Josh Kendall

What happened to the national signing day we used to know?

'The program got better': Muschamp recaps USC signing class

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp discusses the Gamecocks' 2018 signing class and its 13 midyear enrollees.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp discusses the Gamecocks' 2018 signing class and its 13 midyear enrollees.

It’s national signing day, but it’s hard to tell at the moment.

You could make a compelling argument that the first Wednesday in February used to be the second-biggest day on the college football calendar, behind only the day the national championship game is played. Heck, you could make a decent argument that it was the biggest day period.

Not anymore. Not even close.

That, of course, is because of the new early signing period, which was approved early last year and went into effect in December. Immediately, it became the sport’s main signing day.

Of the 369 four- and five-star players based on 247Sports’ composite rankings system, more than 275 of them signed. South Carolina entered the day with four spots available for players. Twenty players signed with the Gamecocks in December.

As for drama, frankly, there isn’t much. The Gamecocks entered the day with questions surrounding only two players – Georgia defensive end John Mincey (who picked Tennessee over the Gamecocks) and North Carolina defensive end Rick Sandidge, who will chose the Gamecocks.

For the past 10 to 15 years, this day has had fans sitting on the edge of their seats. People took days off from work, either actually taking the day off or just going to the office and mailing it in while constantly hitting refresh on their favorite website (hopefully, GoGamecocks.com).

Today, it was easy to wake up and completely forget that it was national signing day. For most sports, it would be public relations suicide to give up the biggest day of offseason coverage. The bump that college football got from NSD coverage in February is one of the reasons the sport’s popularity has surged to such heights.

College football, probably, has grown so big now that it won’t suffer from losing the exposure it once got in February. The powers that be should hope so, because today is shaping up like a really dull day.

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