You know I remember when I signed my letter of intent to run cross country at UNC Greensboro. The fanfare. The crushing media attention. The offers of extra benefits from boosters. Good times. Actually I think it was my parents, my coach and a photographer from The Smithfield Herald sitting in a mobile classroom behind my high school. And in case the NCAA is reading, no I never received any improper benefits unless bringing containers into the cafeteria inside by bookbag then filling them with cereal counts.
Anyway, today college football fans get their first solid look at the incoming class of 2010. Unlike basketball, football is a tad more muddled in how many recruits pan out. Not that the rankings are totally worthless. Scott Kennedy, director of scouting at Scout.com says there is certainly a correlation between teams at the top of the recruiting rankings and those who end up near the top of the polls during the season. Then again, this is coming from a guy who works for an organization that is making money hand over fist from people paying for premium content just to see what color marshmallows are in some five star recruit's cereal in the morning. Blue marshmallows!?!?! He is so coming to UNC!
In short it is an inaccurate science. It is also only the first step of many in building/sustaining a program. Obviously it is better to start with great potential and then do the work of development. However there are many cases where players bloom late or improve significantly because the coaching is just that good. In short, my advice is to cautiously celebrate the work Butch Davis and his staff are doing today and bear in mind there is much more work to do. At last check Scout.com had UNC's class ranked 32nd overall and fourth in the ACC behind FSU, Miami and Clemson
Inside Carolina has a rundown of commits as they sign their letters of intent.
Tar Heel Blue has a Signing Day blog up and running with updates.
ACC Sports has some classic signing day stories from The Coach Who Shall Not Be Named.