National signing day used to be somewhat of a holiday on the sports calendar.
This year, however, it’s more like getting a late Christmas present. Sure, it’s cool, but most of the anticipation and excitement about the day is gone – at least at Colorado.
“It’s crazy how it’s changed,” CU co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said. “Last year I was so stressed out (going into signing day).
“We all celebrated at the mid-year point and now we’re excited to move on to spring football.”
For the first time, the early signing period was added to the college football calendar, and CU did most of its work during those three days in December.
Wednesday is the first day of the regular signing period (which runs through April 1), but for CU, this period is more about putting the finishing touches on the 2018 recruiting class.
With 20 players signed back in December, CU didn’t have much more to do for this year’s class, but the Buffs have added three players since then.
Former UCLA commit Kanan Ray signed a financial aid agreement on Jan. 12 and has been in school this semester. Former Virginia Tech running back Travon McMillian has committed to CU and is set to sign a financial aid agreement and come to Boulder this summer.
The only player expected to sign a letter of intent with the Buffs on Wednesday is Alex Tchangam, an outside linebacker from De Anza (Calif.) College.
“We pushed for it,” Chiaverini said of CU signing most of its class in December. “You never know if it’s going to happen, but we do a really good job of identifying talent early in the process and we do a really good job developing those relationships early in the process. When it got to December, we had been recruiting some of those kids over a year. It wasn’t like we were trying to flip kids late. We had a majority of those kids committed for a long time.”
Wednesday will still be a big day nationally, as several of the top prospects in the country have yet to sign, and the battle for the top spots in the recruiting rankings are still alive. It’s not going to be as big of a day as it’s been in the past, however.
“We’re definitely in uncharted waters,” Chiaverini said. “No one thought the mid-year signing period would be as big as it was, for every school. A majority of the schools signed a majority of their class in the mid-year signing period. There wasn’t a lot of national coverage on that day. Going into next year I think it’s going to be a little bit different on how they cover the mid-year signing period.”
CU, meanwhile, has already had a head start on the 2019 class and is preparing for the start of spring practices on Feb. 23.
The Buffs move forward feeling good about the 2018 class.
“I’m excited,” Chiaverini said. “I think we filled a lot of needs in this class, from junior college kids to grad transfers to the depth at wide out, the depth at offensive line. I really feel like we definitely hit the needs we had to hit in this class.”
That includes on defense, where they bolstered the defensive line and secondary, added a potential game-changer in Buff back Davion Taylor and will finish up with the addition of Tchangam, who was a dominating pass rusher at De Anza.
“I think it’s a well-rounded class,” Chiaverini said. “I think overall it’s a really good class.”