National Signing Day creates viral moments

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Photo used with permission from Google Commons

2010 high school football recruits Jared Barnett, Chris Young, Cqulin Hubert and Duran Hollison a trip to Iowa State.

In 1981, the College Football Association created National Signing Day for the best high school recruits across the country to sign with a university. They did this to prevent every conference from having their own signing days. Since then, there have been infamous moments including unique props and last second school switches.

In 2018, top wide receiver Jacob Copeland had narrowed his commitment down to Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, and on National Signing Day he decided to announce the decision on live television. His whole family around him was wearing either Alabama or Texas gear and no Florida clothing to be seen. Copeland chose the University of Florida and his mom who was wearing an Alabama sweater and a Tennessee hat walked out of the gymnasium in visible disbelief of her son’s decisions.

In 2016, four star safety Deontay Anderson announced his commitment by jumping out of a plane. As he jumps out of the plane virtual hoops start to appear with different universities like Auburn, Texas A & M and Alabama but the only hoops he goes through are Ole Miss, Texas and LSU, which are his final three. When he landed on the ground he revealed his Ole Miss shirt, which was under his jacket.

The Alabama Crimson Tide is a recruiting powerhouse in college football under Nick Saban. Since 2012, Alabama has had the best recruiting class 80% of the time with normally five to 10 players in the Rivals top 100 players committing. In 2021, 17 in 100 or almost 20% of all top 100 football players committed to Alabama making the 2021 class the best recruiting class ever for Alabama.

Multiple players signed dual sport commitments where players commit to play more than one sport. Four star football safety Terrion Arnold committed to Alabama as a walk on point guard on the basketball team as well. Four star 300 pound offensive lineman Tywone Malone committed to Ole Miss for baseball as first baseman too.

National Signing Day caused drama with in-state rivalries like Michigan-Michigan State and Tennessee-Memphis. Rayshaun Benny is a four-star recruit who verbally committed to Michigan State in November and didn’t sign because Michigan was still pursuing him and eventually stole him from Michigan State. Four-star tight end Roc Taylor verbally committed to the University of Tennessee and was adamant about going there, unlike Benny who was still weighing his options. The day before National Signing Day Tennessee revoked Taylor’s scholarship, which made Taylor decide to commit to the Volunteer’s in-state rival, Memphis.

I was watching Maryland’s signing day and I’m very optimistic about our future.”

— Spencer Becker

Sophomore Spencer Becker said, “I was watching Maryland’s signing day and I’m very optimistic about our future. We ranked in the top 20 this year and we signed the best linebacker in the country [Terrence Lewis] as well as just rounding out our defense with other four and five star defenders.”

The top five best recruiting classes in 2021 were Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU and Clemson.