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The 10 Rules of National Signing Day

Source Photo: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE / HT: The Buckeye Battle Cry

What you need to know

Marcus Lattimore signing with South Carolina in 2010.

National Signing Day is tomorrow, so for those who are sort of new to how this whole thing works I figured I’d lay out the ground rules for the most significant recruiting day of the year.

1. When fans of your rival ridicule your prospects they are really masking their jealousy for your incoming class.

Recruiting can bring out some tense emotions in college football fandom, depending on how closely you monitor the game. But there is an underlying message being sent by fans who mock another school’s recruiting class. They have some fear that those kids their school missed out on will come back to haunt them in some way in the future. That, or they wish they had the kind of talent your school just hauled in. They will never admit it, but there is truth to that.

2. Your top high school player in your state chose to go out of state. This means your state sucks.

This is especially true in the barren states in the Midwest, and in Pennsylvania, where recruits sometimes seem to prefer the big city life of Columbus, Ohio or Ann Arbor, Michigan instead of Pittsburgh and State College.

3. When a recruit decides to go elsewhere, he didn’t fit your school’s academic prestige anyway.

How many times have you heard this before? Your school is spending a lot of time to recruit a player that would be a perfect fit in your team’s system, and he chooses to go somewhere else. Clearly he didn’t have what it would take to meet your school’s academic requirements, right? Why else would he choose to go somewhere else?

4. So what if a school brings in 30 recruits. They’re doing so in poor form anyway by over-signing.

Sure, that other school may have been able to convince a bunch of players to come to their program instead of your’s but your program will reap the benefits when it comes time for that other school to cut all the players on their roster because of over-signing.


5. If your recruiting class has an average of 3.5 stars per player you are guaranteed to be celebrating multiple BCS Championships. Book it.

There is no disputing this. Stars = Championships. Always. Never fails! You can start the four or five-year celebration party on February 2 if you want…

6. If a recruit isn’t staging a high-profile press conference and leading three other schools on, he’s doing it wrong.

The more stage presence a guy has, the better recruit he is.That’s just how it goes. Dress up in a nice suit, preferably in your school’s colors (or your rival’s colors to add to the mental game), hold a fancy press conference during lunch, have your family all dolled up, make sure the local and national media cameras are watching, and make sure to do a radio interview or fourteen.

7. Recruiting rumors are ALWAYS true and NEVER fail. Go with them.

This is also true of coaching rumors and conference realignment etc. If it is said on Twitter, it is true.

8. Three four star recruits is way more awesome than four three-star recruits

Is it better to add fewer elite players or more average and solid all-around players. When it comes to recruiting, get the best players available and forget about those average players. They won’t ever win you a game.

9. A rival coach snatched your top recruit because he offered more “incentives,” and no other reason

Common alleged thieves include Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. They clearly offer better cars, tattoo deals, Xbox 360 systems and more while all your school offers is a quality education and an enjoyable experience. Amateurs.

10. This is the most important day of the college football off-season.

While we have been trying to be light-hearted here with this topic, this may in fact be undisputed. National Signing Day is the cornerstone of the college football off-season and is the day in which the future does start to come together for all programs, from coast to coast. There will be surprises. There will be hats at press conferences. There will be shenanigans. It’s all a part of the day, and we have grown to accept and embrace it for what it has become. But it is important.

I will be doing what I can to cover National Signing Day as best I can. I have the responsibility of updating the Penn State signing day tracker at Bleacher Report but you can follow me all day on Twitter @KevinOnCFB as well for more updates from around the country. Also be sure to check out Crystal Ball Run, where we’ll be doing what we can to continue with recruiting updates throughout the day as well.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.