Tomorrow is the greatest and also somewhat creepiest day of the college athletics calendar, and we're going to do it how only we can: With bloody marys, pictures of fax machines, and lots and lots of coffee.
We'll be around early in the morning, most likely about 9am. As the NLI's come rolling in, we'll be there to talk about it. Also, it's certainly been an interesting few months on Fowler Avenue, and we'll be there to talk about everything else too: the AD search, the basketball teams, baseball being just a week away... all that fun stuff!!
Willie T has a presser at 3:30pm, and we'll be there. As for the rest of the day, we'll be here to help you get through the least productive day for college sports fans in cubicles nationwide outside of NCAA hoops first round Thursday and Friday.
Here's the 25 kids that are currently committed to signing tomorrow, but remember it's National Signing Day which means our stable could get hit with a steel chair at any time. Especially when fending off the ESS EEE CEE and others after their first choices go somewhere else. This also works in the other direction, as we might see a surprise or two as well in our favor. Remember, there are 31 spots available in this class since USF can backdate up to six players to last year's class.
A quick primer on what to expect tomorrow:
Marlon Mack: IN! And WOW was that fun. Mack turned heel on Louisville, and the Twitter craziness about his decision made for an epic night last week. The Louisville Courier-Journal had him as a UL commitment, but then Willie T got all up in there and told us to hold our horses:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Don't believe the hype. Go Bulls! <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23DreamTeam&src=hash">#DreamTeam</a></p>— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) <a href="https://twitter.com/CoachTaggart/statuses/427951295346266112">January 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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So we did... and it turned out he was actually coming here. WOO HOO!!
Jimmy Bayes: IN! The ATH from Immokalee is now a part of this class, and Rivals has him as the only 4 star on the board. He's an impact player for sure, and spurning offers from places like Georgia Tech, Mizzou, and Wisconsin to stay in-state means he's exactly the type of kid we need to turn around this program.
D'Ernest Johnson: Looking good. Another Immokalee kid, the running back seems to be leaning to the Bulls too.
Denzel Ward: 50/50. Will announce at 11am between USF and Syracuse. The 6'8, 307 lb lineman from legendary-for-basketball Simeon HS in Chicago would really enjoy the University of Sun and Fun, no?
Gilbert Johnson: Probably. Was between USF and Georgia (where he had committed originally), but apparently is leaning our way. WR from Homestead that would be a nice get for sure.
Vincent Jackson, Jr: 50/50. It'll be USF or Virginia for the 3 star DE from Jesuit HS. His Twitter account has been a place of love and hate of USF over the past year, so hopefully he finally puts the drama to an end tomorrow.
Tajee Fullwood: Fence sitting: Committed to USF, but now a possibility to Cincinnati. Because cold weather in the same conference makes sense.
Note: What are these kids thinking sometimes? WE HAVE GORGEOUS WEATHER AND GORGEOUS WOMEN AND WE'LL PAY FOR YOUR SCHOOL MY GOD JUST COME HERE.
We'll be here for all the drama tomorrow
Appropriate Wrestling Clip:
I don't think I've ever seen the push for anything in 'rasslin like there was for the Night of The Skywalkers scaffold match between the Road Warriors and the Midnight Express. It was on Thanksgiving Night, so of course 9-year-old me had no chance of getting it on Pay Per View. But the push for it started months out (remember, Saturday mornings was the only wrestling on TV back then), and it looked legitimately terrifying. Four guys 25 feet over a ring, and at least two of them would have to fall down to lose. Actual real pain would be involved here no matter what.
The match itself ended up being terrible, as they were so high up and petrified actually dying that none of the spots looked legitimate. And it ended up being most famous for arguably the best manager in wrestling history, Jim Cornette, really tearing the hell out of his leg after missing his spot and not getting caught as he fell to the ring. It was a seminal moment of my childhood, and really helped put the NWA in the mainstream national consciousness.
Tomorrow Willie Taggart signs the #1 class in the AAC. He is the Road Warriors. The rest of the conference? They're Loverboy Dennis and Beautiful Bobby, plunging to a loss at the center of the ring.
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Cornette? Easy. That's George O'Leary. Follows up the best year in team history by losing his superstar QB and RB, and gets the 6th best class in his own conference. Yikes.