Breaking news: Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson, Ga., scratched his nose on Tuesday evening, a sure sign he might commit to Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, Ferris State or Cal Tech.

Yes, I’m kidding, but only sort of.

Today is a holiday of sorts for the college football enthusiasts who put the “fan” in fanatic. It’s National Signing Day, an all-capital letter affair which mostly involves 17- and 18-year-old high-school students getting to hold nationally televised assemblies, during which they put a hat on their head and make the fan base at one school go indiscriminantly nuts with joy and send the fan bases at their rivals into tears of sadness.

I guess I have a problem with teenage boys being put under a national microscope.

Consider the public flogging that Reuben Foster has been taking. Foster is a top-ranked linebacker from Auburn, Ala., who initially committed to Alabama, then changed his mind and said he was going to Auburn.

He marked that switch by having the school’s logo tattooed to his arm.

Then coach Gene Chizik got fired, along with his top recruiter, so Foster reopened his recruiting. Foster then announced Monday night he was going to go to Alabama.

OK, so the tattoo was a bad idea, but enough with the jokes. Here’s a news flash: Kids do dumb things sometimes.

Unfortunately for Foster, he’s also a good football player, so his dumb thing has become a national punch line.

I feel much the same way about National Signing Day as I do about the Little League World Series. I find them to be fantastic events that really should have been left alone.

I don’t want to see 12-year-old kids cry when they lose a game, at least not on national television; much the same way I don’t want to see teenagers directed into a “which hat is he going to choose” drama because it makes for better ratings and better TV.

Every time I hear someone at the NCAA use the trite “student-athlete” description, my stomach churns a little bit.

If it was all about the old college try and getting an education, why all the pageantry about where these kids decide to go to school?

When was the last time a mathematics genius held a nationally televised press conference to announce he was going to MIT?

I’m not saying this stuff should be ignored; far from it. But the hype and coverage that surrounds college football recruiting has gone so far beyond out of control that it would have to ramp itself back about eight levels just to get back to your plain-old, garden-variety out of control.

A kid from Houston, Miss., had to take his campus visits to Ole Miss in secret because he reportedly received death threats from fans at Mississippi State, where he had previously committed.

Seriously? Death threats? I realize they take their college football way too seriously down South, but that’s insane.

Let the kids be kids. They’ll be under the glare of the spotlight soon enough, like during their freshman year when they’re actually on the field.