I’ve witnessed plenty of National Signing Day drama through the years, shooting exclusively for Canesport every year since 1996. What has changed in those 16 years is kids are learning to take advantage of their initial 15 minutes of fame and play to the media with dramatics better suited for acting school. For some, it’ll be the only 15 minutes they’ll ever get.
Therefore, don’t sweat the ones that get away, because more often than not, we don’t hear much about them afterwards. I present these three examples I’ve witnessed firsthand:
Kayvon Webster, DB, Pace HS, 2009 NSD.
Dressed with a USF hoodie and a Miami tie on the outside, Webster sat down with two of his classmates and placed a Miami and USF hat in front of him on the table. Webster then flipped the Miami hat behind him, put on the USF hat and then tucked in his Miami tie under the USF hoodie.
In three years at USF he has a grand total of two interceptions, although he does have a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown on his resume.
Deonte Thompson, WR, Glades Central HS, 2007 NSD.
Thompson also chose to dramatize his moment for the cameras. He had been wearing Miami gear and downplaying Florida before he appeared for the media with offers from UM, UF, USC & Ohio State on the table in front of him. No one, except his family, saw what was coming, the shocking reveal of Gator hats for he and his girlfriend.
Thompson had only one 100 yard receiving game in four years at UF, and even that was against a Division 1-AA opponent.
Jonathan Colon, OL, Miami Central HS, 2000 NSD.
Colon’s story is in a league of its own, and might be one of the all-time bizarre NSD stories.
Torn and conflicted, Colon was near tears as he signed with Florida on NSD in front of the media and his very unhappy father, who wanted him to go to Miami. But a signed Letter Of Intent also showed up on Miami’s fax machine that day. Colon had signed with both schools.
While UF and UM haggled over where Colon belonged, the NCAA spent a week sorting through the mess before finally making the ruling Colon belonged to the Gators, as he had signed his Miami LOI the night before signing day – making it invalid.
Ironically, Colon ended up at Bridgton Academy in Maine in the fall of 2000 and re-signed with the Gators on NSD in 2001.
Colon started only 22 of 43 games during his career with the Gators.