February is a month for love and a month for big reveals for student athletes. National Signing Day is held on the first Wednesday in February. It is a day when a high school senior athlete can sign a National Letter of Intent to play and attend an NCAA college.
Many times, the athlete will make an announcement months prior but some leave it a mystery until this day in February. Recruits may give hints or announce the schools on their short list so the excitement builds. After the student athlete signs that letter, the recruitment process is over. That agreement provides a scholarship and aid for one year.
National Signing Day is busy day for high schools with signees. These events are usually held in the gym and the press and public are invited. This a chance for the school to brag a bit on their students and their athletic opportunities at the collegiate level. At larger high schools, it is not uncommon to see several tables set up for the signing event.
For the student and their family it is a pivotal and exciting time. The athlete, no doubt, has put in years of practice and experienced the highs and lows of competition. Furthermore, the recruiting process can be daunting. For some, they may only get one offer, top recruits can get dozens of offers. This day marks the future for an athlete and their loved ones. Will they stay close to home or pick a college hundreds of miles away?
Typically, each signee will have a place at a table so they can sign the contract. Parents and friends will help decorate the area in the chosen college colors or there may be several banners or hats from different institutions and the decision will be unveiled at a specific time.
According to the NCAA, only about two percent of high school athletes get a scholarship to play in college so National Signing Day is a big deal. Division I and II schools hand out more than 2.9 billion dollars annually for kids to play at the next level.
Good luck to all those athletes who have worked hard to have a seat at the table!