Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Signing day goes big time for college football

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Feb 7, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 6 of 14,636 articles

BALTIMORE - CSTV and ESPNU are poised to cover college football’s national signing day with all the fanfare of the NFL Draft, featuring wall-to-wall coverage and plenty of local high school players and college coaches on the edge of their seats.

Today is the big day, and ESPNU will start its coverage at noon with both ESPNEWS and ESPN dropping by from 3 to 5 p.m. CSTV will air its signing day special live from 2 to 5 p.m. with Matt Simms, John L. Smith, John Bunting and recruiting expert Tom Lemming, the dean of college recruiting.

Lemming spoke to me about the nation’s growing interest with national signing day.

Lemming on scouting players: “I have been tracking high schools for over 27 years, and I logged over a million miles scouting players for my publications, and over the past five years things just exploded. Everyone wants to know if their school got the big catch — impact players to make them a BCS Championship contender.”

Lemming on Maryland: “I really think that Maryland fans will be very happy with their success. The Terps have been able to keep most of the top players in the state while sneaking up to New Jersey and grabbing four players from Rutgers’ backyard. Head coach Ralph Friedgen and his staff really have worked very hard to not lose the very talented kids in Maryland, and it has paid off. I really think they could have a Top 25 class.”

On the ACC: “Virginia Tech gets high marks, and once again, coach Frank Beamer should have a great class coming to Blacksburg. I think Beamer is an underrated recruiter. He always does a great job. As for Miami and FSU dropping off, don't count on it. They will still be perennial top-10 recruiting teams every year, with South Florida quickly becoming the state’s next powerhouse.”

On who did the best recruiting nationally: “USC and Florida both have done a great job of becoming dynasties and will be top-five recruiters for many years to come. Texas, Notre Dame, LSU, Michigan and Ohio State will all be near the top this year.”

THEOHARIS STAYING PUT: Early last week, Amber Theoharis was looking to leave her Baltimore home and head north to take a bite out of the Big Apple. But as of last Thursday, she will be staying in Charm City for a long time.

On the day she was named the 2006 Maryland sportscaster of the year, Theoharis signed a deal with WHFS-FM to do a new show, which debuted last week, called “The A List,” airing Monday-Friday, 7-9 p.m. You can also expect Theoharis to be on TV sometime this spring.

With Theoharis’ new gig and Anita Marks doing drive-time on sister station ESPN 1300-AM, Baltimore has the distinction of five consecutive hours of daily sports talk anchored by women.

Both Theoharis and Marks are likely to be part of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network’s baseball plans, but look for that news in a couple of weeks. The network is still working out the details for its elaborate baseball coverage.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. E-mail him at

No comments: