The day has come folks and the letters are already being faxed into schools as kids finally decide where they're going to spend the next few seasons of their life. As we wrote earlier this month this is a great day that should be approached with your "adulthood" in mind because while the future of your school is being shaped the future of these kids is what today is all about.
Fax machines are rolling folks have got their tickers going for the day to show you who signed where, what class is making a strong push, which school is starting to fall as kids decommit and what recruits are still left out there making their biggest life decision to date. Fans are already excited, I was up until one last night/this morning and saw folks wishing one another "Happy Signing Day" and this morning at seven I was seeing the first signs of kids getting their letters of intent in to their respective universities.
Early on it looks like Florida State, Alabama, Texas among others are poised to have special days on the recruiting trail. Other schools also appear to be closing on an above average performance. On the flipside of that schools like Miami and Michigan are looking at classes that are somewhat below what their fans have grown accustomed to in recent years.
Take your class in stride folks.
Understand folks, there are generally three reactions and they are all justified; Elation, Meh and Panic.
Elation comes thanks to a couple different things. Obviously winning "The Recruiting National Championship" is cause for folks to go HAM on the celebrating. In recent years Alabama, Florida, Texas and USC have won the belt and celebrated accordingly. However, winning "The Recruiting National Title" isn't the only reason for folks to feel elated today. Finishing atop your respective conference or dominating your state are also cause for celebration from most schools.
Landing recruiting coups or unexpected recruits is plenty of cause for happiness at most schools.
So when your school finishes higher than expected OR better than average on the day go ahead and get happy.
Meh isn't necessarily a bad thing folks, just means there isn't so much to get high or low about regarding your class. Your coach will be excited and praise your new signees, and rightfully so, but none of the kids have shown enough to truly warrant increased expectations on the field.
As for those of you who Panic as the day comes to a close, I definitely understand. When your class is hemorrhaging kids, you have major cogs of the class flip and your seeing expected signees go elsewhere there's a legitimate cause for concern. You're rightfully worried when your coach is signing below the 25 mark and when your class finishes out of your normal range. For elite schools like Bama or Texas that might mean being out of the Top 10, while for other schools it means going from middle of the pack in their league to the bottom third.
Keep It In Perspective Folks
Remember, for those of you who are absolutely thrilled, take it all in and enjoy the moment. It is great for coaches to amass stellar classes and to think about the potential awesome that might transpire in the years to come. But remember, these kids still have to get to school, that means clearinghouse and graduation without any trouble going forward. The guys have got to stay healthy, learn the playbook, stay eligible in school and out of trouble to have an impact.
That doesn't even factor in the physical, social and emotional transition that kids must make to the college game. 5 star or 1 star, the fact is folks those transitions will impact every kid to various degrees. There are 2 stars who take to the college lifestyle, independence and school better than the 4 star who is better prepared physically but struggles to adjust to life away from home.
Coaches still have to coach the kids up; put them in the right position and in the right system. They have to teach technique and erase bad high school habits.
On the flipside if you're meh or worried regarding your class don't give up hope because for most kids it is a process. That means redshirting, limited action early (special teams/blow outs) as they adjust to physical, social and emotional rigors of the college lifestyle and their roles on the team. Remember that teams who allow their recruits to mature and develop has beaten many a young AND/OR poorly coached squad.
Not a standard occurence but it happens.
Relax, put it in perspective and remember this is a starting line folks, not a finish line.
I've fielded some questions online about "late bloomers" so I figured I'd slide this in here. I thin there are two types of late bloomers. ids who don't truly emerge until their senior year in high school and for that reason they miss out on the camp hype, the summer publicity parade and coaches are a bit skeptical of them with a small body of work. These guys often don't field as many offers and end up being a little bit snubbed by services and colleges because most schools already have their gameplan dialed in as players play out their senior seasons.
The second type of late bloomers are the guys who grow in college. Most of these guys tend to be very good high school players, guys that have a nose for the ball and a feel for the game but lack the size and/or speed to warrant a major offer from a school OR an offer from a major school. These guys develop in college, they go from the small walk-on who was a problem on scout team to the starter in year two or three that contributes and plays with some serious fire.