Prep Rally | National Signing Day offers one day of clarity in recruiting

February 7, 2014 

Why can't every day be National Signing Day?

I'm sure that would ravage the stomach linings of coaches and recruiting coordinators and athletic directors and parents and media folks.

And the players, too.

But the best part of National Signing Day is we know. No more speculation. No more wavering or waffling. No more newly hired coaches calling a committed recruit to tell him, "Sorry, but we just don't have a scholarship for you. Best of luck in your future."

It may be a busy whirlwind that supplies a surprise or two, but National Signing Day is at least the end of the guessing. We know where these kids are going.

(Well, sort of. According to numerous reports online reports, D.J. Law, a running back out of Haines City, sent signed letters of intent to Ole Miss and Utah, as well as a community college in Mississippi.)

But for the most part, we come out of National Signing Day with no more doubt or question marks, the unofficial mascots of the recruiting season.

We have verbal commitments, of course, but they don't make much sense. They bind student-

athletes to nothing. Some high school coaches differ on this, telling their players reputations hangs on their word and to wait to tell a college they're coming until they know they're coming.

There's plenty of merit to that. But the truth of the matter is verbally committing really doesn't settle anything. Coaches keep calling. Reporters keep pestering. Alumni are still clamoring for a player to wear the alma mater's colors.

And minds can be changed. National Signing Day, thankfully, puts an end to all that -- until, of course, the next cycle begins.

Nothing is set in stone: Players can transfer, especially if a position coach or head coach decides to take his game elsewhere.

But Wednesday morning, dozens of athletes locally and thousands around the country put pen to paper, signed their names and for even just a little while, alleviated all the doubt and gossip and chatter.

It was a day of absolute resolutions, and one we regrettably won't see again until next February.

John Lembo, prep sports writer, can be reached at 745-7057. Follow him on Twitter @JohnLembo1878.

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