Signing day does not live up to hype

“For many college football fans, Signing Day is a national holiday. Last Wednesday, high school seniors from around the country gave their top choices a binding commitment that they will play football for them in the fall. Many of them gave verbal commitments to schools months ago, with some of the nation’s top talent declaring their decision in dramatic fashion on national television.”

For many college football fans, Signing Day is a national holiday. Last Wednesday, high school seniors from around the country gave their top choices a binding commitment that they will play football for them in the fall.

Many of them gave verbal commitments to schools months ago, with some of the nation’s top talent declaring their decision in dramatic fashion on national television.

But with Wednesday being the first day student-athletes in the 2009 class could officially commit to the schools of their choice by signing national letter of intent, its arrival sparked excitement and a spirit of optimism across the college football landscape.

I, however, did not join in the reveling. Despite being an ardent college football fan, I’ve never followed recruiting much. I’m excited whenever the Zips land a so-called blue-chip prospect, but don’t get too fired up when they sign their name on a piece of paper.

Only the athletic success they experience after completing the paperwork gets me excited.

University of Akron head football coach J.D. Brookhart announced that 24 student-athletes had singed letters of intent to join the UA football program at a 3 p.m. news conference on the highly anticipated day.

While I was unable to make the gathering due to class, careful review of a transcript of the event confirmed the gut feeling I had upon learning of the scheduling conflict – I didn’t miss much.

I’ve heard about players with big-time talent with high character that come from great families at every signing day news conference I’ve ever attended.

That’s not a knock on Brookhart, whose 2009 recruiting class is ranked second in the Mid-American Conference by Rivals.com. Every coach in America uses similar buzz words to describe the newest members of their programs.

They have to resort to such vague praise because, despite the hours of film they’ve seen of the signee or the number of times they’ve talked to his former coach and other acquaintances, they don’t truly know the player. They know he has athletic skills and has the potential to be a good fit on-and-off the field at their school, but whether that potential is realized won’t likely be known for a long time.

That’s why Signing Day and its accompanying rankings don’t excite me. That, and because if Rival.com’s ranking of the team’s signing classes matches the final conference standings, the Wagon Wheel might be in jeopardy: Kent State’s class was ranked No. 1.

Call senior sports writer Vincent Dorsey:

330-972-7395.

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