SEZ Signing Day party huge success

After the 2005 signing day party, which frankly didn't go very well due to an unexpected throng of people, the Ole Miss QB braced themselves, organized, prepared and planned for yesterday's 2006 signing day festivities. The result was a great day athat went off without a hitch for those who attended the event in the South End Zone. Read about it inside.

The Ole Miss QB Club took enough criticism to last a lifetime for the 2005 SEZ Signing Day party.

Some was deserved, some not. But that is beside the point. The big question as Feb. 1, 2006, rolled around was how are they going to handle it this year?

In a nutshell, the answer is "superbly."

Around 500 Rebels showed up in the South End Zone anxiously awaiting news of new Rebel football players coming on board.

But the QB Club, under the direction of new President Peter Ross, didn't just provide timely information on the signees when they became official, they lined up guest speakers and they made sure they had plenty of food and refreshments.

Certainly, it didn't hurt the flow of the day and excitement level of the attendees when there was very little suspense in the names popping up on the signing board and the fact that everything was basically over well before noon with 29 new names (there was one late surprise, PK Joshua Shene) already up.

But to fill out the time, the QB Club arranged for Chancellor Robert Khayat, AD Pete Boone, Baseball Coach Mike Bianco, Men's Hoops Coach Rod Barnes, Lady Rebel Coach Carol Ross and others to speak between singee names being written on the board.

Scout.com's Yancy Porter handled all recruiting info without a hiccup and answered questions during an hour session after all signees were on board.

Perhaps the most entertaining hour or so of the day was when former Rebels Marcus Johnson, Jesse Mitchell, Doug Buckles, Eddie Strong and Cliff Woodruff stood before the crowd and told old war stories and answered questions. They were certainly the comedy relief of the day and did a super job in the time frame when the crowd was waiting on Coach O to join the party.

By NCAA rule, members of the media were not allowed to listen to Coach O's remarks, but standing outside, it was apparent he got the crowd worked into one final frenzy on the day.

We've been involved in a lot of signing day parties in our 25 years of covering Ole Miss athletics, but this one, without a doubt, was the best and most eventful.

Kudos to the QB Club, Ed Orgeron, SID Langston Rogers, the new signees and everyone involved for making it another great day to be a Rebel.

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