Given all the publicity about increased risks of concussions and head trauma, one might think that high school football players would be particularly cognizant of their safety and take particular caution to avoid significant risks.
That’s just not the case for modern football recruits, at least according to interviews with a large cross section nation’s top prospects taken by SB Nation.
Here’s are just a couple among a number of relatively troubling responses from Class of 2018 recruits:
I don’t really keep up with the helmets and the gear and whatnot. But everyone’s like, ‘Ah, you know, we got the [top brand helmet], so we’re good.’ But a lot of the guys in our locker room, they’ll just say, ‘Oh, I don’t do the keep-the-head-up thing when I tackle. I wanna put his head in the chest,’ and those are what farm boys from Kentucky do anyway.
If I have a serious concussion, and I know my team needs me that day, I know I’m going to take limited snaps to the head, but I’m going to play.
One of those quotes was provided by a quarterback, and the other by an defensive lineman. They’re almost equally abhorrent and opposed to the necessary steps to avoid major concussive head trauma.
More troubling is just how common these sentiments seemed to be among truly top players. As you can read in full right here, SB Nation spoke to quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, linemen on both sides of the ball. Nearly all expressed a general disregard for the threat that football made to their overall health.
With top teen athletes looking the other way rather than take increasing available and pervasive medical advice, what can be done to force their hand into safer competition?
It’s a valid question that may be much more pressing than anyone even recognized.