Inside Preps: No Big Surprises Or Hoopla In Polk
Thu. February 02, 2012 at 5:16 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
I hit up a few schools Wednesday to watch people do something that looks so simple: sign a piece of paper.
So why is there so much hoopla about it across the country?
I get it, a high school athlete has to make a tough decision.
But waiting until National Signing Day to do it, to me, seems silly.
So it was nice to know that I wasn't running into major surprises in Polk County.
Almost all of the biggest prospects coming out of the area had made their decisions early. And no one made a spectacle out of it like other top athletes around the state.
I think the only late-comers were Kerwin Harrison of Kathleen, Josh Glanton of Haines City and Jamie Willis of Fort Meade.
Harrison decided early last week that he would head to the University of Memphis and Willis and Glanton in early and mid-January that they would go south to Florida International.
Everyone else was a lock early: Lakeland's Evan Goodman (Arizona State University) and Ricquan Southward (Ohio State), Santa Fe's BJ Knauf (Purdue), Victory Christian's Demeitre Brim (Virginia) and Lake Gibson's Trent Taylor (Tennessee) and Devante Terrell (Western Kentucky University).
So an easy day for me, I guess, except for all the mileage on my hunk o' junk.
I wasn't jealous, either, of what some of my colleagues had to endure in Tampa or South Florida.
At Miramar High School, the country anxiously awaited the decision of All-American Tracy Howard, one of the nation's top cornerbacks.
A ridiculous sidenote: The mayor of the city was there.
Howard's signing day ceremony was aired live on ESPNU and, to say the least, a bit drawn out.
A fellow sportswriter at the Sun-Sentinel, Christy Cabrera Chirinos, tweeted several times of the hold up.
"And guess what, #NSD fans? A brief intermission before Tracy Howard makes his announcement. Should be on ESPNU shortly. Stay around."
Another tweet some moments later:
"Tracy Howard watch: We're all still waiting. Lots of dignitaries speaking now."
In Tampa, a similar situation played out at running back Nelson Agholor's signing.
Agholor, who had a huge number of powerhouse programs to pick from, sat in front of the school's entire student body with ESPN's cameras in his face.
Here's how a Tampa Bay Times reporter wrote it up: "The three-way Buccaneers sensation brought the bay area's most suspenseful National Signing Day subplot to a nationally televised climax Wednesday morning by signing with Southern Cal."
I guess I would have to sit through something like that if it happens here in the future, but I think it's a bit absurd.
So I'm pleading now, future athletes: Just make your decision early and get on with it.
Otherwise just give me a heads up. I promise I won't tell anyone.