National Signing Day: 11 weird stories from college football’s top recruits

first_imgMORE: Best high school players SN has ever seenWhether it’s parents openly disagreeing — or hindering — their kid’s college decision or players literally fabricating their entire recruitment, National Signing Day is not without its weird stories.Here are some of the more wilder signing day moments from the last 10-plus years:Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State, 2008)Following a highly anticipated recruitment, the five-star quarterback held a news conference on National Signing Day to announce his decision: That he didn’t have one. Pryor would wait until March 19 to announce his commitment to Ohio State over Michigan, Penn State and Oregon.Kevin Hart (Cal/Missouri Western State, 2008)Hart held a news conference at Nevada Fernley High School to announce that he would play his college football at Cal. One problem: Hart made up his entire recruitment, a bizarre story that made national news. Hart later signed with Division II Missouri Western State in 2012.MORE: Alabama’s 2020 class faces more pressureCyrus Kouandjio (Alabama/Auburn, 2011)Kouandjio, a five-star offensive lineman with offers from several big-time schools, including Auburn and Alabama, announced his decision to attend Auburn on ESPNU. However, he never signed the letter of intent; reports suggested he was second-guessing his decision later in the day. He eventually reversed field, joining his older brother Arie at Alabama a few days later.Landon Collins (Alabama/LSU, 2012)Collins announced his decision at the Under Armour All-America Bowl with his family in tow. The Geismar, La., native picked Alabama over LSU, saying “Roll Tide Roll” while his mother displayed her displeasure at the decision. “I feel like LSU is a better place for him to be. LSU Tigers, No. 1. Go Tigers,” she said during the announcement.Alex Collins (Arkansas, 2013)Collins, a four-star running back from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., committed to Arkansas over in-state schools. His mother refused to sign the letter of intent and took it with her out of the high school. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema sent another letter, however, which Collins’ father signed the following day.Jacob Copeland (Alabama/Florida/Tennessee, 2018)Jacob Copeland committed to Florida on ESPNU, and his mother — who wore a Tennessee hat and Alabama sweatshirt — exited stage left quickly. That scene unfolded quickly and was about as bizarre as you would expect. Copeland’s mother later returned, but it was just the latest weird story to come out of National Signing Day.Bru McCoy (USC/Texas, 2019)Bru McCoy, a five-star athlete from Santa Ana, Calif., became USC’s highest-rated 2019 recruit when he signed his National Letter of Intent during December’s early signing period. Once on campus, however, McCoy reportedly became disenchanted with the program: USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury ended his brief stint as offensive coordinator to take over as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and McCoy reportedly noticed Trojans going through the motions during his two weeks of practice with the team. It didn’t take long for McCoy to enter into the NCAA’s transfer portal. USC released him from his letter of intent and he ended up signing with Texas on National Signing Day (after he had already enrolled there). McCoy’s story only got weirder once he eventually transferred back to USC after suffering from homesickness.George Pickens (Auburn/Georgia, 2019)George Pickens, the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama in the 2019 class, was considered a heavy Auburn lean heading into National Signing Day. It came as a shock, then, when Georgia swooped in seemingly from out of nowhere to nab the five-star wide receiver. It left Auburn fans and players noticeably shocked, but two Auburn players — defensive lineman Coynis Miller and receiver Anthony Schwartz — took it a step further, suggesting on Twitter that Georgia had paid for Pickens’ commitment.The tweets have since been deleted, but that’s what screengrabs are for. That also doesn’t change the fact this was a weird occurrence made even weirder by the fact it came from active players.Let’s check in on how Auburn players are taking the George Pickens news…— Connor O’Gara (@cjogara) February 6, 2019Zachary Evans (2020, Georgia)Evans couldn’t sign an NLI on signing day because he already signed one with Georgia before being released of that commitment. Evans had previously announced he signed with Georgia at the All-American game. It’s been part of a long-winded recruitment process for a five-star running back who did not play with his team in the state championship game because he broke a team rule about cell phone usage.MORE: Where will Zachary Evans sign?Detraveon Brown (2020, Ole Miss, North Texas)Brown (Northwood, Shreveport, La.) broke down in tears while doing interviews after announcing he would play for Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss. The only problem with that? A LOI to Ole Miss did not exist. Ole Miss did not list Brown among its signees, and it turns out he signed a fake letter-of-intent.It’s a weird story, but at least it had a good ending for Brown. He signed with North Texas on Thursday.Jordan Burch (2020, South Carolina)Burch, one of the nation’s best defensive ends and a high school teammate of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp’s son, appeared committed to the Gamecocks during the early signing period.Burch, however, decided to wait until National Signing Day so he could sign with his teammates. National Signing Day is generally considered a momentous occasion for college football’s next crop of recruits.That said, it does have a history of awkward moments, and it seems one or two arise with each new recruiting cycle. This year, there were three that caught our attention. But did he send the NLI? He told one reporter “yes” and one reporter “no,” and his mother denied that he sent in the letter. What’s the holdup? Burch’s mother is still not on board with him going to South Carolina, and LSU remains in the hunt for the recruit.When asked what was going on, Muschamp said, “I don’t know. You’d have to ask them.”UPDATE: Burch did send the NLI at some point, because South Carolina put out this video the day after Signing Day.Jordan Burch is officially a Gamecock!#GarnetGang20— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) February 7, 2020last_img

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