Ja’Marr Chase will announce his college commitment later this week or early next week after his announcement was pushed off its planned slot Monday on the NFL Network at The Opening.
Chase, a four-star wide receiver from Archbishop Rummel in Louisiana, was scheduled to announce during NFL Network’s coverage of the title game but he got bumped by the surprise announcement of Greg Emerson, a defensive lineman who selected Tennessee and had suffered a broken leg a day earlier.
Emerson was the highest-ranked recruit to commit and so he got the available TV time during halftime of the championship game. Essentially, it seems Chase was bumped for a bigger name, although the NFL Network disputes that interpretation.
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(Jordyn Adams, a four-star receiver, also was scheduled to commit and announced for North Carolina before Emerson made his way to the set.)
Making matters worse is that Chase had planned a July 2 announcement in order to honor his grandmother on her birthday. When he arrived in Oregon, he agreed to move to July 3 in order for the announcement to air on television.
After receiving support on social media, Chase said he’ll find a time to make the announcement with his family and friends in Louisiana.
The move not to air Chase’s commitment angered NOLA.com football writer James Smith, who wrote that the NFL Network owed Chase and his family an apology.
This is something the NFL Network will never admit to, and the spin artist are already at work trying to cover their tracks, but what happened is blatantly obvious for all to see. As a journalist, I am appalled. As an advocate for children, I am furious.
At no point during my career have I valued a story more than a kid. At no point in this industry should that type of behavior be acceptable by anyone covering teenagers for a living–even the mighty NFL Network. Now Chase will likely just shrug it off, as he should, because their blunder doesn’t define him, but he should be protected and not used as a prop by us–the adults–the media. Has recruiting got to the point where we all forget that these are kids?
On the field, Chase had among the best highlights from Monday’s final day: