The first Wednesday of February is known as National Signing Day, the day when high school senior football players can officially sign their contracts to play football in the college of their choice. College football is one of the most followed sports by fans and the media, and every year, star players will announce what team they are signing with. While in recent years there has been an early signing period has begun in late December, many top-players choose to wait until National Signing Day as it gets the most attention and coverage. The signing period ends at the start of April.
National Signing Day is sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of the United States.
Before 1981, different colleges held their own signing day conferences on the second Saturday of December, but recruits were allowed to sign letters-of-intent on earlier stages. During a 1980 convention, head football coaches of The College Football Association proposed a single National Signing Day where recruits would sign a national letter-of-intent with only one school of their choice, provided that college was part of the NCAA. In January 1981 it was ruled that early signing days were to be abolished, and National Signing Day was to take place on the third Wednesday in February. Since that year, the date has changed to be observed on the third Wednesday of the month.
Eventually, in 2017, the NCAA reinstated the early signing period to be held from late December.
For many college football fans, National Signing Day means a fresh new start for their teams and enhances the hope of a new star quarterback or linebacker that could take them to victory.
College Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States and is considered to be the second tier of American Football, below the NFL. As the name states, this sport consists of American football played by student-athletes of American universities, colleges, and military academies. In towns with strong collegiate pride, college football is more popular than professional football and seen as more prestigious.
It is during their time as student-athletes in college football that players have their chance to be drafted by the NFL to play football professionally, with 256 students selected annually to play in the league.
The first college football match between two different universities was played on November 6, 1869, between Princeton University and Rutgers University, and was played at a field in Rutgers. This first match resembled English soccer more than the current traditional American football, featuring a round ball and players trying to score points by kicking it into the other team's goal. Rutgers won that first college football match by 6-4.
One of the most famous rivalries in college football is the one between Harvard and Yale, with an annual dispute known as The Game. Although there is no prize, this is the most anticipated sporting event of the year for both teams.
National Signing Day Activities
If you're a fan of college football, make sure to pay attention to all the star-player conferences happening on this day, to see if your team is going to have a new star-player in their ranks, that will hopefully lead the team to a big victory!
Organize a football match with your friends at the local park, and try to score the touchdown of a lifetime. If you were a player in school, this is a great chance to relive those days.
Are you a mega-fan? Then you surely have a mental list of all your favorite plays and events throughout the years. Spend some time rewatching your team's incredible victories, or those mindblowing passes and catches that won't happen again.