Sam Kouvaris: Signing Day is still a big deal

By Sam Kouvaris - Sports Director

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With an early signing day taking away some of the big names in football, you might not think the traditional signing day of the first Wednesday in February might not be as big.

Think again.

It’s become a “thing” and it’s not going away anytime soon.  As a celebration of all high school athletes who will play at the next level, National Signing Day has gone from a football-centric day to a day that every sport is represented.

In St. Johns County alone, Ponte Vedra and Creekside High Schools will announce 48 signees.  At least 25 schools will have signing ceremonies on Wednesday starting early at 8AM before school at Atlantic Coast and Raines to Bartram Trail finishing up after school at 3:15. 

Last year, Emily Root of Providence signed to play golf at the United States Naval Academy. Wednesday, her sister Amelia will sign to join her at Annapolis from Atlantic Coast. Root is one of two golfers from AC who helped the Stingrays win a state championship for the first time in 2018. 

Both girls and boys soccer will be represented throughout the day, starting at Bolles where four players will advance to the next level on the pitch.  


Numerous football players signed during the early signing period in December so they could get to school this semester and participate in spring practice.  But the competition for the guys who haven’t signed yet is intense.  Gus Bradley’s son Carter will play at Toledo and the Jaguars Special Teams assistant Mike Mallory will see his son Will, a highly sought after tight end, sign with the Miami Hurricanes. 

Looking to fill out their classes, the major schools are still out their, pitching, recruiting and beating the bushes for the best talent.

“Those guys who haven’t signed will have a lot of choices,” Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen said on Wednesday.  “We’ll be in a lot of those battles.

Getting to the National Championship game raised Georgia’s profile, but Kirby Smart says there’s no resting now.  “The guys that are left are targeted by the all the top programs. So there’s some guys we still have to go after.  You can’t say, ‘Relax, we’re done.’  We’ve still got work to do.”

“The guys are getting used to us and we’re getting used to them,” FSU’s new head coach Willie Taggart said in advance of signing his first Seminoles class. “They have to get to know who we are.”

The major schools will announce their classes in the mid-afternoon.  We’ll have full coverage here on News4Jax.com throughout the day and summary coverage on News4Jax on Channel 4 starting at 5pm.
 

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