Signing day comes and goes, what it means ... no one knows (yet)

I love college football signing day -- it's just so darn exciting.

Although, I must admit, I'm never really sure what I'm so excited about.

Truly, there is no greater guessing game in sports than evaluating football recruiting classes. At least with college basketball recruiting, we get to see these guys play with and against each other in AAU tournaments or at all-star summer camps.

Football? Who knows what you're getting. Yes, there are more scouting combines now than there used to be, but it's still pretty much a crap shoot because so many things play into whether a football player is successful (system, position, physically maturing, etc.). Never mind the fact that the "star" ratings used by recruiting services often have more to do with who's recruiting the player -- bigger schools chasing the player equals more stars -- than actual talent, because how easy is it to judge a guy who plays week in and week out against inferior competition?

For example, there was a skinny 6-foot-6, 210-pound "two-star" quarterback who projected to be a tight end and signed with Washington State back in 2002. That guy's name? Mkristo Bruce -- the All-Pac-10 defensive end who was nearly unblockable last year until suffering a knee injury and being moved inside in a 3-4 defense.

So, while as a Coug fan I'm excited about the prospect of a guy like Terry Mixon contributing to the secondary right away, I'm also tempered by the knowledge that there are plenty of "four-star" recruits like J.T. Diederichs and Randy Estes who never pan out. (Although, to be fair, the other three WSU recruits rated "four-star" by Rivals.com the last two years turned out to be pretty good: Jerome Harrison, Michael Bumpus and Andy Roof.)

For the record, Rivals.com has ranked the Washington Huskies recruiting class as the 35th overall in the nation, fourth in the Pac-10; the Cougs are rated as the No. 62 recruiting class (right in between Baylor and San Diego State), dead last in the Pac-10.

With that, I'll leave the speculation to people who know a lot more about this than I do.

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