Signing Day ceremonies have usual staples. A player chooses from among hats while his family and high school classmates look on. But every year, a few players get creative and go outside the norm. Naturally, we decided to round up the best and most fun ones for you to enjoy!
The hat ceremony is the most common, but some kids like to mix it up.
A prospect will typically sit at a table with various hats in front of him. He then usually puts on the hat of the school he is signing with:
But there’s often more to it than meets the eye, and not every hat on every table represents an actual scholarship offer.
It makes the player look better to have a lot of offers.
The obvious benefit is that the player’s reputation gets a huge boost when he looks like he is choosing one offer over a bunch of similar or even better offers.
Maybe he is blazing a trail by picking the lesser school. Or maybe he is seen as spurning a bigger, out-of-state offer to stay home.
It makes the chosen school look better.
If you’re a coach at the school the player does pick, you look great. Your bosses think you beat out all those other great schools represented by hats on the table. The boosters will too.
Speaking of hats, T.Y. Hilton chose FIU over West Virginia due to his son picking an FIU hat eight times in a row.
Plenty of recruits have tweaked the hat dance to include fake outs.
My personal favorite: when cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said the Texas hat next to the Alabama one “didn’t have enough swagger,” so he got a fresh Bama hat out of a box:
This isn’t a hat fake out, but it counts!
Another twist: the ole throw-a-hat-on-the-floor gimmick!
Omar Bolden and Tae-kion Reed did just that, and it was glorious:
One of the best parts was the face of the woman sitting next to him:
In 2003, Syvelle Newton (brother of the other Cam Newton) put on a Clemson hat only to throw it off and put on a South Carolina one.:
Live animal ceremonies are the best ceremonies!
Given that a lot of college mascots are animals, some prospects choose to sign with live animals, which is highly recommended.
Take a look at all these adorable bulldogs used for Georgia signees. The most recent to use one was five-star quarterback Justin Fields:
Four-stars like running back Elijah Holyfield...
... and defensive end Michail Carter:
LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE PUPPY ISAIAH CROWELL USED IN 2011:
Speaking of Georgia:
Here's a closer look at 5-star Rashad Roundtree's Georgia pants. Yes I just said that pic.twitter.com/1jNGO5jh1n— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) November 7, 2014
And we can’t forget about Georgia Brown Jr., who committed to Florida with what looked like a live gator. It was really a baby dwarf caiman, but this counts:
Defensive end Solomon Thomas announced he was signing with Stanford, complete with an actual tree and nerd glasses:
Some kids have professionally produced commitment videos that are dope.
Thanks to recruits being able to now commit with well-produced videos, we’ve gotten some really good ones over the years.
Look at five-star cornerback Iman Marshall’s, during which he committed to USC with a spinoff of a music video:
Deontay Anderson committed to Ole Miss with an awesome skydiving video:
Sup, Snoop Dogg:
Cordarrian Richardson committed from OUTER SPACE!
My man Quinn Nordin committed to Penn State on a dang private jet!
(Oh yeah, this is the same kicker Jim Harbaugh flipped to Michigan by having a sleepover with him.)
Ever seen a Dark Knight commitment parody? Now you have, thanks to defensive end Daelin Hayes:
Speaking of superheroes! Four-star defensive end Tahj Rice became a superhero himself with his commitment video to Duke.
HE CUT THROUGH ROPE WITH LASER VISION, Y’ALL:
Offensive tackle Kai-Leon Herbert signed with Miami with a pretty dang realistic zombie spinoff video:
Four-star Jarez Parks signed his letter of intent to Alabama from Paris! It was later announced that he would be grayshirting at Alabama, meaning he got a delayed roster spot and enrolled in January:
BYU landed four-star safety Chaz Ah You, and he made his announcement by riding around in a helicopter with hats of his final schools in the cockpit:
In the end he made his pledge to BYU, and the helicopter landed on BYU’s dang field. (!!!)
Offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux (who went to my alma mater, go Hornets) committed to Notre Dame by pulling a dang school bus:
Swagger is always a solid go-to.
Linebacker Jabrill Peppers picked Michigan with his own rap:
Five-star Marvin Wilson, 2017’s No. 1 defensive tackle, signed with Florida State via custom FSU Jordans:
And there’s Snoop again:
Some nontraditional ways of signing are always fun!
Running back Chris Warren committed to Texas in 2015 with a coin flip:
In 2009, linebacker Ka’Lail Glaud committed to Rutgers with a coin flip, too.
In 1989, Derric Evans signed with Tennessee while sipping wine in a hot tub:
This might be my favorite reasoning behind a commitment ever, tbh:
Officially Committed...Asian Girls Everywhere...UCLA— Soso Jamabo (@Soso_Jamabo1) February 4, 2015
Jimmy Clausen famously committed to Notre Dame at the College Football Hall of Fame after stepping out of a stretch Hummer:
A lot of kids had some real feel-good moments, too.
Tre’Shaun Harrison committed to Florida State as his mom came out cheering with cheerleaders:
IT'S OFFICIAL! Garfield's Tre'Shaun Harrison is heading to Florida State. The 4-star football standout chose FSU over Oregon, Tenn. & Utah. pic.twitter.com/rS8wuYkM57— Patrick Quinn (@PatrickQuinnTV) February 7, 2018
Jamal Adams committed to LSU with his adorable daughter:
Kyle Dodson committed to Ohio State with a fun team chant!
Richie Brown used his infant nephew in a onesie to commit to Mississippi State, and of course, memes were born!
KJ Henry let one of his beloved assistant head coaches, Patrick Murphy, announce his destination.
How ‘bout some paint balling with your buddies while announcing your college choice? Four-star Brandon Burton demonstrates:
There have been some awkward moments, though.
In 2011, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio committed to Auburn on live TV, but a few days later, he signed with Alabama instead:
Linebacker Rosendo Louis signed with South Carolina, but he said South Florida before getting the correct school out:
VIDEO: Rosendo Louis makes his announcement for *South Carolina*.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) December 20, 2017
He botched it at first saying “South Florida” in a pretty comical moment at the ceremony.
Did #USF get an unexpected LOI from an All-American LB?@RJ_DREAMCHASER @DB_BucksFB pic.twitter.com/QTPgADw99M
It was reminiscent of that time defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon committed to Michigan by putting on a Wolverines hat as he announced he’d go to Miami:
University of Miami? Man, he's gonna be disappointed when he gets off the plane. pic.twitter.com/Gtq3BGaQjg— Matt Moscona (@MattMoscona) February 1, 2017
Linebacker Rashaan Evans ended up at Alabama, but, uh, Auburn accidentally added him to its roster after he made his announcement:
In 2012, DaVonte’ Neal skipped his Feb. 21 announcement at an elementary school, only to return hours later to apologize to the kids who’d missed class time and sign with Notre Dame.
And safety Brandon Jones committed to Texas even after TAMU site TexAgs made a 20-minute documentary chronicling his decision process.
Sometimes moms cause problems.
Oh, and lest we forget Gerald Willis III’s mother being very unhappy that he chose Florida over LSU ...
... this was the second time she did this! When Willis’ brother, safety Landon Collins, committed to Alabama, she wasn’t happy either:
In 2013, Alex Collins’ mother ran off with his letter of intent that was signed to Arkansas:
He did make it to Fayetteville.
On the flip side, in 2011, cornerback Floyd Raven’s mom forged his signature on an Ole Miss letter of intent:
Ole Miss was thrilled when it got a letter of intent from four-star cornerback Floyd Raven from Louisiana but less thrilled when it called Raven and tried to get a more legible copy. Raven was undecided between Ole Miss and Texas A&M, but his mother forged his signature and sent his letter to Oxford.
”Mom really wanted him here,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. “Bottom line is, hey, we did get a signature, we did get a letter, but I want people that want to be here.”
He ended up at Texas A&M.
Last but certainly not least, the story of Kevin Hart in 2008.
Hart was the first football prospect from Fernley, Nev. to ever receive a Division I football scholarship offer.
He offered it to himself in a high school gym filled with his peers, choosing a Cal hat over an Oregon cap and thanking his coaches and family.