What is National Signing Day?
NSD, usually the first Wednesday of February, is the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for college football with a school that is a member of the NCAA. Quite simply, it's the day that recruits sign a piece of paper that creates a contract between the player and the school.1
When is National Signing Day?
February the 3rd, 2016, which is today, unless you're some sort of time-traveling wizard.
Where can I watch all this hot fax machine recruiting action about the Tennessee Vols?
- ESPN's National Signing Day Special begins at 8 AM Eastern, and will run for eleven grueling hours.2 Signing day coverage is also available on WatchESPN, in case you plan on surreptitiously watching the broadcast while you're working.
- In tandem with ESPN's coverage, the SEC Network will feature SEC-specific signing day coverage starting at 10 AM Eastern (also available online).
- SB Nation has a list of recruits and their estimated commitment times. Get excited!
- In addition, the Tennessee Athletic Department will broadcast a Vols Signing Day Show beginning at 7 AM Eastern, with interviews, features, and highlights. Tune your internet to UTSports.com.
I'm at work, how can I follow along without it being obvious that I'm shirking my responsibilities?
Great question! Keep your eyes and your commenting fingers locked here on Rocky Top Talk as we'll be following all the information throughout the day. If you haven't read the excellent positional preview pieces we've been writing, well, what are you waiting for? If you're also on twitter, follow @RockyTopTalk, @CobbWebbAttack (shameless recruiting writer plug), @Vol_Football, and @SBNationRecruiting for all the latest. ESPN accounts @RecruitingNation and @ESPNU will also be involved during the day for some exclusive (non-Vol) announcements.
I'm on a horrible conference call, do you have anything recruiting related I can read?
As a matter of fact, we do...
Which Vols commits should I be worried about flipping?
No one, really. The Vols seem to have held off Florida for offensive lineman Marcus Tatum and outside linebacker Ja'Quain Blakely, so there aren't really any players to worry about. 4* DB Tyler Byrd flipped from Miami to Tennessee last night, so there's some possibility that he could end up signing with the 'Canes, but that's pretty unlikely.
Which uncommitted players are the Vols still targeting?
In order of probability of a commitment: 4* DB Nigel Warrior, likely (Alabama and Tennessee) UPDATE: Warrior is a Vol; 5* DE Jonathan Kongbo, somewhat likely (Ole Miss and Tennessee) UPDATE: Kongbo is a Vol; and, 5* DT Derrick Brown, tossup (Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee). There's also a chance that 4* DT Tyler Clark could flip from Georgia if Brown signs with the Bulldogs or 4* OG Landon Dickerson spurns Florida State and commits to the Vols, but neither of those players is a lock UPDATE: Dickerson signed with Free Shoes University. Tennessee is also trying to figure out how to squeeze 2* ATH Latrell Williams into this class with either a blueshirt or a grayshirt from another player, but the numbers may not work out. Williams is a blazingly fast (reportedly a 4.2-4.3 player) wide receiver who dominated his high school league as a senior, but wasn't recruited because his academics weren't (allegedly) in order. Now they are and he's a hot commodity UPDATE: Williams is a Vol.
Who is definitely committing to the Vols today?
Who isn't committing to the Vols today?! But seriously, even with four early enrollees, Tennessee will definitely sign:
4* QB Jarrett Guarantano SIGNED
4* DB Tyler Byrd SIGNED
4* ATH Marquez Callaway SIGNED
4* OLB/DE Daniel Bituli SIGNED
4* OT Ryan Johnson SIGNED
4* RB Carlin Fils-aime SIGNED
3* OT Marcus Tatum SIGNED
3* WR Brandon Johnson SIGNED
3* OLB Ja'Quain Blakely SIGNED
3* WR Corey Henderson SIGNED
3* TE Austin Pope SIGNED
3* TE Devante Brooks
3* DB Baylen Buchanon SIGNED
3* OT Nathan Niehaus SIGNED
How excited should I be?
Fairly. Unlike the 2014 and 2015 classes where almost spot was locked down well before National Signing Day, the 2016 class still has a handful of open scholarships. The Vols are hoping for commitments from some of the best players in the country to round out this year's smaller recruiting haul. If Tennessee starts out by locking down legacy defensive back Nigel Warrior, the Vols could be in for a fantastic finish.
1. Note: signing a letter of intent does not guarantee admission to the school and recruits have occasionally been denied admission even with a signed NLI.↩
2. This doesn't include the 2 hour Signing Day Preview which begins at 5 AM.↩