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 Rivals.com 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 cliché.
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
ASU's Graham: "I'm excited about this recruiting class, but I'm really excited about what they're coming to join."— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) February 4, 2015
Arizona | Rich Rodriguez
Rich Rodriguez said he's excited about his class … adds that it was least amount of drama he's experienced on a Signing Day— Matt Moreno (@MattGOAZCATS) February 4, 2015
Stanford | David Shaw
.@CoachDavidShaw: We're on a mission every single year to find the best combination of athletics and academics, I'm just so excited— SiriusXM College (@SiriusXMCollege) February 4, 2015
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
Excited to welcome the group of smart tough guys who will officially chose to be UTES today! #UtahNSD15 #LightTheU— Kyle Whittingham (@UtahCoachWhitt) February 4, 2015
Oregon | Mark Helfrich
Helfrich on Ugo Amadi: “Very excited about what we have there. He’s electric."— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) February 4, 2015
Oregon State | Gary Andersen
Coach Andersen, "I'm excited about this class," says star rating means nothing to him. #GoBeavs #FutureBeavs15— CSNNW (@CSNNW) February 4, 2015
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
Chris Petersen excited about his 24 new #Huskies; w/video: http://t.co/JAsUHzcCVr #SigningDay— Tacoma News Tribune (@thenewstribune) February 5, 2015
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
McElwain: "You're really excited about the guys that chose to be a part of your family." More #Gators: http://t.co/T4FDLnACPS— OnlyGators.com (@onlygators) February 4, 2015
Tennessee | Butch Jones
“Obviously, it is a very exciting day today for us.”
Vanderbilt | Derek Mason
Extremely excited to welcome the @VandyFootball class of 2015. Big things lie ahead! #AnchorDown pic.twitter.com/g4BXCWUFab— Derek Mason (@CoachDerekMason) February 4, 2015
Kentucky | Mark Stoops
Stoops: "I'm not concerned about the players we did not get. I'm excited about the players we did get."— Dan Bodner (@DanBodnerKSC) February 4, 2015
Missouri | Gary Pinkel
BREAKING: Coach Pinkel is excited about his recruiting class. #Mizzou pic.twitter.com/Mh6KlLjHt5— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) February 4, 2015
LSU | Les Miles
Les Miles excited about recruiting class, praises coaching staff http://t.co/S34Oa9Vh09— SEC Football (@SECfootball) February 5, 2015
Alabama | Nick Saban
"We think he'll be an inside player (C/G) for us...we're really excited about Brandon" Saban on Brandon Kennedy— WVUA-FM Sports (@Capstone_Sports) February 4, 2015
Ole Miss | Hugh Freeze
Freeze, on three-star Austrian Robinson: "I think he may be the steal of this class. He's an athletic dude. I'm really excited about him."— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) February 4, 2015
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
Malzahn now here. "First of all, very exciting day. Very excited about this class. ... Our staff really worked great together."— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) February 4, 2015
Arkansas | Bret Bielema
Excited to officially welcome @Mrperfection352 to our #Razorback family! #WoooPig pic.twitter.com/15FArwzjxd— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 4, 2015
Ohio State | Urban Meyer
Excited about a great recruiting class. We are bringing in great players from great families who are ready to lead the Buckeyes.— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) February 5, 2015
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
Kill said Gophers are still recruiting one more OL. He's also very excited about mobile QB Demry Croft, whom he said was a big steal.— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) February 4, 2015
Nebraska | Mike Riley
Mike Riley addresses the media, "Proud of this class and excited about the work our staff has done." #Huskers pic.twitter.com/LOtL2AUWqj— Mike Welch (@RealMikeWelch) February 4, 2015
Wisconsin | Paul Chryst
Paul Chryst "excited" about the 2015 class http://t.co/9cAbnFJT86 #Badgers— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) February 4, 2015
Michigan | Jim Harbaugh
Harbaugh on Grant Perry: A winner. What I'm really excited about, youngsters have deep desire to be at M and have won— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) February 4, 2015
Michigan State | Mark Dantonio
On Andrew Dowell: “Very excited, another 300‑ranked prospect or whatever."
Indiana | Kevin Wilson
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
Excited to add Nathan Fox to the proud tradition of Northwestern linebackers. #B1GCats http://t.co/cjzLk67YcN pic.twitter.com/RP4z6CwzzO— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) February 4, 2015
Maryland | offensive line coach Greg Studrawa
COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITED ABOUT THIS RECRUITING CLASS (1/2)...— Greg Studrawa (@CoachStudOL) February 4, 2015
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
Ferentz on QBs: Excited about upside of both guys. Boyle is more dual-threat. Calls them both "good athletes." Both will begin at QB.— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) February 4, 2015
Florida State | Jimbo Fisher
Fisher: I may be more excited about coaching this group than the previous two #Noles #Tribe15— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) February 5, 2015
Georgia Tech | Paul Johnson
Really excited to welcome all the new Jackets into the family today! A great group of young men and outstanding families!#TogetherWeSwarm— Paul Johnson (@GTPaulJohnson) February 4, 2015
North Carolina | Larry Fedora
“Another exciting National Signing Day here at (North) Carolina.”
Syracuse | Scott Shafer
"We were really excited to be able to target those kids early & go ahead & land them today." @Coach_Shafer #CuseNSD15— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) February 4, 2015
Pittsburgh | Pat Narduzzi
"Very excited about the quality."
Wake Forest | Dave Clawson
Excited to get a big athletic Offensive Lineman with a big upside join the Deacs! #WAKEH15TORY pic.twitter.com/ezqkTTO8FM— Dave Clawson (@CoachClawson) February 4, 2015
NC State | Dave Doeren
Doeren on Cole Nigro: We are excited he's joining us. We have great tradition with local walkons.— Pack Pride (@PackPride) February 4, 2015
Miami | Al Golden
"We're happy with this class and the needs that we met in this class . . . Moving forward, we're excited about this group." -@GoldenAl— Hurricanes Football (@CanesFootball) February 4, 2015
Boston College | Steve Addazio
Really excited about pass rush of Wyatt Ray and Zach Allen ... have speed, size and athleticism to create havoc. - SA— BC Football News (@BCFootballNews) February 4, 2015
Clemson | Dabo Swinney
Swinney: really excited about how we filled all the needs. #Clemson— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) February 4, 2015
Virginia | Mike London
“Very, very excited about having Juan (Thornhill) as part of the Cavalier family.”
Virginia Tech | running backs coach Shane Beamer
#VTFab15 is in the books! #LetsGo #Hokies https://t.co/EDhWFj0LAI///Excited for the future!! #HokieProud— Shane Beamer (@CoachSBeamer) February 5, 2015
Louisville | Bobby Petrino
Petrino: Jeremy Smith "We found him late. He's the big back you want. We're excited about his potential."— Mike Hughes (@ITVHughes) February 4, 2015
Notre Dame | Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly on @AsmarBilal: “We’re excited about developing [him] physically].” Just a “super young man.” #NotreDame— Observer Sports (@ObserverSports) February 4, 2015
Oklahoma | Bob Stoops
“I’ve always been excited about Rodney Anderson as we like an all-purpose running back."
Oklahoma State | Mike Gundy
Gundy on his feelings near #NationalSigningDay: "Last night, I could hardly sleep...Excited with class we're bringing in." #Sooners— GamedayU (@Gameday_U) February 4, 2015
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
Briles excited about National Signing Day in ESPN interview - http://t.co/PSrm8diML2 (blog) http://t.co/AtWUz4NAwz http://t.co/lLsXPUKV84— Treat Your Blog (@TreatYourBlog) February 5, 2015
Texas Tech | Kliff Kingsbury
“Excited about this class, obviously.”
West Virginia | Dana Holgorsen
Holgorsen: Really excited about the guys we got. Thrilled they're a part of the Mountaineer family.— WVU Recruiting (@BGS_Recruiting) February 4, 2015
Iowa State | Paul Rhoads
Rhoads: "We are very excited about this class and equally excited about our future. Those players will know the Iowa State Way."— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) February 4, 2015
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.
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