One of the reasons college football is so entertaining to watch is that you’ll never see any one player for more than four years. While some colleges maintain dynasties that continually win, year after year, there is a constant state of flux and evolution that causes teams to rise and fall as the seasons pass. One of the central events in determining whether a school’s program is waxing or waning is National Signing Day.
Typically, the first Wednesday in February, National Signing Day is the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding letter of intent to play for a college that is a part of the NCAA. This is typically a big day in college football, as many commitments are made and a good picture of the upcoming season can be understood. Long before signing day arrives, recruiting websites assemble a list of all the top prospects in the country.
Both Grades and Athleticism are a Factor on Signing Day
One interesting aspect to the entire college football premise has to do with Ivy League football recruiting. Ivy League schools host field football teams and recruit players for their teams, but they have to adhere to the Ivy League Academic Index in their admissions process. This index takes the test scores and class rank of students and groups them into four different categories. The school is then allowed to admit a certain number of football players in each of the categories. The goal here is that Ivy League football recruiting takes into account the academic focus of the school.
Colleges Compete for Top Candidates
You might have already expected it, but this year Ole Miss and USC were the only schools to sign multiple Top 10 prospects, with both signing two to their rosters for the fall. Predictably, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama also scored a number of promising players. Whether those athletes turn out to be star players who one day make the NFL is yet to be seen, but the opportunity for those youngsters is certainly now available to them.
LSU made a splash at the quarterback position. They signed not only the third-best pro-style QB in the country, but the sixth-best dual-threat passing QB, too. USB, however, managed to sign Max Browne, widely considered the best quarterback in the incoming class.
Alabama won the distinction of the best recruiting class this year, which is the fifth time they have done so since 2008. They were able to sign four 5-star prospects, thirteen 4-star prospects and eight 3-star prospects. Ohio State and Notre Dame rounded out the top three classes, respectively, by having their own recruitment success.
Ivy League Schools Make an Appearance
While Ivy League football recruiting doesn’t quite make the headlines, like Alabama and Ohio State do, it still represents a magical moment for future student-athletes. Two students from Jesuit High School in Oregon -- A.J. Glass and Max Rich -- now have the opportunity to get a top-notch education and see each other on the football field, when Princeton and Harvard play. It may not be ESPN, but that certainly didn’t hamper their excitement.