Wednesday, February 4 . . . Football Signing Day! Check TulsaHurricane.com throughout the day for the latest news on signees!!
Here we are again, and welcome Golden Hurricane fans, for the fourth consecutive year we are LIVE from the football offices and coming at you from the Case Athletic Complex on the campus of The University of Tulsa for National Signing Day 2009.
The first Wednesday of February is one of the most important dates on the football calendar, as every coach will tell you, recruiting is the lifeblood of a football program. We will be here all day to bring you the action from the TU football offices as the coaching staff anxiously awaits the national letters of intent from the next class of talented football players to come to Tulsa. Much time will surely be spent pacing, drinking coffee, consuming donuts, and phoning new signees to congratulate them. As always, this is an exciting day for college and high school football programs and fans alike.
6:51 a.m. - Recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator Herb Hand as well as receivers coach Mike Norvell are the first of the coaching staff to arrive, excited for the day to begin.
Comments can be heard throughout the football offices, such as, "It's 6:51. Only nine minutes to go." Counting down the time.
7:00 a.m. - 7 a.m. is the time which national letters of intent can begin to come through the fax machine.
7:01 a.m. - The first NLI just came in, as Coach Hand stood waiting at the fax machine.
7:12 a.m. - One of the most anticipated recruits of this signing class just sent in his NLI. Needless to say, the coaches are excited about this one.
7:36 a.m. - A handful of NLI's have come through the fax machine now, as a group of six coaches hovers around the work room, in and out, waiting nervously patiently.
7:46 a.m. - Things are a little slow here in the early-going, or at least slower than much of the contingent around here would like.
8:31 a.m. - Well more than half of the expected NLI's of this signing class have come in, much to the excitement of the football staff. The fax machine is staying busy, and has kicked up a bit in the last few minutes.
8:42 a.m. - Donuts and sausage rolls have made their glorious appearance in the football offices, much to the delight of the coaches.
8:49 a.m. - The sausage rolls are long gone by now (before yours truly ever actually saw them!), and it's a good bet from the word around the office that Coach Hand ate the most. Director of Football Operations Joe Walker referred to the breakfast pastries as "Daylight Savings..." You can probably guess where these donuts came from.
8:58 a.m. - Coach Hand vehemently disputes the charge that he ate the most sausage rolls. According to him, he has eaten only yogurt and a nutrition bar. He is proud of himself for staying away from the donuts this morning.
9:08 a.m. - The fax machine is buzzing again, and Coaches Hand and Blankenship are hovering around in the staff room. They are waiting for the last few NLI's to come in, some of which will come from the West Coast, which has just said hello to 7:00 this morning. A hole has not exactly been worn in the floor of the hallway, but it would be safe to warn people to watch their step.
9:16 a.m. - Most of the coaches are in the their offices diligently working, except for when they occasionally (read: quite often) check the fax machine anxiously. They are also celebrating a few good signees that have made their way through the fax lines recently.
9:26 a.m. - Tulsa is now 5-for-5 in signing commitments from the state of Louisiana, a well-known fertile recruiting ground with a very talented high school senior class this year. Excitement abounds in the football offices with the latest NLI that came in.
9:40 a.m. - A little more than an hour after breakfast arrived - and this may be the biggest surprise of the morning so far - donuts and cinnamon rolls still remain in the coaches' break room. There are not many left, though. As mentioned above, the staff must be running on adrenaline, or too nervous as they wait for the last few NLI's.
9:54 a.m. - The class continues to fill out, as another signee just came in. Some of the coaches are meeting now and Coaches Herb Hand and Brent Graham are working frantically to clear a paper jam in the fax machine.
10:01 a.m. - The paper jam is clear and the last of the NLI's expected has come through the fax machine. That breeze you just felt was a collective sigh of relief and excitement that just passed from the TU football offices.
10:48 a.m. - We finished up here early this year. Some of the coaches have left for the day, while some are still working in their offices. All of them, however, feel proud and excited about their 2009 recruiting class, and lots of congratulations were given throughout the morning.
Three donuts and one cinnamon roll are still sitting in the break room. Nobody seems to want to eat the last few. Just as well, nobody seems to want to take the credit for eating the most, and in a surprising move of solidarity, nobody has pointed the finger toward the coach that ate the most donuts!
Nothing too unusual happened this morning and the class neither included nor excluded any surprises about who would sign with TU. The excitement will continue throughout the day as the Coach Todd Graham will announce the signing class at a 2 p.m. press conference that can be seen live on TulsaHurricane.com.
Some of Coach Graham's initial comments about the 2009 signing class: