National Signing Day 2018 in the state of Florida had some buzz for the first time in a long time this week.
Why? The Chucky Doll.
Seriously, the Chucky Doll was a bit humorous to me. Are these kids aware that these are pictures and videos that their very own kids moreover them will view in the future? Just a “what was I thinking” thought. Plantation American Heritage defensive tackle Nesta “Jade” Silvera, committed to the University of Miami at the school’s National Signing Day ceremony. While putting on the hat sporting “The U” the Chucky Doll was in his lap. Part of a tradition started by Florida Gator signees.
There were actual regular signees from the city of Tallahassee down to South Florida. Heritage sent top defensive linemen to the Hurricanes, Patrick Surtain Jr flipped to Alabama and the Florida Gators land one of the most coveted defensive players from South Florida, here are more of my thoughts.
Beginning with the team who wears the “turnover chain” on the defensive side. Miami arguably signed the best class in the state. The best player in the class is running back Lorenzo Lingard. The Florida Gatorade Player of the Year was the Hurricanes only five-star in the Hurricanes class. Lingard rushed for 1,701 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior. Silvera kept his word and committed to Miami; he is rated the nations number two defensive tackle. Hurricanes locked up most of the “Storm 18” class during the early signing period but let Heritage’s Surtain Jr. slip through their hands and take his talents to Alabama.
The Florida Gators were involved in what may be the all-time “what was I thinking” moment on Signing Day nationally. Wide receiver Jacob Copeland was the Gators biggest catch. Copeland finished his high school career with 114 catches for 2,261 yards (averaging under 20 yards per catch) and 30 total touchdowns, including ten rushing. When Copeland announced his decision to go to Gator country on ESPN2, his mother who was wearing an Alabama sweatshirt walked off. She returned later and hugged her son. The Gators class ranked 14th overall in the 247Sports.com recruiting rankings considering Dan Mullen just signed on to coach the Gators. Offensive tackle, Nicholas Petit-Frere packed his bags to attend the Ohio State University, coaching changes led to the loss.
Florida State’s new head coach Willie Taggert had to scramble and make some calls to do his best to keep Jimbo Fisher recruits. The recruiting class ranking dropped, however, Taggert will have talent. Tre’Shaun Harrison who is considered one the best athletes in the country was a big catch for Taggert who most likely will have him play wide receiver. Taggert lost four-star quarterback James Foster who is taking his talents to Texas A&M with Fisher.
The FIU Panthers had sizzle during their season, however, did not cook much on signing day. Butch Davis was nearly done with recruiting in December’s early signing period with 21 recruits then adding one player with two scholarships remaining for future use. The defensive line is where the Panthers improved. Davis signed two junior college defensive tackles in Tayland Humphrey and Teair Tart-Spencer, both four-star players who stand out in this signed class.
The FAU Owls battled with power five schools in the state of Florida and nationally. Owls coach Lane Kiffin knows how to make lemonade aid with his lemons. Kiffin will have to top an impressive first season, so why not add depth to his high-powered offense? Nero Nelson is the wide receiver Kiffin needed to fill the in for losses of Kalib Woods and Kamrin Solomon. Nelson was rated the no.3 junior college receiver by 247sports.com moreover singed initially with Mississippi State out of the SEC. Zack Bennett will only be a plus on the offensive line.
There are players who were highly recruited who will never reach the expectations they were hyped for at the college level moreover never step on the field for an NFL team. But some players are two to three-star recruits across the country they will use this day not only as motivation but expose the “Chucky Doll” off this all.