by Matt Lincoln
Signing Day is one of the most exhausting days of the year for a local television sports guy. For me, it began at Manchester High School for Jake Goins signing with Virginia Tech at eight in the morning. It ended with me posting a final story to this website a little after midnight. While it's a tough day to get through, it's one of the most fun days. Covering sports, you're used to everything having both a winner, and a loser. But for these guys, everyone's a winner. Almost every one of them talked about their dreams coming true, and that they were going to their dream school. Mother's crying, coaches smiling, sons hugging, I mean, who doesn't like this stuff?
As for Curtis Grant, Ohio State seemed the place from the beginning. I understand the desire to go play for a big time powerhouse right now. I think Grant loved playing with and against the best of the best in San Antonio at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and wanted to do that at the next level. That being said, he definitely has tons of respect for Mike London. But if he went to UVA, he would be the one, or one of a few, big stars. Now he's going to a team where everyone's great. And that's what he wanted. Also, I hope you've seen the video from across the country of signees playing games with hidden hats, and hats saying different things, and other sorts of ridiculous trickeration to try to seem clever. I have tons of respect for Grant for just putting his hat in a box, and not playing any games. Also trying to keep his teammates as big of a part of his big day as much as possible - having them talk about their schools before his announcement during the ceremony, and having them surround him while he was interviewed on ESPNU - shows lots of class.
In addition, Virginia Tech is getting a pair of intelligent and insightful players in Corey Marshall and Chris Hall from Dinwiddie. Marshall, the top recruit from Virginia in Frank Beamer's class, seems to have the maturity of a senior in college. Hall played tight end at Dinwiddie, but is so excited to go to Tech, it seemed he wouldn't mind doing the kicking if Beamer asked him to. Both guys will be leaders in Blacksburg for years.
To clear up some confusion, Petersburg's Keith Johnson did not sign with the University of Richmond. He is going to Fork Union to clear up his academics. He still wants to go to UR in the future.