Nat’l Signing Day a walk to remember
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 00:02
I am an ACC apologist stuck in an SEC fan’s body, and, yes, it is as bad as it sounds.
I grew up an ACC fan before attending Alabama for my undergraduate studies. (I’m currently here as a graduate student). I’m not one of those guys who couldn’t get into LSU but still wear an LSU hoodie on campus when it gets cold, and, yes, guy in the LSU hoodie, your actions are frowned upon.
Before my freshman year of college, National Signing Day did not mean anything to me. I did not care what recruits did until they were sleepwalking through an upset loss on the road at NC State. And, yes, that’s also as bad as it sounds.
For some insight into the average Saturday for an ACC fan, I was actually encouraged when Florida State beat Wake Forrest 52-0 this year. Why? Because that meant they showed up on the road and beat a lesser team like they were supposed to. That is ACC football. Those are our trap games.
Enough of an apology. Now back to the league the wins National Signing Day: the SEC, the league where your trap game is coming home to Texas A&M after battling LSU in Death Valley, the league that has won the last seven national championships and the league that, based on this year’s recruiting, is nowhere near ending that streak.
This year, no matter what site you look at, the SEC has placed six recruiting classes in the top ten nationally. Kentucky, the second worst class in the SEC, would place fourth in the Big 10. What is happening in this conference is unheard of. This year’s recruits were in fifth grade the last time an SEC team did not win a national title.
My time at Alabama changed my view of National Signing Day. I now see it as a fun day of bragging that gives college football fans an excuse to delve back into the sport during the off season, much like draft day for the NFL. I’m not one of these crazed fans who live and die by the decisions of high school seniors. I still wait for them to strap on the pads before I get too crazy. This year, I followed NSD all day long for you, the reader. And now, our walk to remember....
Monday, February 4, 2013, around 9:50 p.m.
A tired me, who has to be at work at 8 a.m. the next morning, is not trying to fall asleep for the night. I’m watching “The New College Football Show” on Fox Sports South waiting to hear where the best middle linebacker in the country, Rueben Foster, will be playing football next season.
A kid who has already decommitted from Alabama and Auburn, only to keep both schools in his top three choices. A kid who, before decommitting from Auburn, got a tattoo of the Auburn logo that takes up his entire left forearm. A kid who will probably fail freshman year English yet still make more money than me in my lifetime.
Foster ultimately chose to recommit to Alabama, but the smart fans (which I know are few and far between) will not feel comfortable with his commitment until the fax machine girl in the houndstooth skirt receives his letter of intent on Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 6, 2012, around 8 a.m.
I woke up, checked the photo I was tagged in on Facebook, and logged onto Twitter, where I spent the rest of my day.
Robert Nkemdiche, the consensus number one player in the country, had already announced his decision to play at Ole Miss next year. It was a huge get by the Rebels and smart of him to announce early. Now, recruits who were on the fence about where to announce have a bearing on where the number one guy will end up and could base their decisions on that. Dominoes could fall quickly and early.
Fax machines around the country had already started blowing up by the time I woke up. Southern Miss received its first letter at 7:18 a.m. and put a solid class together. As of 8:20 a.m., the Golden Eagles filled needs on the defensive side including five defensive backs, three defensive linemen, and a linebacker.
Wednesday, a little after noon
While I was eating lunch, today’s crazy story surfaced. There’s always one. Alex Collins, a four-star running back from Plantation, Fla., committed to Arkansas over Wisconsin and Miami on Monday on the same show Foster did, ironically. Apparently his mother wasn’t happy about it.
It came out that Arkansas had yet to receive his letter because his mom had stolen his letter. As of noon, she’s not happy with his choice to go so far from home and he can’t find her. This is ridiculous to me, and I feel sorry for this young man.
The Eagles currently have the fourth best class in C-USA, according to Rivals.com. Southern Miss had 22 recruits signed today, with another two who enrolled early in January. Two quarterbacks have their names on this year’s list: Nick Mullens of Hoover, Ala. and Parker Adamson of Oxford, and both will mostly likely get a shot to help stop the revolving door the Eagles had at that position last season.
Southern Miss best ranked recruits will all fill areas of need. The Eagles boast seven three star recruits at the moment with another one committed. Three of those play on the defensive line, one is a tight end, two are wide receivers and an offensive lineman signed with another defensive lineman committed.
Wednesday, slightly before 6:00 p.m.