National Signing Day

Today was the day that many high school football commits with dreams of playing at a big college & then the NFL look forward to – National Signing Day. 

National Signing Day has become an all-day TV event that is covered by ESPN (particularly ESPNU), with players announcing on live TV where they will play in the fall. Many times the players can graduate early from high school, get enrolled in classes immediately on campus & will have the opportunity to get on the field, know their teammates & prepare for spring practice, summer training & finally, the fall football season. 

Now, I won’t go through the whole breakdown of how the whole thing goes & who went where. You get the idea – Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan State, Florida State, USC, Oregon, LSU, Texas, Georgia, Clemson & Texas A&M all had great recruiting classes, everyone else has no chance in hell of winning a national championship. 

With that said, a lot of people feel that ESPN exploits the players by allowing them to have the stage for an entire 10-hour day, high school games during the season & coverage during the offseason with the various scouting services. 

But I say coverage is a good thing, its all about how the athlete handles it. The NCAA & the NFL wants to temper how much athletes are able to show off their style & personality and believe that some style always hurts the team, when more times than not, it enhances the team, gives the team or school some confidence & allows for the player to actually be able to market him or herself outside of the playing field. 

National Signing Day is a day of celebration for student-athletes. Its the opportunity for the kids to actually make an informed decision that will affect the rest of their lives. There are times when the parents are upset about the situation they will get themselves into, but at some point, responsibility has to come into play, and the National Signing Day is the first main step of showing that the students are able to be marketable down the line to companies that may be interested in their endorsements that they prove that they own based on their play. 

Does this give the athlete a chance to act like a complete idiot? No it doesn’t. There has to be respect from the student to the school that he chooses or didn’t choose, as well as the sport as a whole. But, we all know that athletics isn’t all about just playing a sport & going to school, excelling in classes. Athletes with personality & style draw ratings. If Johnny Manziel wasn’t at Texas A&M, the Aggies wouldn’t have been as interesting over the last two years. 

Not only did Manziel have an engaging personality with a bit of a wild streak, but he was able to back it up on the field, which has most likely helped him to get endorsements once he is drafted into the NFL

National Signing Day allows the world to get introduced somewhat to the future of college football and get to know the kids a bit. The people who are all about the idea of not showing off the kids because it takes away the attention of the school & team should ask themselves a question – does the school always show loyalty to the player? Does the coach show loyalty to the player when they leave before their contract is up. 

Let the kids be who they are. They get one shot at this. Let it mean something. 


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