Zone Read: LOI Day Impact

The first of two National Letter of Intent Days has come and gone with a second just weeks away as we break into 2020.

One of my favorite parts of days like Wednesday is seeing the excitement in these student-athletes faces as they officially put pen to paper. Some are asked to speak to the assembled crowd. All are “required” (most willingly) to take dozens of pictures with family, friends, admirers and sometimes complete strangers simply wanting to share in the unique moment.

My “assignment” for LOI Day was a two-hour trip south to Tucson where a quartet of Salpointe Lancers, including arguably two of the best to even play the sport at a prep level in Arizona (Texas signee Bijan Robinson and new Ohio State Buckeye Lathan Ransom), made it officially official.

What impressed me most was each of the four (Robinson, Ransom, UCLA offensive lineman Bruno Fina and Minot State’s Charlie Raetzman) all took the time to thank their families and not only seemingly every coach on Salpointe’s staff, but several faculty and administrators, as well. This, to me, was a sign of both humility and maturity from a group of teenagers with the world in front of them.

Sure, we’ll all reflect back in awe at a handful of Robinson’s most ridiculous touchdown runs during his record-breaking career and Ransom’s bone-crunching hits from his safety position but they, along with every other male and female who signed their letter, will likely remember Wednesday more than nearly every play they made on the field or court.

In this fast food era of rankings, stars, jibber-jabber message boards, social media over-exposure and tricked out highlight tapes, let’s please not forget EVERY scholarship is an incredible accomplishment, regardless if it’s Alabama or Alcorn State. 

Any high schooler who has not only the athletic skills but the grades to have some/all of their college education paid for needs to be applauded for the time, commitment and sacrifice each made to independently better their future. 

Congrats to each and every single one of you.