Signing Day: One of the best in sports

WR Malcolm Eugene (8) is signed and enrolled at Temple now.

Phil Knight, the Nike CEO, will tell you National Football Signing Day (that’s tomorrow) is his favorite sports day of the year.
He’s a big Oregon football fan.
Knight will be glued to his television tomorrow for all-day coverage on ESPNU (9 a.m.-7 p.m) of signing day.
I’ll probably pass on the coverage (unless it’s on in my gym), but it’s one of my favorite sports days, too, right there with opening day of baseball and the first Owl kickoff of the year and, yes, the first Thursday of the NCAA basketball tournament.
(I hear that’s Rick Neuheisel’s favorite day.)
Signing Day means more to me than Super Bowl Sunday because I have no rooting interest in either team on that day, but signing day I have rooting interest in just one team.
Signing Day gets me pretty pumped up because I get to see a good portion of the football talent coming to Temple for the first time.

ESPNU’s coverage of signing day starts at 9 a.m.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not a recruiting expert.
Having covered high school football for 35 years (since I was a 17-year-old kid who found out I couldn’t play as well as I wanted to), I know one thing for sure.
I know the kind of player I like.
I like a kid who overachieves. (Give me a 6-1, 200-pound Dick Beck at center, who became captain of a 7-4 Temple team and pancaked everyone in sight over a 6-3, 240-pound guy who only plays when he feels like it.)
I like a kid who is tough.
I like a kid who makes plays. (I’m thinking Adam DiMichele with 38 seconds left in the Buffalo game, who scrambled and bought just enough time to hit Bruce Francis for what should have been the game-winning score.)
I like a kid who is a leader. (I’m thinking center Donny Klein in the 2002 Rutgers game who threw his helmet down and dropped 47 f-bombs in a halftime speech when down, 17-3, saying, “I never f-ing lost to f-ing Rutgers in my f-ing life and I’m not about to start f-ing now …” All Klein did was clear the way for Tanardo Sharps to gain 215 yards on 43 carries in the mud in a 20-17 win.)
I like a kid who is a gamer.
I’m a hard marker.
There are very few Temple players who have all of those qualities.
In short, I like a kid like Henry Hynoski from the 70s, Dick Beck, Matty Baker and Tim Riordan from (mostly) the 80s, Tanardo Sharps, Donny Klein, Alex Derenthal, Adrian Robinson, and Adam DiMichele from the 00s.
There are more, certainly, that fit the mold and some of them will be joining the Temple Football Family today and tomorrow.
If you get enough of those kids, you can win.
Indications are that Steve Addazio grabbed a few of those kids with this class. This won’t be the class we judge Addazio on because in college football today you need more than a month to get organized. There are a couple of names of kids who haven’t yet committed, but whose names I’d really like to see on the dotted line tomorrow: Desmond Blue (a safety) and Jared Williams (a running back), both from Florida. Both would fill immediate needs at Temple. The other high school guys might be candidates for redshirts.
What he needs to find, right now, is some gamers and some overachievers because the one thing about this class is that there aren’t a whole lot of five-star recruits knocking down Temple’s door.
What we don’t know, right now, is if he’s got enough of those kids.
I like what I see in the film on a lot of these kids, especially quarterbacks Clinton Grainger and Jalen Fitzpatrick, but film can be deceiving.
What is it my friend, Sal, said a couple of years ago at one of Al Golden’s signing parties?
“On signing day film, they all look like they should have gone to USC,” Sal said.
He’s right.
It’s a day to get pumped up, but we will have to wait some time down the road to see if they are the kind of players you and I like.


3 thoughts on “Signing Day: One of the best in sports

  1. As usual, as national Signing Day approaches, there are a bunch of highly regarded recruits that have not been signed as of the hour and may not be signed until much later. What are these guys waiting for? Most of them have had almost a year to make an informed choice. It should be a very easy decision at this point – you pick a school that is right for you from a football and academics stand-point. And if you're more mature and evolved, maybe you consider personal qualities like social and civic possibilities. I realize some of these guys like to be drama queens and wait for national signing day to regale us with their decision. But for the vast majority of these guys, the narcisism is thick. Many of them, it seems, love the fact that they've been wooed by many schools and just love to keep the suspense and drama going as long as they can. And where are the parents in the equation? Some are oblivious, I'm sure. But some also like the 15 minutes of fame it brings to their children and them which is bad quality for life. Others, I suppose, like the Cam Newton fathers of the world stand by and let the biddings escalate. If I were a coach, I'd run away from these late deciders. The first hint of primadona and I'm outa there. To quote Mike Singletary, "I want winners." And guys who wait and encourage the circus and auctioning off of their talent are just vapid narcisists and, I'm guessing, bring football talent to the program but little else.

  2. TFF,more than slightly disappointed in our recruiting class. most encouraging thing about it relates to your earlier comment. Temple outrecruited everyone in the MAC during the AG years and never won squat. holy Toledo!

  3. The most disappointing thing was the Brumfield/Reid situation.When a three-time first-team all-state RB WANTS to come to your school and you pick an honorable mention all-Central League back instead, it's a real head-scratcher.Again, both kids are great kids and great students so, with that being a tie, I would go with the better football player.Reid was not the better football player.

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