Signing Day Video
Welcome to the 2013 Tulsa Football Signing Day Central! Check back here for live updates as we announce the newest members of Tulsa's 2013 recruiting class.
Signing Day Blog
Good morning TU Fans.
Well, it's that time of year again. Welcome back to our signing day blog. Let's see, since we were last talked Tulsa has won a Conference USA Championship, AutoZone Liberty Bowl Championship and became the second team in school history to win 11 games. Last year, at this time, of that group of 19 freshmen signees (plus one JUCO trasnfer and one senior transfer) 15 freshmen red-shirted, three gray-shirted and one (kicker Daniel Schwarz) played.
Are you ready... Well hold on... this is expected to be a fast and furious ride. Coach Blankenship expects to have signed, sealed and delivered by 10:30ish. But we've been here before... the unexpected could happen.
The gathering has begun. The fax machine has paper, but more importantly Crista Troester, Senior Associate AD over Compliance, has arrived. And today, more of the national letters-of-intent may be coming over via email.
The younger Blankenship, Adam, is suggesting that the first letter will come via email, but the fax machine has just rung. Again, before we release anything officially, the papers have to be inspected.
Who was the first person at the fax machine this morning. Take a guess -- it's coach Blankenship. Coaches are gathering to see who was the first one to send their letter in. Why is there so much excitement? We just found out that a steak dinner goes to the coach who brings in the first signee. Well, depending on what has come over via email (as Crista was called away this morning), the first one to come over via fax is Lionell Phillips. The winning coach is Calvin Thibodeaux.
7:19 -- News is coming this morning that Tulsa will have another signee that will be new to everybody. We believe you'll know him, but we'll have to wait.
Adam Blankenship has been on the phone explaining some of the intricacies of signing the letter of intent to a recruit (to protect the innocent, we will not reveal the players name).
In the midst of all the craziness, Tulsa World's John Hoover has arrive, and photographer has made his way to campus as well.
7:24 -- Coach Johnson is reading the morning paper here in the war room, otherwise known as the fax room. This fax room, capacity of 8, is overloading with 18 people.
7:31 -- There has been confusion this morning. Nothing on the coaches part. I will get into that later. But as of now 9 players have signed, and Coach Blaneknships phone just keeps rinnging from those recruits who have signed.
7:40 -- Here's who's in so far --Will Barrow, Rob Boyd, Jesse Brubaker, Ray Crockett, CJ Gooden, Lionell Phillips, Devin Rolan, Kolton Shindelar, Zach Uhles, Zach Webb - a total of 10.
7:43 -- Boy, it got quiet all of a sudden. As the tweeters are gathering outside the doorway - the @TUCoachBlank, @TulsaHurricane and @TulsaFootball - are sending out all the signees as they come in. Eric Hollier and Stephanie Hall are feverishly updated the website with the bios and uploading the player videos.
Oh, Good news, Tally's is here with the famous cinnamon rolls. I'll be back in a minute.
7:45 -- BREAKING NEWS.... I got the first cinnamon roll (my wife won't be happy). Boy is it good. The bacon is pretty good too.
The quote of the day so far by Coach B's administrative assistant, Micki Heatly... you guys look hungry. Only 2 cinnamon rolls are missing, no wonder these coaches look hungry.
8:01 -- If you haven't heard by now, there was one young man, a running back from St. Louis, who had been committed for a long time, and decommitted a few days ago... apparently will be going elsewhere. Watch for a pleasant surprise signing by Tulsa. Hopefully, it will come through.
Coach Downing is on the phone with a father from Colorado, checking on the email coming through for his son... but now it will be faxed. Now that Colorado hit 7:00 am in the morning, signees from that time zone can now sign their letter of intent.
8:08 -- Coach Downing is patiently waiting by the fax machine for that Colorado signee. Boy, this fax machine is slow. It's in. Ryan Rubley has now signed.
8:10 -- Here's the surprise signing... defensive back Kerwin Thomas from Wagoner (Okla.) High School... he was originally committed to Wyoming. His papers have arrived.
8:16 -- Taking a break from this blog for a few minutes, so we can upload a video interview just taken with Coach Blankenship. Check that out in a few minutes.
Now taking over for Coach Blankenship, hoovering around the fax machine, is Denver Johnson and Dan Bitson. Well, Coach B returns.
Boy, it's has quieted down.
I'm disappointed. Out of 48 cinnamon rolls, 40 remain... c'mon coaches. Only eight have been eaten, and I've taken care of two.
Jaylen Lowe's papers are in.
8:40 -- Boy, this is record pace, only four expected signees papers are not in yet. Don't remember a year where this many have been in this early.
8:41 -- The three Union players are in -- Blake Mejia, Dalton Rodriguez and Chris Hall -- in that order.
8:46 -- Some reminiscing is going on now waiting on the final two signees.... and it all goes back to two years ago - Coach B's first signing class as haead coach when the snowstorm hit Oklahoma. Coach B slept overnight to be here that signing day morning. Our media relations staff handled all the official release of the signees via our homes. Thank the Lord for the internet. Can't imagine what it would have been like years ago, when we had to rely on the fax only for everything, including sending releases to the media.
8:50 -- far west Oklahoman Joe Bean, from Hooker, Oklahoma, has sent his papers. So now it's down to 1.
9:05 -- Okay, remember my 7:31 post when I said confuson has set in. Here's the explanation. Senior Associate AD Crista Troester monitors the papers and confirms that they have been correctly signed. Well, do to the late commit from Kerwin Thomas in Wagoner, Crista had to return to her office to prepare the proper scholarship papers for Kerwin, therefore all the emails that came in, which go directly to Crista were back-logged. Until she was able to get those papers prepared and sent to Kerwin, we had no confirmation that those players who emailed papers had actually signed yet. So there it is.
Once she returned and was able to confirm those signed papers, the confusion ended and it became much smoother in the football offices.
9:06 -- Still waiting for the last known signee to fax or email his papers.
9:18 -- It's final... Ben Oberste is the final signee to get papers in. But don't go anywhere, we'll be here for quite a bit of the morning. Don't forgot, the LIVE CHAT begins right here at TulsaHurricane.com at 10 am. First coach will be recruiting coordinator Jess Loepp.
9:30 -- Coaches go into meeting to review film of each signee. Coach B and the coaches will have two private invite-only functions tonight to attend to talk about the recruiting process and the signees. They will review anything needed in this meeting for those events.
9:52 -- Another Cocach Blankenship video interview will be posted shortly right here in the blog.
10:50 -- Sorry for the long layoff. Hope you've been on the Live Chat with coaches Loepp and Peterson. Defensive Coordinator Brent Guy will be coming up shortly, followed by Coach Blankenship to close things out. Live press conference with coach Blankenship takes place on tulsahurricane.com at 12 noon. I'm back to add some insight into the day.
11:12 -- Okay. The reason why the signing class was all finished with 2.5 hours (9:18 was the final letter of intent) is Coach Blankenship made a sweet deal - Steak dinner to the coach who's recruit is the first one to send in his papers. As we mentioned earlier, Lionnell Phillips papers came across the fax at 7:07. Lionell is a Coach Thibodeaux recruit. However, due to the backlog of some emails that came across to Crista and her having to prepare papers for Kerwin Thomas, we were not able to get the communciation that those emailed letters have arrived.
So, to clear up the confusion. The first recruit to sign and get his papers in today was defensive back Ray Crockett, Jr. -- a Greg Peterson recruit. So congrats to coach Peterson on the steak dinner. Let's see... Mahogony's, Polo Grill, Flemings, The Spudder? No matter which one it will be a good steak. Knowing Coach B's favorite steakhosue, I have a good idea which one, but I'll keep that one out of the public so no one's feelings get hurt.
11:19 -- As usual, what an interesting day. There was one thing missing -- no sausage rolls. But I think the cinnamon rolls made up for it. Too bad for Coach Blankenship though. He started his post-recruiting diet two days ago (wife Angie will be happy to know that he has stuck to it so far). I don't ever remember getting done with all the signees signed, sealed and delivered in less than 2.5 hours. I believe last year was drawn out to after noon waiting on one signee. It was well worth the wait though -- all-time leading freshman kicker and scorer Daniel Schwarz.
11:33 -- The day continues, but it's time to end this blog. I think you'll be able to get another good insight into signing day and the character of people on this Tulsa coaching staff by picking up a morning Tulsa World. Columnist John Hoover and photographer John Clanton spent the morning with us and should have an extensive piece in Thursday's paper.
I've noticed a lot of questions on the Live Chat with coaches have been about helping immediately. Well, much too early to tell. Obviously, when the coaches get them on the field in early August, they'll know a lot more then.
It sure appears to be not only a solid class of football players, but a quality class of young men as well.
If I'm looking into a cyrstal ball, i think at the end of five years, we'll look back on this class and see just how good it was. Yes, I say five years, because again most will likely red-shirt.
And that's not a bad thing. Think four years ago the signing class on Feb. 4, 2009 -- some of the names like Daeshon Bufford, Stetson Burnett, Brian DeShane, Trent Dupy, Shawn Jackson, Dexter McCoil, Alex Singleton, Cody Wilson -- some pretty good ones, and five of whom played as true freshmen and have already completed their eligibility -- think if those five could have red-shirted.
Oh well, another signing day blog has come and gone. We hope you enjoyed it. Got a little hectic early on, but we enjoyed bringing it to you. Be sure to watch the LIVE and FREE press conference with coach Blankenship.
Oh, one more thing... BUY SEASON TICKETS FOR THE 2013 FOOTBALL SEASON, AND TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO BUY THEM. SEASON TICKETS WENT ON SALE THIS MORNING. BUY ONLINE OR CALL 918.631.GoTU (4688) TO PURCHASE TICKETS. LET'S GET THIS STADIUM FILLED EVERY HOME GAME SATURDAY. ONCE WE DO THAT , THERE'S NO TELLING HOW GREAT THE TULSA FOOTBALL PROGRAM CAN BECOME.
11:57 -- Oh a couple more things, looks like we'll have a couple preferred walk-ons that have already been admitted to TU. So we'll announce those at some time as well. Also, deep snapper Rey Higuera, a true freshman walk-on this past season who handled all the deep snapping duties, has been given a scholarship.
Okay, that's it from here. stay tuned to the press conference in about two hours.
2013 Tulsa Signee List