When you think of “Signing Day”, one typically envisions high school athletes and their dramatic announcements, featuring camera crews, hat shuffling, or props to designate a school for the next 4 years.
While it’s too early to tell if there will still be theatrics on the usual February Signing Day, college football’s new early Signing Day should be relatively uneventful, at least in Coral Gables.
17 of Miami’s 20 commits in Storm18 will sign their LOI’s tomorrow at their respective high school ceremonies and officially become Hurricanes, while the majority of UM’s remaining targets plan to take their recruitments to the February Signing Day.
With that said, early or not, it wouldn’t be a Signing Day without at least a few question marks and surprises. Here are a few names that Mark Richt’s staff will be biting their fingernails over and anxiously waiting by the fax machine for.
The UNC commit has been flirting for months with the idea of shedding the baby blue and white for some orange and green threads. Collins took a mid-week official visit to Coral Gables back on December 7-8, then immediately headed to Chapel Hill for his UNC official visit right after. Those were the only two officials he took, and he has since gone dark to the media; there are little to no clues on what he might do tomorrow. Collins’ parents have gone on record saying they think Chris is slightly favoring the Tar Heels, but that, as of Monday, he has not definitively said one way or the other who he is signing with. So, while North Carolina would be the smart pick here, the Canes will look to be the ones that pull off a Signing Day surprise, and they certainly have a shot.
If Collins cut-off his media availability, then Goldwire could be said to have completely fallen off the face of the earth. He no longer responds to interview requests and even deleted his twitter account. It seems like the big Kansas JUCO defensive tackle is having a hard time nailing down a final decision and the pressures of the recruiting process are really getting to him.
Goldwire is still considered a Louisville commit, and the Canes and Cardinals are joined in his final group by Oregon State. Each has gotten an official visit, and Goldwire took his UM trip along with Jarren Williams back in November for the Notre Dame game, probably the best timing to visit Miami this season. We know how that visit led Williams to choose the Canes, and the staff hopes it helps to land Goldwire as well. One thing to keep in mind was that Goldwire was especially concerned with Miami’s current DT depth and wanted to play right away as a JUCO player with limited eligibility left. He was hoping one or both of RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton would leave early for the NFL: as of now that has yet to happen. We’ll see if that ends up hurting Miami soon enough.
Of the three commits not currently planning to sign tomorrow, DT Nesta Silvera is the one who definitely won’t be putting pen to paper: he’s officially visiting UM with the rest of his highly-touted Heritage teammates in January to help sway them to Miami. That leaves Blades Jr. and Reed as the two Storm18 members that are up in the air for tomorrow. While both are extremely solid commits, Blades Jr. and Reed were putting off signing early and planning on taking January official visits to other schools.
However, after attending Miami’s huge official visit weekend this past weekend and experiencing life at UM with their fellow commits, the pair are having second thoughts about that plan. Both already know where they are going and are considering signing early and getting the process over with. Needless to say, the coaches are really making a push for them to do just that: early signees get a jump on learning the playbook and unlimited contact with coaches. You can’t blame a high school kid for wanting to take free trips and wanting to see other areas of the country, but signing early would show just how serious Blades Jr. and Reed are taking their future Miami careers. Stay tuned.