Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm So Excited...I'm So Scared! | by Pat

Tomorrow is National Signing Day, the culmination of months of hard work, anxiety, celebrations, and disappointments. It was also a trying time for the coaches and recruits involved.

Whether you are the type of fan who doesn't pay much attention until the names are signed on the dotted line or the guy that is calling in "sick" in order to devote your fullest attention, the steady stream of good and bad news definitely makes for one of the most noteworthy days of the college football year.

ND is currently poised to have one of the very top classes in the nation, but after last year's Signing Day bloodbath, it appears no one is taking anything for granted. Servers will groan as Irish fans hit refresh constantly on their favorite recruiting site, hoping for those so-sweet magical words "All faxes have been received".

Helping to feed the addiction, und.com has ramped up their coverage of Signing Day.

The big ticket item will once again be the Charlie Weis press conference, starting at high noon.

Immediately following the presser is what I think is a first for Notre Dame. There will be a 90 minute Signing Day show featuring a few of ND's coaches. Use the same link as above to get the show.

[Reggie] Brooks and [Mirko] Jurkovic will be joined by Notre Dame Recruiting Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach Rob Ianello at the top of the show, followed by a player-by-player breakdown of the Irish signees, including exclusive video footage. Irish head coach Charlie Weis will also stop by the show to chat about the incoming class of 2012.
Some might consider this all a bit much, but such is the current state of recruiting. Many schools have big donor/alumni parties in order to herald in the latest class of program saviors, but ND has normally shied away from such activities. Having an online post-game show of sorts is a nice middle ground to acknowledge the immense fan interest without going overboard.

One of the tidbits in the und.com press release that caught our eye was the inclusion of fan submitted emails.
Send a question or comment for Reggie Brooks, Mirko Jurkovic, Coach Ianello or Coach Weis to und.com_allaccess@yahoo.com. Your question could be selected to be answered on the show live.
At this point, we'd invite ND fans to think of some intelligent (or not) questions and fire them off. Given the disparity between ND's success in recruiting and lack thereof on the field, I'm sure there are countless questions we'd all love to hear answered.

Here are a few we'd ask of Ianello and Weis just to get things started.

1. What the hell happened with Omar Hunter?

I realize the likelihood of getting a straight answer out of this is about as likely as Charlie personally granting team BGS an all-access practice pass, but someone's got to ask it.

2. How did you change your approach to recruiting this year as compared to the last two years?

This one will probably be covered by the media during the presser, but still is an interesting topic of discussion. After the late defection by Justin Trattou and last minute defections by Greg and Chris Little, surely something was changed in the way ND communicated with the recruits and encouraged recruit to recruit communication. What was it?

3. Was it a conscious plan to lock up the bulk of the class before the season began?

This follows along with the second question, but it might be interesting to hear more about how they went about landing so many early public commits this year. 18 of the currently 22 publicly committed players pulled the trigger before the end of July.

Which recruit that signed with Notre Dame was the hardest to convince?

Rather than more platitudes about the recruits that have always loved ND, it might be fun to hear about which ones were a real struggle to sign.

5. Just how many people involved in recruiting are tasked with tracking the various rumors and new stories on the multitude of recruiting sites? What are your thoughts on the Rivals.com and Scout.com's of the world?

It would be interesting to hear what Ianello and Charlie think about the role the bigger recruiting sites have in the process of recruiting. Some coaches hate them. Others embrace them. Where does ND stand?

This is just a start. Topics like interaction with rival coaches on the road, the increase of negative recruiting, how to deal with recruiting when the team is 3-9, etc... are all good fodder for questiosn. So feel free to add your own question in the comment section (using the email link above to actually send them to ND as well is ideal). It's not likely that most of these will be answered, but there's no harm in asking. I suspect a few intelligent and well-crafted questions will pop up on the show.

By the way, for those who really, really like National Signing Day, Mike Golic, Jr. will be signing and faxing his letter of intent on the Mike and Mike show around 7am. You can tune into ESPNRadio or watch it all go down on ESPN2. I guess he has an in with one of the people on the show or something.