Pushing the envelope on signing day

Athletes should embrace signing day and celebrate their commitment to their collegiate team

Lily Taylor, Sports Editor

The year was 1989. Jessie Armstead sat in the Loews Anatole Hotel banquet hall in Dallas, Texas. The future five-time Pro Bowler had a big decision to make as the ball cap belonging to his future college sat in front of him. 

For the majority of high school athletes, furthering their athletic careers in college is a dream. Even with years of hard work and dedication only 7% of high school athletes will go on to compete in college with only 2% making it to NCAA Division 1 schools. 

When signing day comes around, it just so happens to be an enormous deal across the country. With the festivities that come with signing day, traditions have arisen as athletes try to top last year’s highest anticipated college reveals. 

While MN doesn’t participate in the festivities outside of signing letters of intent, it is important to recognize long standing traditions outside of our community. 

One of the most recognizable traditions is the Hat Selection Ceremony coined by the Dallas Morning Star. This tradition spans not only into collegiate decisions, but into the professional world of sports as well. 

It may seem cliche, but athletes create “hype” leading up to their final decision on signing day in order to raise the stakes for the final college choices. 

From this long standing tradition, athletes have developed more extravagant ways of announcing their commitment. 

In 2014, New Jersey native, Jabrill Peppers announced his commitment to the University of Michigan via a rap live on ESPN. 

The announcements have only gotten more wild from there. 

In 2016, four star safety, Deontay Anderson announced his commitment to Ole Miss through a YouTube video. In the video, Anderson skydives landing on the ground to reveal his Ole Miss shirt. 

As athletes keep raising the bar on signing day, MN athletes have kept their announcements classic. 

Senior, Jadin Johnson announced his commitment to Old Dominion on Aug. 12 through a tweet. He confirmed his official signing Nov. 11 by signing the letter of intent document in front of MN administrators and with his family. 

Whichever way athletes choose to declare their intent, they will wholeheartedly receive cheers from their community around them. 

On that fateful day in 1989, Armstead helped create a wide spread signing day tradition that has lasted decades. As athletes keep pushing the envelope, signing day becomes more exciting every year.