National Signing Day is coming, and it always comes with some wacky stories

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The wackiest “holiday” of the year is only a week away. National Signing Day, 2016 edition takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 3. NSD is the day that high school athletes finally get to put pen to paper and make their college decisions official. They get to sign away the next three to five years when they put their signature on a national letter of intent (players don’t actually have to sign a letter of intent, but they all do).

NSD is a big day mostly for high football players as they get to make things official. ESPN will carry live announcements with some of the top prospects as they wait for NSD to announce their college choice. This is where in years past it has gotten wacky. A player committing to Georgia pulled out a puppy to announce his college decision. A player choosing Stanford whipped-out a tree to show the world his college choice (he also threw on some geek glasses for an added touch). A future Florida player chose to announce by showing off a baby gator-which turned out to be a dwarf caiman.

Some players have family members show off a T-shirt with their future school’s logo on it. The most popular way by far is the annual hat dance. Recruits put a hat for each of their top schools on a table and put on the one for the school they choose. It is all in good fun, and as recruiting becomes an increasingly bigger business, recruits look for a bigger and better ways to announce.

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The fun (read: wackiness) isn’t only constrained to NSD or the players, either. Coaches have been going to greater lengths each year to convince players to attended their schools. The craziest stories seem to center around one man—Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, he of the infamous khaki pants.

The past few weeks have been filled with crazy and sometimes creepy Harbaugh recruiting stories. There is the story of the tree he climbed to receive a wayward football. There is the player that took Harbaugh to class (the teacher said Coach even participated). Then the cherry on top is the recruit he had a sleepover with.

Yup, you read that right. Now to tell the full story. Harbaugh had a previous relationship with the family as he coached Connor Murphy’s (the recruit) brother at Stanford (Trent Murphy now plays for Washington in the NFL). Nick Saban even got in on the antics to a lesser degree as he got caught “dabbin”.

NSD and the players that pick your school can make or break a program with championship hopes. Saban and Urban Meyer are the two best recruiters among head coaches, but Harbaugh and his antics are building a great class in Ann Arbor. Will only a week to go until NSD it will be interesting to see which coaches can close strong and what it will take. I also know I will be watching to see how and where the top players commit.

About Brandon O'Connor


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