It's OK to have those dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl; the BCS title game or even winning a Heisman Trophy.
Hey, go for it.
Maybe it won't go exactly as they planned. I know it didn't for me. By the end of my freshman season, Iowa secondary coach Chuck Long asked me if I wanted to play on Sundays.
Of course I did. And to that he replied: "Well, it probably won't happen at quarterback."
I never threw a pass in a Big Ten game. Oh well, playing safety for the Hawkeyes and eventually in the NFL fit just fine.
As for Barnett, he was right. Northwestern won the Big Ten championship my freshman season and played USC in the Rose Bowl.
Do I regret the decision I made to pass on an opportunity to sign with Northwestern and play in Pasadena?
How could I when I still get the feeling of coming home once I cross the Mississippi River on I-80 and head west to Iowa City?
These young men will go through ups and downs the next four years, but they always will remember the day they signed those papers. And I hope they can fall in love with their schools like I did.
Special contributor Matt Bowen, who played at Glenbard West and Iowa, spent seven seasons in the NFL as a strong safety.