Get used to all of the new Cyclones. Practice annunciating their names, memorize their hometowns and know all of their vital figures. Impress your spouse with information of Devin McDowell's 4.3 speed and speak of Austen Arnaud like he is your new nephew. It sounds a little crazy, but in some way, these 30 or so young men will be a part of all of our everyday conversations for at least four or five years to come. Signing day is like a marriage ceremony for the players and the fans. We hear of the great things and everybody is all smiles. Even the pessimistic fans can be heard saying, "I think this Kris Means fellow has some real potential." It's a fantastic day for everyone involved.
(Just for kicks, during the next wedding you attend make comments to everyone within ear shot that the bride's 40 time from the end of the aisle is a step slow, or that the groom needs to put on 50 pounds to make the transition to the next level of the relationship. People will be utterly confused.)
For the young men signing on the dotted line, today is the marriage and this week is the honeymoon. What a great feeling. I can't imagine a more exciting and nerve-wracking time than putting your John Hancock on that letter of intent. (Cue Tommy Boy: John Hancock? It's Herbie Hancock.) It looks like a regular sheet of paper until you think of what an ordinary signature can mean.
It was hard enough for me to sign
that piece of paper and the only thing holding me up was the ratio of men to
Whether they like it or not, they
will be seen on campus as 1. Football player 2. Student. In some ways it's a
target. Once they step foot in
Makes the decision to fax that letter a bit more difficult, doesn't it?
But that signature also means a bridge to a great future. These 30 young adults have an advantage many dream about. Playing for a Division 1 college football program and representing the 30,000 students at Iowa State, hundreds of thousands of alumni and millions of folks in the state of Iowa is something very few of us are lucky enough to experience. Oh, not to mention, they will receive a quality education and make friendships that last forever.
My first day at
When this year's class steps on
campus, they may become a public figure, but they will also be the face of
The reasons for their choosing of
It's fun for us fans, as well. Tracking these guys' careers like they are our one of our own can be very rewarding. Watching an Austin Flynn transition form highly-touted quarterback, to Seneca Wallace's back-up, to beat-up freshman starter, to back-up quarterback, to reliable receiver starting in a bowl game, is endearing. I feel tremendous pride when I see Austin Flynn in the Cardinal and Gold, just like he was one of my good friends.
I can't wait to see how these young guys develop. Where will they take us? How will it happen? Who will be the next Austin Flynn? Is there any chance they will stay as long as Tony Yelk?
Today may be the honeymoon, but the five year anniversary is almost more enjoyable.
Let's just hope they all make it down the aisle.