Signing day: Part celebration, part circus
Posted February 1
Updated February 2
Because of early enrollees and social media, some of the steam and drama has been taken out of college football signing day. But you still see sun up to sun down TV and internet coverage of the February 1st event that has been nicknamed, the hat dance. Players who make their announcements will line the table with hats of the final schools to make the cut. I’ve seen some fake like they are going to choose one hat then grab another and put it on to punctuate their selection.
Levi Jones may have had one of this year’s most creative acts.
First a little background on Jones. He’s the brother of ECU receiver Zay Jones and their dad is former Pirate linebacker Robert Jones. Levi is a linebacker as well who carries a top 80 overall, national ranking.
So back to his college choice.
He unzips a dark hoodie to reveal a Florida Gators t-shirt. But that’s not his choice. He then removes the Gator shirt to expose a garnet Florida State shirt. But that’s not his choice. Jones then strips off the Seminole shirt to showcase a maroon shirt with the letters SC on it. “Fight on,” he says. Levi Jones will play at Southern Cal.
Some will approve of the creativity. Some will say he trolled Florida and Florida State. Take your pick.
Times could be a changing in the world of signing day. There is a proposal to have a December signing day as well as the usual date in February. All it will take is approval in April by the NCAA’s Division I council. Oh wait, then we would have TWO days of hat dances and stripping down to your college choice.
Recruiting is the life line of college sports. I get that. But I am always amazed at how crazy grown folks can get over recruiting and recruiting rankings. How many 5-stars did you get? Where do you rank in conference and national recruiting?
It’s all an inexact science based on potential. Sure, there are some high school football players Grandma can look at and say, “That’s going to be a good college football player.” But other players take time to marinate and mature making the transition from high school to college football.
So the next time you hear someone go bonkers over a recruit's ranking remember this.
In 2007, the second overall rated recruit in the entire United States was a quarterback from Thousand Oaks, California. His name is Jimmy Clausen and he had a good career at Notre Dame. The 62nd ranked high school player in 2007 was a quarterback from Atlanta, Georgia. His name is Cam Newton. He won the Heisman and national championship at Auburn and has earned MVP honors in the NFL.
Let me know who the five-star players are while they are playing in college. Some have ground to make up to get there.
What I enjoy most about Signing Day are all the smiles we see from the high school athletes and their family. It's a great accomplishment to get to that point but time to hit the reset button and start all over.
It's time to prove you are good enough to be a college athlete.