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National Signing Day turns 'excited' into most overused sports cliché

At Todd Graham's press conference on National Signing Day last Wednesday, he said he was "excited" about his recruiting class.

Graham and ASU announced 22 players (now 23 after Terrell Chatman's late-add). His class is rated No. 20 according to with an average star ranking of 3.26, both of which are ASU's highest totals since at least a decade.

But on Wednesday, "excitement" might have surpassed "We're taking it one game at a time" for the most hackneyed sports clic.

As a head coach, of course you're thrilled that a number of people officially accepted your scholarship offer. You want them to come; that's why you offered. And they finally returned the favor.

Texas A&M; coach Kevin Sumlin said it best.

“There are 128 (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs I guess now, and I don’t think there’s going to be one guy that gets up at this time of day and says they had a bad class,” he said.

If the class is a highly-rated one, coaches can easily point to the stars as justification for it and if not, they'll just say stars don't matter. Such as when South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said, "I think they'll prove to be a little better than maybe all the rankings."

To illustrate just how prevalent "excited" was from coaches, I scoured Twitter and official team sites to find out who said some form of "excited" about their recruiting class. The results are truly astounding.


ASU | Todd Graham

Arizona | Rich Rodriguez

Stanford | David Shaw

Colorado | Mike MacIntyre

“This is always an exciting day. We’re excited about this class and the hard work that our staff put in.

Utah | Kyle Whittingham

Oregon | Mark Helfrich

Oregon State | Gary Andersen

California | Sonny Dykes

“We've had a chance to see a lot of these kids grow up. Really know them as people, really think that they fit. Our mission as a university and our mission as a football program. And so that's exciting, it really is.

Washington | Chris Petersen


Georgia | Mark Richt

“It’s an exciting time right now for me to introduce these gentlemen,” Richt said on the early-enrollees.

Florida | Jim McElwain

Tennessee | Butch Jones

“Obviously, it is a very exciting day today for us.”

Vanderbilt | Derek Mason

Kentucky | Mark Stoops

Missouri | Gary Pinkel

LSU | Les Miles

Alabama | Nick Saban

Ole Miss | Hugh Freeze

Mississippi State | Dan Mullen

“We’re fired up and excited. Can’t wait for June 6 when they get to enroll in school.”

Auburn | Gus Malzahn

Arkansas | Bret Bielema

Big Ten

Ohio State | Urban Meyer

Penn State | James Franklin

So excited, excited about the class, and (I) again appreciate everybody coming out to cover Penn State football and the exciting and our exciting future.”

Minnesota | Jerry Kill

Nebraska | Mike Riley

Wisconsin | Paul Chryst

Michigan | Jim Harbaugh

Michigan State | Mark Dantonio

On Andrew Dowell: “Very excited, another 300‑ranked prospect or whatever."

Indiana | Kevin Wilson

Excited about this class.”

Purdue | offensive line coach Jim Bridge

On Matt McCann: "He's a run-through-you, attack-you guy that we're really excited to have as we continue to develop the identity up front of being the most physical offensive line in the Big Ten.”

Northwestern | Pat Fitzgerald

Maryland | offensive line coach Greg Studrawa

Rutgers | Kyle Flood

“So I'm excited about these players and this really is a day for this 2015 class. We are excited to bring all these players into our program, some that are with us right now and some that will be coming in the summer.”

Iowa | Kirk Ferentz


Florida State | Jimbo Fisher

Georgia Tech | Paul Johnson

North Carolina | Larry Fedora

“Another exciting National Signing Day here at (North) Carolina.”

Syracuse | Scott Shafer

Pittsburgh | Pat Narduzzi

"Very excited about the quality."

Wake Forest | Dave Clawson

NC State | Dave Doeren

Miami | Al Golden

Boston College | Steve Addazio

Clemson | Dabo Swinney

Virginia | Mike London

“Very, very excited about having Juan (Thornhill) as part of the Cavalier family.”

Virginia Tech | running backs coach Shane Beamer

Louisville | Bobby Petrino


Notre Dame | Brian Kelly

Big 12

Oklahoma | Bob Stoops

“I’ve always been excited about Rodney Anderson as we like an all-purpose running back."

Oklahoma State | Mike Gundy

Kansas | David Beaty

“I'm really excited about the guys we've signed today. I know they were excited, and we are certainly excited about that.

Baylor | Art Briles

Texas Tech | Kliff Kingsbury

Excited about this class, obviously.”

West Virginia | Dana Holgorsen

Iowa State | Paul Rhoads

If you counted along, 52 of 65 Power Five coaches (80 percent) said they were excited (and I realize on a couple, the media may have paraphrased excited) about their recruiting class. I cheated on three schools by using assistants, which brings the total to 55.

Beaty said "excited" 28 times, while MacIntyre said "excited" 23 times and "exciting" seven more. Both recruiting classes are ranked in the mid-60s according to Rivals and Kansas is 9-39 in the past four years while Colorado is 10-39.

I couldn't find any mentions of "excited/exciting" from Jim Mora (UCLA), Steve Sarkisian (USC), Mike Leach (Washington State), Spurrier, Charlie Strong (Texas), Bill Synder (Kansas State), Gary Patterson (TCU), Sumlin, David Cutcliffe (Duke) and Tim Beckman (Illinois).

Maybe their enthusiasm was tempered because they took it one day at a time.

Reach the sports editor at or follow @jjanssen11 on Twitter

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