Weeding through Signing Day bytes

National Signing Day can be a headline writer’s worst nightmare. It’s the same story every year. Or is it?

Of course, every year a head football coach applauds his class. But can anything be taken from that level of applause. Does "the best class ever" mean it is, and simply an "excellent" class is actually a bad one? Can every year really be the best class the coach has ever had?

I’m guessing a coach’s quotes on Signing Day are about as predictable as a Republican’s view on any health care proposal from across the aisle. Or a Democrat’s view of a Republican’s health care proposal. It works both ways, of course, to make sure nothing ever gets accomplished.

I’m going to use a couple of local examples.

First, North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl:

2007 – "It’s difficult to rank classes but in my mind, this is the best class hands down."

2008 – "Since I’ve been the head coach, my personal assessment is it’s the most talented class that we’ve signed."

2009 – Labeled class as "good to excellent."

2010 – "I think it’s always dangerous as a coach to start pounding your chest saying what a great class this is. By gosh, I’m looking you guys straight in the eye, this is a heck of a class."

It’s impossible to refute such claims. Those classes could have been the best, whether or not they eventually did or didn’t develop. I have to admit that Bohl’s quotes aren’t quite as entertaining as my next example.

No surprise, there are some real gems from Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster:

2008 – "I just can’t say enough about the job the staff did. I think they proved they are the best recruiting staff in America."

2009 – "I think it’s an outstanding group of players who are going to help us as we move forward in our quest to win a championship here at Minnesota." Regarding his efforts to land a number of in-state kids that year, Brewster added, "I truly believe – and I stated this from Day 1 – the core and the fiber of our football team must be representative of the state of Minnesota."

2010 – "This is a very solid class from top to bottom."

I’m not picking on these coaches. You’ll find these types of quotes from every major coach in America.

Brewster’s quotes are hilarious, especially the one from 2008. Best recruiting staff in America? Really?

And in 2009, the Minnesota quote was in response to his staff landing 5 of the top 10 rated kids in the state. Apparently, that wasn’t an emphasis this year, as he landed three Minnesota kids. Or the job just didn’t get done, which led to him merely referring to it as a "solid class."

Plus, it’s always fun to hear Brewster speak of championships. Not sure if he meant Big Ten or BCS in that quote, but even a conference title is so far from my mind when I watch that team squeak past South Dakota State.

5 thoughts on “Weeding through Signing Day bytes

  1. Pretty sure that UND doesn’t matter in the NDSU infused world (have read that countless times over the past few years, anyway), but here’s a Mussman quote: “We have some very talented players in this group,” Mussman said. “Main goal for this recruiting season was to create more depth for our football team. We have a significant gap between our older players and our younger players so we’ll have close to 45-50 kids coming into fall camp this year that will be freshman or true freshman.

    “The key this year, we were looking at running backs, but overall we wanted to strengthen the depth of our football team.”

    Three words seperate yearly quotes from Mussman (and Lennon & Thomas before him) and quotes from Craig Bohl. Those three words that you will consistently find in Bohl’s quotes regarding recruiting classes? Best. Class. Ever.

    Go Cleopatras!

  2. Look at the UND roster. Thats the legacy of Mussman recruiting. Its pretty dismal. Take a look at the Bison roster. Each class has its share of all conference players and NDSU plays is a real conference. The NDSU coach was right when he was enthusiastic about the recruits. The won loss record is about more than recruiting and recruiting is not about putting the screws to kids, a favorite, self-admitted tactic of Mussmans.

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