By Keysha Hogan
This past week had one of the most stressful days in college football: National Signing Day. Reporters, fans, students and alumni were held hostage while ESPNU aires 10 non-stop hours of teenagers toying with our emotions. Enthusiasts have been tracking, the “soft verbals” and “silent commits” players have been making all season. And of course in the last hours, a few of the top prospects will flip-flop more than our least favorite politicians.
Here are DFW’s contenders out of ESPN’s Top 300 Ranking:
#35 Robbie Rhodes – Southwest High School, Ft. Worth
#55 Dontre Wilson – DeSoto High School, DeSoto
#76 Kent Perkins – Lake Highlands High School, Dallas
#92 Justin Manning – Justin F. Kimball School, Dallas
#95 Torii Hunter Jr. – Prosper High School, Prosper
#105 A’Shawn Robinson – Arlington Heights High School, Ft.Worth
#111 LaQuvionte Gonzalez – Cedar Hill High School, Cedar Hill
#113 Jake Raulerson – Celina High School, Celina
#128 Mike Mitchell – Prestonwood Christian Academy, Plano
#166 Ra’Shaad Samples – Skyline High School, Dallas
#172 Eldridge Massington – West Mesquite High School, Mesquite
#178 Cody Thomas – Heritage High School, Colleyville
#206 Jordan Mastrogiovanni – Jesuit Prep School, Dallas
#213 Joas Aguilar- Birdville High School, North Richland Hills
#214 Jake Oliver – Jesuit Prep School, Dallas
#220 Kyle Hicks – James Martin High School, Arlington
#245 Marcell Ateman – Wylie East High School, Wylie
#250 Kameron Miles – West Mesquite High School, Mesquite
#271 DeVante Kincade – Skyline High School, Dallas
Many of these players have already committed to schools around the country but until ink hits paper they are still fair game. All it takes is one solid recruiting class to completely change the landscape and future of a program. Top-Tier teams, like Alabama, are focused on ushering in a wave of new talent to secure their spot at the top. Other teams are recruiting with joining that top-tier in mind.
The success of many coaching careers have been decided on Signing Day. If they can’t effectively talk with young men and convince them of their place as a cornerstone of a championship team, then those players will go somewhere else. And those conversations have to be meaningful, because these kids have a lot of people whispering in their ear. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is an intense and relentless recruiter. From the moment he became head coach he hustled and assembled a top-five recruiting class in only a few short months. He knew that to be the best you must steadily acquire talent, and in order to accomplish that a coach has to exhaust all avenues.
Basically, on that most sacred of college football days, there are no gentleman’s agreements or loyalty. Commitments made over hesitant handshakes mean nothing. Try to enjoy the upheaval and surprise that accompanies the day. There’s no doubt your heart may get broken in the process, but keep it together. Flocking to Twitter to ream out a 17-year old kid for ruining your season is never a good idea.