National Signing Day is tomorrow.
That’s right. On Wednesday, it will be the one day in the offseason to which fans and coaches look forward. All the drama with college visits, athletes flipping schools and some scandalous controversy among commits will be put to rest as the college football equivalent of a draft edges closer.
Fans will get a better idea of the players representing their teams come August, and current players will get to know their new teammates.
But with all the excitement, there are a few things we need to remember going into National Signing Day:
1. Committed recruits aren’t actually committed before signing day.
That’s right, you heard me. Everything before Wednesday is not set in stone, and that usually provides one or two good shake-ups on National Signing Day. These "verbal commitments" aren’t contracts, which makes it easier to flip decisions and commit to another school. Up to the very last minute, an athlete can change his mind and return to his original choice--or make a new one altogether.
2. National Signing Day doesn’t give a crystal clear cut on the roster.
No matter what commitments are made on National Signing Day, the college football season’s Opening Day is still eight months away. Until then, each high school athlete needs to graduate, maintain his grades and his reputation, and ultimately stay out of trouble. These are young high school kids who are about to embark as future stars of their new colleges. It happens every year, and it’s very easy for a teenager in this position to make some mistakes that can have a cost.
3. The rankings of a school’s recruiting class may not have an immediate impact on the upcoming season.
Wait, what? Then what’s the point of National Signing Day? Remember that these athletes will be incoming freshman, and most freshman don’t play immediately. The recruiting rankings each school will receive post-Signing Day may not represent the team’s abilities for another year.
Still, National Signing Day is an important, dramatic spectacle of the college football program. It gives you an idea of what your team will look like in the future. It gives you a base to build around during practices, and the next important day will be the Spring game, when you can watch these college stars in action for the first time.
Until then, let’s not forget about our 2014 College World Series Champions, as the 2014 College World Series Champion Vanderbilt baseball team takes the field next Friday, February 13, when they welcome Santa Clara to Nashville.