ARTICLE OF THE DAY

Signing Day Frenzy
by Brian North
2/6/07

National Signing Day for high school football players is Wednesday February 7th. That is the day prospective collegiate players sign national letters of intent that will bind them to their future university in exchange for a college scholarship.

Signing Day has taken on a life of its own. I remember when it used to be the day you found out where kids were going to school. But ever since Al Gore invented the internet, those days are long gone. Now National Signing Day is when college coaches find out which recruits were telling the truth, and which ones were wooed by another school and fell hook, line, and sinker.

It's become a holiday for college football junkies who try and monitor every signing, then await to hear the coaches' evaluation of those prospects. East Carolina started having a fan fest a few years ago to celebrate the day. And Pirate fans have taken it even further; a group headed up by well known ECU backer Pirate Al will be tailgating in the Dowdy-Ficklen parking lot all afternoon. If you have purple and gold running through your veins (and some warm clothes), you will be more than welcomed into the festivities which start at noon.

And there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Skip Holtz and his staff have 25 commitments (the most allowed in one year by the NCAA), 19 of which are from the state of North Carolina. Several national publications have ECU's recruiting class ranked in the top 40 in the nation, the highest such rating in school history. Holtz and his staff took advantage of turmoil in the triangle and beat out UNC and NC State for several high profile kids.

My biggest problem with National Signing Day is that all the excitement generated goes to waste. Most of the kids who sign the LOI's won't see the field for a couple of years. That is not a bad thing. Many student-athletes need the time to adjust to school and get bigger and stronger, which would be the ideal situation for any school. Ask any coach and he will tell you he would love to redshirt every recruit he signs.

But Signing Day is a day to dream. To think about how every recruit will be an All-American, how they will lead their school to the national championship, how football season is one day closer.

So enjoy National Signing Day, because spring football is just around the corner.
 
Brian North
bnorth@wcti12.com