Eddie Vanderdoes may not be headed to Notre Dame, the college football powerhouse where the Placer High All-America defensive end planned to attend after signing a letter of intent in February.
We don't know for certain if that's true because Vanderdoes hasn't spoken publicly about the matter, and that's his right. Fans, and some national media and recruiting websites, tend to get antsy when they don't get immediate answers. So speculation starts:
He's flunking out (not true, according to Placer teachers).
He's a character concern (not true, according to coaches, teammates, opponents and college recruiters).
He's had a change of heart (it's much deeper than that, his family has told me).
Vanderdoes said in a text message Tuesday that he will clear the air soon, "as speculation keeps moving further from anything resembling the truth."
The Vanderdoes situation is a sample of how titanic college football has become. Incoming freshmen, like the highly coveted 6-foot-4, 305-pound Vanderdoes, are deemed game changers, capable of elevating programs. Any hint of a change of course, and where he might end up, becomes news.
It's also a glimpse of how people react. Some Notre Dame fans have lashed out, posting racial comments and threats through social media. Vanderdoes dropped his Facebook page. Other Irish fans have pleaded for patience. Many fans, we have found, view Vanderdoes as a jersey number.
There's a human side to all of this that Vanderdoes may soon reveal.
What to do
Baseball, Salt Lake at River Cats, 7:05 p.m., Raley Field: After tonight, the Cats head off on 12-game, 13-day, three-city trip.
Should Eddie Vanderdoes be let out of a commitment to Notre Dame if he wishes?
Yes, it's his choice
No, he should honor it
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field.
Thursday's poll results
What will you be watching this weekend?
H1 boat racing at Folsom Lake: 14%
Rowing championships at Lake Natoma: 6%
Sports on TV in air conditioning: 80%
Total votes: 79