To wit: one of this year’s top national recruits at linebacker, Reuben Foster, has switched commitments from Auburn to Alabama despite already getting an Auburn logo tattooed on his forearm.
And that’s just one of the things that happened pre-signing day.
The real fun comes today when entire fan bases wait with baited breath for an 18-year-old to put ink to paper and send it through a fax machine.
“It’s not a regular day. The anticipation is certainly there,” said McNeese State head coach Matt Viator. “You never know. We’re very excited about what we think we’re getting. We’ll have to wait in the morning for the faxes. It really is exciting.”
Even though McNeese isn’t expected to have its hat pulled out of the bag by any of the top 50 national recruits being shown live on ESPNU, Viator understands why fans get so excited about this day.
“It’s the anticipation of kind of seeing the future,” Viator said. “People understand more now the importance of recruiting. The difference now is recruiting is year-round. You have dead periods, but you’re already recruiting guys that are juniors. Even in the years I’ve been here it has progressed to the point it is year-round.”
Recruiting has become its own industry on the Internet, further fueling the beast.
“You can read about recruiting at any time, Viator said. “Kids are speaking by Facebook, Twitter, that’s different as well. The public is more informed than they’ve ever been.”
Whether the Internet has made the recruiting game easier or more difficult is a matter of perspective. With everything readily available, coaches aren’t likely to stumble upon a diamond in the rough.
“No longer is there a player going unnoticed,” Viator said. “Whether you’re from a big city or small city everything is out there. That’s kind of changed.”
Though the Internet may have leveled the playing field with regards to scouting, it still takes the personal touch to sell a program.
“The core is the same,” Viator said. “It’s about building relationships in schools, having a presence with your staff.”