Yesterday was National Signing Day for colleges who offer scholarships to talented high school football players. This is the day that schools seek to best one another in landing the talent that they hope will give them the chance to win at the major college level.
The anticipation builds and the rankings are mere projections for the fans and the faithful. Who knows whether or not an eighteen year old kid will turn into a great college player over the next four or five years?
Yesterday was also very cold and dark in Chicago. In fact, we have had eleven minutes of sunlight since the end of last month. On top of that we have had more snow days than we’ve had in twenty-five years. I grow very weary of the winter. I hit the wall this week. My next goal is to survive and then see baseball in the sunshine.
So what has all of this to do with National Signing Day? For me the only sunlight of the day was how well my Alabama Crimson Tide did in signing players for the future. This is one of the areas where Nick Saban shines. National Signing Day was perhaps Saban’s greatest achievement in 13 months on the job at Alabama.
The Tide landed the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to four major recruiting services, edging past Notre Dame. The class has 32 signees, including two who enrolled at Alabama last month.
The biggest name in that class is receiver Julio Jones of Foley—rated the nation’s top receiver and fourth-best player overall by Rivals.com. Jones announced his decision Wednesday at a news conference from Foley High School. His critics think Nick Saban is a mean and driven man
who cannot relate to kids and their parents. Tell that to the students he recruits to Alabama and most who have played for him at the college level. They may think he is tough but they respect him and one reason he succeeds is that his players help him recruit the next players.
So yesterday was a happy day in Tuscaloosa as Bama landed, perhaps, the best recruiting class in the nation.
Even ESPN, who does not like Saban or the Tide, said Miami, Clemson and Alabama were the biggest winners yesterday. Time will tell but it is a good start on the future prospects for Alabama football. It was the only sunshine I had all day. Maybe if you lived here you would understand too.