National signing day, once just a deadline but now its own festival, falls this week as it always does, the first Wednesday in February.
High school athletes make official their college destinations. Alumni make official their pride. Coast to coast, coaches gloat. Moms serve cake. Then everyone goes home.
Or so they did. But, while that scene plays out in countless high school cafeterias, more than 100 erstwhile high school seniors across the nation will be completing their first month of college. For half a year before the new recruiting classes hit campus, they will have had a valuable head start in memorizing playbooks and impressing new coaches. In a fast-growing trend —- one with distinct Georgia roots —- early enrollment has become the next big thing in college football, encouraging prep players, whether they are socially equipped for college or not, to put away their childish things for the sake of old State U.