Quentin Snider has been a Louisville fan since he was in diapers -- and confirmed it by signing with the Cards Friday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – If you want to rant and rave and make a fool of yourself on social media about somebody changing his mind about a life-defining decision, start with me.
I can tell you all about de-committing. I did it to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after I had driven all the way from Louisville to the Twin Cities. I made my U-turn two days after I arrived – on the way to the airport to catch a plane that was supposed to take me to cover a Vikings-Redskins' game in Washington, D.C.
I was not a teenager being tugged on by charming, big-time college basketball coaches who understand how to sell, sell, sell. I was 33.
That's a three-paragraph introduction designed to say that the only person who really needs to understand Quentin Snider's decision to commit to Louisville, Illinois and finally Louisville is Quentin Snider, the talented guard from Ballard High School.
Not Louisville fans, who were perturbed at the kid when he changed his mind about playing for the hometown school last summer.
Not Illinois fans, who are beyond perturbed that Snider changed his mind a day before he was scheduled to sign with the Illini.
Not anybody else, especially the folks who filled the Internet with four-letter words, racism or other forms of ugliness Friday after Snider signed with Louisville, officially becoming part of Rick Pitino's solid four-player recruiting class.
You don't have to tell Snider or his father, Scott, that they could have handled this whole recruiting thing better. They know. They absolutely know. But there's no playbook that shows you how to do it.
You do your best. You follow your emotions. Sometimes you over think it, which the Sniders admit happened. But in the end, you follow your heart. James Blackmon Jr. made a similar move this year de-committing and then re-committing to the same school – Indiana. Billy Donovan won two national titles at Florida and told the world he was going to coach the Orlando Magic. But he didn't.
Ask Scott Snider what he learned from the last three years. He'll tell you.
"Never let a 15-year-old commit," he said, remembering that's how old his son was when he committed to U of L after his freshman season at Ballard.
"It was great as a hometown school. It seemed like the greatest thing to do. Things changed from that point. He should have gone through the (recruiting) process first. He still would have been a Cardinal.
"You want to make the right decision. The first time we de-committed from Louisville, we probably overthought it a little bit. Once we did and kind of got out and saw the other programs, we were like, ‘Louisville was a damn good place to be.'
"But he was going to Illinois. He liked it. Everything was good. But in the end, his heart was still with Louisville. At that point, it was time to go back."
Snider said that Quentin was "worn out" by the process. He said that everything started changing rapidly Monday. Monday? The first day that recruits were allowed sign national letters of intent was Wednesday. What happened on Monday?
That was the day that his national letter of intent arrived in the mail from Illinois.
"I could tell that reality was setting in for him," Scott Snider said. "He was having serious second thoughts."
Snider called Louisville assistant coach Kevin Keatts. He wanted to know if a scholarship was still available in the Cards' 2014 class. The overcrowded situation that concerned the Sniders after Jaquan Lyle of Evansville committed to U of L last season had eased. Why? Because Lyle was out of the picture.
Keatts checked with Rick Pitino. U of L had three players lined up for this class – a wing (Shaqquan Aaron of Seattle), a forward (Jaylen Johnson of Ypsilanti, Mich.) and a center (Chinanu Onuaku of Lanham, Md.)
Pitino said he was disappointed, but not angry when Snider de-committed last summer. He said that he had wanted to coach Snider since he won multiple MVP awards at Cardinal basketball camps.
The scholarship was still there.
And Quentin Snider took it – took it even though it was difficult to tell Illinois that he had changed his mind.
"He's wanted to be a Louisville player since he was in diapers," Scott Snider said. "We've got pictures of him with Louisville stuff on when he was a baby."
That sounds logical, absolutely reasonable – even if Quentin Snider took the long route getting there.
De-commitments happen. I can tell you all about it.