Every year, on the first Wednesday of the romantic month of February, die-hard college football fans
stalk follow their team faithfully to see which strapping young man they have recruited in their ranks. This day is lovingly referred to as National Signing Day.
However, what is so important about this glamorous day?
National Signing Day is the first day that a young adolescent graduating high school can sign a National Letter of Intent (or LOI for Letter of Intent, as some refer to it). The LOI is completely voluntary by the school and by the student athlete; yet because of the commitment level that it takes to join athletic programs at the collegiate level, many students sign the document, confirming their loyalty. The LOI is a binding contract, those who have signed it must attend the school they signed for in order to receive financial aid for that sport. That contract can be revised later through transfer requests, but that's a different story for another time.
After the signatures have been placed on the document, the letter is sent in, typically via fax machine. Why use the fax machine when email is perfectly fine according to the NCAA rules? While some argue that transmitting a fax is easier and the signatures come out clearly, the real answer in the modern day is "tradition."
The biggest and best schools fight for the top recruits, so why should mid-majors care about National Signing Day?
As you might have already suspected, National Signing Day is important for mid-majors because it signifies new generations of players and it might give a hint to new playing styles for a team.
Colin Kaepernick, for example, was "only" rated three stars out of a tiny high school in Northern California. A scrambling-style quarterback, coach Chris Ault was able to utilize him as a dangerous weapon in the new system he developed called the "Pistol" offense.
Tulane was abysmal team in the mid-2000's, yet they picked up a two-star fullback named Matt Forte and converted him into a running back. He was the lone-bright spot for the Green Wave and as a result, was picked up by the Chicago Bears, where he's made a huge impact.
So who will your team pick up for National Signing Day? Who will be that golden star to lead your team to victory? Today, we will find out.