The big day is finally here. It's that peculiar morning in February when everyone joins the South Carolina Gamecock faithful in preparing for an inevitable run to glory. Except Steve Spurrier, who leaves these things to his assistants and just checks in from the golf course.
Signing Day is sort of emblematic of the diffuse chaos which makes college football so intriguing for some of us. On each of 12 fall Saturdays, there is a winner and a loser on the field. National Signing Day however is a whole different animal, as success is totally subjective, and we won't know who really won until 3 years down the road (when Mark Richt is hoisting a crystal football atop a podium constructed entirely of the broken bodies of Boise St. Broncos who finally got their chance at the bigtime. A man can dream, can't he?).
Announcements of Bulldog interest include:
- Calhoun wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, who will announce at 9:45 a.m. With this announcement Bulldog Nation will likely either collapse in relief or go into spasms of rage. I suppose that if he doesn't come to Athens we'll just have to throw the ball to that Green kid from Summerville next season. At this point I think we're the underdog in this one, and I'll be pleasantly surprised if he signs with Georgia. If he doesn't, expect Mark Richt to be asked a question about it that he won't respond to, because nothing good could come from answering that question, and Mark Richt knows this.
- Tampa wide receiver Christian Green, by some estimates the top player in the state of Florida, who will decide between Georgia and Florida State around 9:30. Green is almost as highly rated as Rogers, but looks like a lock to Florida State despite his father's protestations to the contrary. I would be both surprised and exhilarated if Green ends up in Athens.
- Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton, making his decision public at 10:30. Thornton may actually be more highly sought after than Warner Robins' Jeff Whitaker, and has Georgia among his 10 finalists. That's right. 10. If I wagered on recruiting (which I don't, because 17 year old boys are far more unpredictable than a skittish, limping gelding at Keeneland ever was) I would bet on Georgia. Thornton has spent a lot of time over in Athens and seems to have bonded well with our solid commitments. If we lose out on him, don't bother to go over to the various message boards. They'll make Kyle and I look like amateurs at the pessimism game.
- Ocala receiver Kadron Boone, who will choose between Georgia, Texas Tech, Louisville and LSU at 4 p.m. Boone visited LSU last weekend and pronounced his trip "perfect." LSU is probably the favorite here, but if Rogers defects up into the hills a Boone commitment would soothe things a little.
- Jordan Akins, a receiver/safety prospect from Union Grove who will choose between Georgia and Central Florida. Akins was under the radar for most of the recruiting cycle, and is very raw as a receiver. But he reminds me a little of Bacarri Rambo, in that he's an option quarterback in high school who has tons of athleticism and just seems to always make plays. I predict he ends up at Georgia, though given his list of suitors many in Bulldog Nation will view it as only a minor recruiting victory.
You're invited to post your predictions, updates, thoughts on the ones we got as well as the ones who got away, and your thoughts on the whole bizarre rakrootin' game here. Just try to keep it civil, and avoid impugning the character of 17 year old kids if possible. Feel free to impugn the character of Urban Meyer to your heart's content, however. Nothing would make me happier. Until the dust settles this evening . . .