It is National Signing Day, the day that high school seniors across the United States sign letters of intent that designate which college or university they will be attending to further their football careers. Perennially, the big football schools — like USC, Florida St., Ohio St., Alabama, and Notre Dame, to name a few — are in contention for just about everybody. But everybody cannot attend just the football powerhouses, so the talent pool is spread throughout the country and, given the high number of talented high school football prospects, bringing a sort of limited parity to the nation’s college football programs.
According to Jim Halley of USA Today, the biggest recruiting story in thirty years is Terrelle Pryor, a 6′ 6″ quarterback out of Jeanette High School in Pennsylvania. Pryor still had not made a decision between Ohio St. or Michigan by the time the nationally televised signings began on ESPNU. Pryor stated that he would not announce his decision on a school day. The young standout is also considering Penn St.
According to the Denver Post, Darrell Scott, the nation’s number one rated high school running back, signed his letter of intent this morning for the University of Colorado, stating that he had chosen Colorado over Texas. Colorado was the first school to offer Scott a scholarship. But Colorado had an inside edge: Scott had talked about playing football with his uncle, Josh Smith, a wide receiver at Colorado. Scott, who played for Ventura St. Bonaventure in California, ran for 2,443 yards his senior season and caught 33 touchdown passes. Scott and the Buffaloes of Colorado will play Texas on October 4 this season.
ESPN notes that Julio Jones of Foley High School (Alabama), the highest recruited wide receiver in the country, was considering Alabama, Florida St., Oklahoma, and Florida going into signing day. He decided to stay close to home, signing his letter of intent to attend the University of Alabama, which is about four hours from his home.
Nick Perry, the outstanding defensive end from Detroit Martin Luther King High School, did just the opposite of Jones and chose the University of Southern California over his home state schools of Michigan and Michigan St. According to the L.A. Times, Perry set a Michigan state record this past season with 36 sacks.
Many of the recruits have already sent in their letters of intent hours before the public announcements. They are encouraged to send in those letters as early as 7:00 a.m. on Signing Day. The later ‘signings’ are simply for publicity.
“No. 1 RB Scott Picks CU,” DenverPost.com
Jim Halley, “ANALYST: Terrelle Pryor biggest story in 30 years or recruiting,” USA Today
Jamar Hudson, “Jones chooses to stay close to home and play for Bama,” ESPN.com
Eric Sondheimer, “Scott signs with Colorado,” LATimes.com