Scooter Hobbs column: Get used to the confusion

Published 1:20 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

Bear with me. This gets confusing. And you better get used to it.

But there would appear to be a chance that former LSU quarterback Max Johnson could emerge from the transfer portal and wind up at Texas A&M.

If so, Max would be playing for a Texas A&M team that should remember him from the last pass of his LSU career — a 28-yard touchdown strike to Jaray Jenkins — that upset the Aggies just ahead of the buzzer.

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Nothing official yet. But Max’s younger brother Jake, a tight end who had previously “committed” to join him at LSU, did sign a scholarship with A&M Wednesday (and as of — let me check — 2:47 p.m. CST Thursday, had not yet entered the transfer portal).

Of course, other speculation has Max ending up at Florida State, his dad’s alma mater.

In that scenario, the next collegiate pass Max tosses could come against the LSU team he left behind since the Tigers open next season against the Seminoles at the Ceasar’s Superdome in New Orleans.

Oh, and this just in — via Twitter, of course, which is where most of college football’s business gets done these days — but yet another former Tiger quarterback, Myles Brennan, has staggered in from the portal, changing his status back to “current Tiger” for a yet sixth season of eligibility.

Meanwhile former LSU freshman All-American cornerback Eli Ricks has come out of the portal, surveyed the landscape, and to no one’s surprise cast his lot with Alabama.

Those are just a couple of the possible aftershocks to the strange new world that college football woke up to on Wednesday’s National Signing Day.

Once bordering on federal holiday status, it now appears that the NSD really doesn’t mean squat.

That can’t be anything but good for America’s soul, although the cure might be worse than the affliction.

What we got Wednesday had been brewing for a while. But that day may come to be considered the moment the NCAA all but unveiled its master plan, whereby it throws up its hands and lets the inmates run its asylum.

Just do whatever you want to do. We don’t care!

It’s been brewing ever since college athletes came to the shocking realization that some adults were getting rich over their fun and games while they were being tortured with free higher education.

Then it was noted that while rich coaches could move on to even more lucrative opportunities whenever they pleased, the athletes sometimes had to sit out a year before scratching their next itch.

They aren’t the first generation to wonder if life didn’t seem more fair at the age of 45 than when you’re barely out of high school. Just the first to get their way.

So now those neat lists of 25 incoming freshmen are just career starting points — all of them could be in the portal headed elsewhere before next week.

You certainly don’t want

See HOBBS, B3 Continued from B1

to sign too many out of high school — got to leave room to cherry-pick the portal.

At present there are over 1,000 college football players in that transfer portal. That’s enough to stock the full rosters of an entire conference. Assuming all plan on being starters at their next stop, that’s 45-50 lineups.

The Southeastern Conference, which you’d think is a destination spot, has five of its teams’ starting quarterbacks from this season now in the portal and looking elsewhere.

And just wait until the bowl games are over. Those who aren’t opting out may just be auditioning.

Some are comparing it to NFL free agency.

Which is hogwash.

It’s not free agency. It’s full-contact musical chairs.

The NFL at least has to operate under legal contracts.

The college game has nothing more to react to than the whims of 18-21-year-olds (sometimes 25-30-year-olds since nobody ever seems to run out of eligibility anymore).

They don’t even have to deal with a buy-out like those greedy coaches moving upward and onward.

It’s a whole new world.

We don’t know where it’s headed, but it’s uncharted territory.

We just know that Nick Saban and Alabama will deal with it better than anybody else.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at