Waiting for signatures

Today is national signing day for college football, when the best high school football players from coast to coast sign letters of intent to continue their careers at the next level.

For the schools in the power conferences, signing day is a huge deal. The booster clubs for most schools hold signing parties, where hundreds of football crazed men–and some football crazed ladies–get together, drink lots of scotch and wine, eat mini cocktail wieners and finger sandwiches, and watch a fax machine or a computer screen for each letter of intent to come in.

LSU has been holding a huge signing day party every year since 1996, the second year of Gerry DiNardo’s tenure. The tradition is for the coach to speak at the gathering in the evening, usually between 5 and 6 p.m. DiNardo did it, Nick Saban did it, and Les Miles does it. At least at LSU, the coach will address the media before going to the party.

I remember one year I had to hold the telephone up to a speaker in LSU’s radio studio so Saban’s comments could be broadcast on Jimmy Ott’s radio show.

I don’t follow recruiting that much. It is such a crapshoot. Nobody knows what will become of a young man in four or five years. Will he continue to develop physically? Will he mature emotionally? Will he be able to handle the class load of college, even if he isn’t taking the class load of electrical engineering or English literature majors?

There is just too much pressure on these kids. They are KIDS. Let them have fun. Even though college football is hard work, it should still have fun. Putting these kids under the microscope is too much too soon.

I have not heard much about national signing day in Kansas. Kansas State always recruits junior college kids, and they can sign any time, and Kansas is so far buried that few people care. There’s a lot more hoopla concerning the K-State-KU basketball game in Lawrence tonight. The good news is eastern Kansas got no snow, so nobody from Manhattan should have trouble getting to Lawrence.

All I know is the next college football season will kick off in September. That’s when I’ll be worried about it. Recruiting is something to watch on ESPN, but don’t ask me to spend inordinate hours on these websites memorizing 40-yard dash times and ratings. Not worth it.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on February 3, 2016, in College Football and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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