arizona already lost its top overall 2017 prospect when athlete Greg Johnson de-committed in early December following the departure of his lead recruiter, Donte’ Williams, to Nebraska.
Wide receiver Darrian McNeal also de-committed from Arizona to Oregon. The new Ducks staff is also trying to raid UA commit Cody Shear, an offensive lineman.
Other recruits are up in the air.
And, now, Burmeister is gone.
These days, there is so much breathless recruiting coverage. Is a kid interested? Will he visit? Who are his finalists? Will he commit? Will he stay committed?
And then if he signs, will he show up? If he shows up, will he stay? If he stays, will he be any good?
Some Arizona fans have taken to social media to blast Burmeister and his decision, which isn’t a really great look. But that’s the world we live in when we end up caring so much about every single little detail in the recruiting process.