For most college football viewers, the college football season ends after the National Championship game. Some only watch on those fall Saturday afternoons, but the real reason why teams like Alabama and Clemson were in the championship game is because they perform well on every first Wednesday in February. The day where high school athletes choose the university they will play for.
National Signing Day is the 3rd biggest day on the College Football schedule. First being the Championship Game, second being Opening Day of the season, and third is National Signing Day. This year it is on Wednesday February 3rd.
Recruiting is a 365-day, year long process. Your favorite team’s recruiting team is vital to your team’s success on Saturdays. For example, from the 2011 recruiting class to the 2015 recruiting class Alabama has an average rating on ESPN of 1.2. They have been number 1 in recruiting 4 years in a row. In that same span of time, Clemson has ranked no lower than 13 and has an average ranking of 9.4, according to ESPN. As of the January 6th, ESPN Team Recruiting ranks Alabama 6th and Clemson 10th. I chose those two teams not because they just played for the National Championship but because they are the only two teams in the past 5 seasons to have 10+ wins.
It is not just being a 4-Star or 5-Star talent that everyone knows. We all know Derrick Henry, Alabama’s star running back, was a ESPN 5-Star RB from the 2013 class. We all know Clemson’s QB Deshaun Watson was an Elite 11 QB and the nation’s top Dual Threat QB in 2014 class. Saban and his recruiting team at Alabama wanted Henry because he is the right fit for Alabama. Swinney wanted Watson because he is the QB Clemson needed to push them to be where they are now. Along with Henry and Watson’s supreme talent, they are great human beings. They are hard workers. They have great tangibles and great intangible, which set them apart. This is something that can only be known after getting to know the prospect personally and not just on the field as a football player. If Henry and Watson were not humble and coachable. Good players have talent; great players are coachable. We know those two players could not be in any better hands than Saban and Swinney, respectively.
The 3 and below star recruits, walk-ons and transfer athletes always play a part into making a good college team, because one school can only get so many 4-Star and 5-Star players.
A little under the radar Rival’s 3-star QB from Austin Texas who only had 3 offers coming out of high school. Those offers were Washington State, Rice, and Florida Atlantic, so he wasn’t highly recruited. He took none of these offers. He instead went to Texas Tech and walked on to their football team and in that same year Baker Mayfield was Texas Tech’s starting QB in 2013. He then transfers to Oklahoma in 2015 and is the starting QB for them now. And he is one of the main reason Oklahoma was in the playoffs this year. Not only is he MVP of his team he is one of the best QBs in the nation.
So go ahead and call in sick on Wednesday, February 3rd and watch your school land that recruit that can change your team in 2016.
Stats Courtesy of: Yahoo Sports, ESPN, Tigernet.com