Signing Day Grades Don’t Carry Much Weight Here
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I made the trip down to Mizzou Wednesday for the annual signing day press conference. Nice day for a drive. It was also great to see some old friends while getting a very early look at the newest members of the Tigers football program. I'm in agreement with Coach Gary Pinkel on not putting any stock in the various signing day grades.
We won't really know how Signing Day 2013 turned out until the fall of 2015 or 2016. Most of Wednesday's signees won't play this fall. Some will get on the field in 2014. Most won't become regular contributors until 2015.
What we do know is that Missouri landed some SEC/NFL sized linemen and some defensive backs big enough to get along against power running attacks. That's a good sign given the player development track record Pinkel and his staff have since they came to Columbia.
Signing day class grades are at best an educated wild guess in my book. Some of those grades turn out to be wishful thinking. The people who actually know this stuff well enough to grade right now are on the payrolls of college football programs and they’re not going to talk.
A little research turns up some interesting things about several guys who went to Missouri and on to the NFL. Aldon Smith (SF), William Moore (ATL), Ziggy Hood (PIT) and Chase Daniel (N. Orleans) had three star grades. Sean Weatherspoon (ATL), Danario Alexander and Michel Egnew were mere two star recruits.
Just a guess, but I suspect that you could easily find guys with four or five star grades from that same time frame who are totally anonymous these days.
Also, I had a "You Know You're in the SEC When.." moment when my cell phone rang five minutes before the signing press conference started. The caller was looking for a public address announcer for a monster truck event.