On Tuesday night across the country some high school Seniors will toss and turn all night about tomorrow. Tomorrow, for most will be the biggest decision in their young football career. Wednesday February 4th is National Signing Day. The moment some kids have been waiting and working their short seventeen or eighteen years of life for. The moment all the hard work on the field and more importantly in the classroom pays off and they get to choose a school of choice to play college football on a full scholarship. Coaches will be in their war rooms, waiting on faxes and phones calls as they harvest their 2015 recruiting classes. The excitement is shared both ways. Coaches getting top players to commit to their programs, and players in most cases having the opportunity to attend the University of their dreams to play football.
The day revolves around the player signing their letter of intent. The paper seen to most as a binding contract ensures the player, a free education with room and board in exchange for services to the football program. By the numbers with 120 schools in FBS Division I, schools annually give an average of 25 scholarships a year. So you can image about 3,000 scholarships versus the millions of kids trying to get them. Many wonder from year to year what all the fuss is about until they realize the numbers, and understand while some make it look easy to get offers from these major universities, it is hard to simply get on the radar at all.
The more important question that is rarely asked is. What does the player intend to do while in college? I understand it will be the dream of many to play in the NFL, but the numbers that make it beyond the college level are even less. I want kids to focus on football as an early business decision while fulfilling a dream. The intent of signing that letter should be to get a free education to contribute to their future as-well-as their community one day. We will always need new young NFL players but we will also need doctors, lawyers, teachers and business owners. Players should enter the next phase of their life focused on life after football, no matter how far you go your playing days are always numbered. Great example was Ohio State QB Cardale Jones. After wining a National Championship for Ohio State, there was talk of him entering the NFL Draft. He decided to return to school to work on school and football, this was from the same guy who tweeted a year ago, about how he was there to play football and not study (I wonder what changed?).
Signing Day is a huge day for players and their families. I want them to enjoy the entire ride and all the perks that will follow as a college athlete. I only urge each one to stay humble, and go to college with every intention to use football as the tool to get what they each desire. At the moment football is the players only leverage to making the experience valuable to them. Sleep tight big day tomorrow!!!!
Class of 2016 your on the clock…………