National Signing Day is the high holiday of the recruiting world. Schools spend years recruiting kids, all in anticipation of seeing them fax in a letter of intent on this day. Kids filter through letters, advice and personal pleas from coaches to make the painstaking decision that could change their future forever. Fans also wait with bated breath for some indication, any hint - whether a tweet, a picture, a report or a televised announcement. But keep in mind the players here are often younger than 18 and rarely more than a year older. Taking out your frustrations on them for committing to a school other than your own is misguided and ignores the thing college athletics does best - providing a college education to young athletes. With that being said: Here's your local breakdown. We'll have writeups on the top prospects below, with links to our blogs on schools' individual classes linked to the right. We've also assembled a video playlist of the top local prospects in the class. Enjoy signing day!
Arlington Martin Defensive End Myles Garrett signs with Texas A&M
Kevin Sumlin's crop of new Aggies is loaded, and Garrett appears to be the crown jewel of the group. The big defensive end from Arlington is ranked anywhere from first to fifth nationally, and has utterly dominated offensive linemen on his way to sacks and tackles for loss. Garrett drew national attention with an 8.5 sack game against Weatherford this year, and Sumlin personally flew in on his school-provided helicopter (nicknamed the Swagcopter - that's not a joke) to see the prized recruit play on a Friday. Garrett should be a major help to an A&M defense which has struggled mightily over the last two years. As for the academics:
Myles' Twitter handle is @Myles_Garrett15.
Coppell Defensive End Solomon Thomas signs with Stanford
Most indications pointed in this direction, but Thomas was one of the country's highest-rated undecided recruits going into the day. He didn't leave us waiting, though - at 7:00 AM, Solomon took to the ESPN airwaves with his official announcement. He let the drama build for a brief moment, then reached under the press conference table and pulled out an ornamental tree, signifying his decision to enroll at Stanford (he also donned some faux-nerdy plastic-rimmed glasses for good measure). Thomas told us it wasn't an easy decision, but Stanford truly distinguished itself as a fit during the process.
'It's the best of both worlds, academics and football. Great football coaches, men of character... and a great team out there, that's always willing to push - academically and athletically.'
Thomas was one of the area's best players and helped lead Joe McBride's Coppell team to a 9-2 record and the 5A Division 1 quarterfinals. He's a fearsome pass-rusher who's also renowned for his ability as a run defender. Stanford got a quality player and a quality young man.
Thomas' Twitter handle is @SollyThomas90.
Hebron Safety Jamal Adams signs with LSU
Hebron safety Jamal Adams officially signed with LSU this morning. He referred to the Tigers as "DBU" (Defensive Backs University) as a nod to the number of DB's they've sent to the NFL over the last few years. Adams was excited that former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu followed him on Instagram, and is hoping another former LSU DB, Patrick Peterson, is next.
Adams says he hopes to contribute right away as a freshman, and is especially looking forward to the game against Alabama, which will be played in Baton Rouge.
"Jamal has such a great football IQ," said Hebron head coach Brian Brazil. "It doesn't matter if it's playing offense or defense or returning kicks. He plays at another speed, another level, that shows he's clearly ready to step on the next level and play."
He made his announcement during the Under Armour All-American game. Adams said he wasn't at all overwhelmed by the talent and speed in that game, which included some of the best high school football players in the country.
Adams' twitter handle is @TheAdams_era.
Denton Guyer QB Jerrod Heard signs with Texas
Heard is an athletic dual-threat quarterback who has led Guyer to back-to-back state titles (winning the offensive MVP award both times). His style of play will remind Longhorns fans of Vince Young, though he's not nearly as big and has a long way to go before he matches the legendary Texas QB. Texas has a packed stable of talented young QBs, including Tyrone Swoopes - a 4-star dual threat QB much like Heard, who came on board last year. Heard said he never wavered on his commitment - and he's just looking forward to getting started.
'I committed to the University of Texas. I did commit based on the coaching staff, but I knew the university would still be there and they were surely going to get someone big to fill Mack Brown's position. So I just stayed with it.'
Jerrod does not appear to be on Twitter. For shame.
Fort Worth All Saints Offensive Lineman Demetrius Knox signs with Ohio State
Knox is the rare North Texas recruit who grew up imagining himself in an Ohio State uniform. Why? Because that's where he grew up. Demetrius' family moved to the area when he was in seventh grade, but his Ohio State fandom predated that by quite a while - he told us he's dreamed of playing for the Buckeyes since he was in second grade. Knox is regarded as one of the five best guards in the country and says the Ohio State coaching staff told him he currently slots in as their starting left guard - next year, as a true freshman. He considered TCU, Texas and UCLA, but said Ohio State was always the best fit for him. He's a tall, athletic lineman who can play well in space and should improve as he adds strength to his frame.
Demetrius' Twitter handle is @Meech_Dream14