Signing Day 13 Redux

National Signing Day is weird. As Rivals and Scout and all the other recruiting services have blown up since 2002 when rankings were first released, and more since 1998 since Rivals was launched in Washington, NSD has morphed into an event much like the NFL Draft. Both were once just notable events on the calendar — new player haul — and now are covered live with an ever-growing sense of hoopla.

If you missed this year’s UTSA event at the Institute of Texan Cultures, don’t worry your pretty little head. It was boring at times — looking at you Neal Neathery — and if you have a subscription to one of the services you have seen the highlight film of these new players already. Our local Rivals correspondent Mike Craven said as much to Jared afterwards, “It’s so weird seeing those videos because, I’m like ‘Wow – I’ve seen those videos before.'”

Indeed, Mike. Indeed.

Aside from awkward exchanges from awkward psuedo-bloggers to Athletic Directors, there wasn’t much drama either. Jay Howard did a decent enough job hosting the event that was so obviously geared toward fund-raising. Make no mistake, this is Lynn Hickey’s primary job, ya’ll. As Ross Bjork, AD of Ole Miss said as Hugh Freeze hauled in his amazing class, “Time to go raise you some money.”

I may be muddling my timeline here, but I’m sure Lynn said the same thing. She even dangled an incentive — “See these white uniforms? $25,000 and we’ll wear them.”

Unfortunately, between my tuition and my preference for a somewhat stable set of uniform choices, that incentive didn’t do much for me. We’ll see who from the usual set of blazer-clad, professional types were swayed enough to shell out enough cash for that and other items on the wish need-list. Perhaps lost in the seemingly never-ending spiel for donations and support is the very real need for those facilities. The football team won’t survive at even the FCS level without a practice facility and accompanying offices.

Alabama opened up a new $9 million workout place for all athletes. Hickey said UTSA doesn’t need a sparkling palace like that but just a place to go lift weights. Her’s is an unenviable task — to excavate money from the already picked-over monied class of San Antonio and the surrounding area — and to enlist recent graduates in the money-donating brigade. It just may be a more difficult talk than Larry Coker and company had getting 25 guys to come play football here.

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Editor extraordinaire, UTSA grad student. Twitter