For every college football junkie, player, and coach, the beginning of February will forever be synonymous with the pandemonium that is national signing day. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the college recruitment process, national signing day is best described as an extravagant circus of controlled chaos in which high school football recruits across the nation determine the future of their athletic and academic careers. National signing day takes on different forms of life for the likes of players and coaches alike as it marks the end of a grueling recruitment process that could potentially make or break a football program.
For the nation’s top recruits, national signing days serves as a momentous and joyous occasion as they begin to enter the gleaming national spotlight for the first time in their young lives. A lifelong football career built upon dedication, skill, talent and success on the field has in turn rewarded these kids with the opportunity to attend any university of their choice on a fully paid athletic scholarship. High schools across the nation proudly display their athletes in ceremonious fashion allowing the player to take center stage as he makes decision. With the simple signature of a letter of intent, a 17-18 year old kid takes his first steps towards adulthood, instilled with the eagerness and ambition to make themselves, their community, and their families proud of their decision.
As a college football coach, national signing day is a day long battle of extreme anticipation as the decision of a teenager holds the future of his program in the balance. For the most part, a recruit’s decision has been made up long before national signing day having already committed their allegiance towards a specific university making national signing day a formality to make it official. There is however the ever looming possibility of every coach’s nightmare in which a recruit backs out of his original commitment and signs with a different school. A players flip flop on his commitment would come at great expense of the coach staffing as they watch months sometimes years, of valuable time spent recruiting this player amount to nothing. It’s almost inconceivable to think of, but the decision of a teenager weighs so mightily upon the future landscape of college football that every signed letter of intent is directly correlated to the success and job of every coach in the nation.