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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Taking a look at the signing day circus

Posted Thursday, February 5, 2009, at 6:58 PM

National Signing Day has become something akin to the NFL Draft for college football programs around the country.

While the NFL Network provided an interesting perspective into the meat market that is the NFL Combine last season, it was ESPNU that covered what amounts to Christmas Day for many college coaches.

I've got to admit, being a mostly nocturnal person by nature, I watched a good bit of the replay of signing day that showcased some of the nuttiness that surrounds 17-18 year old high school football players inking their letters-of-intent to attend various colleges around the country. With live footage coming from high schools in different locales, ESPNU showed off some of the top recruits signing with Top-25 programs.

It was pretty interesting to see some of the parties surrounding these recruits in their high school habitats while some of the colleges hosted their own shindigs to welcome the next group of athletes.

What became readily apparent is that Southern states take their college football pretty seriously. At many of the SEC schools, fans lined up in the wee hours of the morning to start the annual breakfast party that kicks off signing day. But then again, if I had the opportunity to celebrate the incoming freshman that would one day likely lead my favorite college team to a national title, I'd be there waiting for biscuits and gravy too.

Things were much tamer around the state of Indiana, but gave reason for some hope as an IU fan. Then again, I'm not sure it could get much worse after the way things ended last year.

The Hoosiers signed a total of 18 recruits, plenty with Indiana High School resumes that lend a fan to at least a little bit of excitement.

There's even a little bit of local flavor as North Putnam's Griffen Dahlstrom was a late signee after leading the Cougars to lofty postseason runs the past couple of years. At 6'3, 210, he has some versatility to play linebacker or H-back.

Southport running back, Nick Turner, rang up some huge numbers this season and flew under the radar a bit after not playing his junior year. He concentrated on track his junior year and has the speed to show his potential is exciting.

The Hoosiers stayed in-state this season to strengthen its recruiting ties after hitting Florida and Georgia last year. However, with a large senior class for this upcoming season, you can expect that IU will re-open the southern pipeline next year.

Two of the more exciting prospects appear to be Columbus East tandem, Duwyce Wilson and Dusty Kiel.

Kiel (6'2, 220) is a spread offense quarterback that is the son of former Indianapolis Colt QB, Blair Kiel. His favorite option was Wilson, who at 6'3, 190, has exciting size to give IU some receiver depth.

The Hoosiers also signed Sheridan QB Nick Zachery, who led his team to three state championships and a narrow miss at a fourth this season. He was recruited as an athlete that likely will end up playing defensive back.

Any way you slice it, signing day is a good way to help put last year's debacle of a season behind. New blood lends itself to new hope!



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