Branding: The New Early Signing Period

By Posted on: July 16th, 2012 in Football Comments Off
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Any hopes of Alabama landing the much ballyhooed Reuben Foster went up in ink over the weekend – literally. The number two-rated high school player in the country followed up his legendary press conference last week by going out and getting some fresh orange-and-blue ink on his arm.

That big AU logo on his arm would likely clash too much with those crimson jerseys for Foster to ever change his mind again.

You can bet Nick Saban hasn’t given up. He’s probably working around the clock now with the Red Elephant Club to find a surgeon who can do tattoo removal on the quick.

Foster’s move has undoubtedly started a new trend in college recruiting. I can hear old slick Nick now with his recruits. “Son, you say you want to come to Alabama, but I need you to prove it.

“A tattoo is almost permanent, but branding is forever. I need you to lay your arm across my desk and let me burn this photo of Kenny Stabler at his last court hearing into your left bicep.

“Doing this shows true commitment to Alabama.”

I’m only half kidding.

Don’t think for a moment that rogue boosters won’t now be trying to persuade recruits to tattoo their new school logo on their arm well in advance of national signing day. NCAA legislation on tattooing is just around the corner…

When a friend told me after the press conference that Foster literally read almost word-for-word the exact text that Alabama turncoat T.J. Yeldon did last fall, I didn’t believe it. It was a masterful public relations move.

I’d love to know who came up with the idea and the person who suggested it to Foster. I like this kid’s attitude already. Nick Saban hasn’t been hit this hard between the eyes since Louisiana-Monroe came calling to Bryant-Denny Stadium – unless you count the time that Newton kid paid a visit.

In case you missed it, here’s what Yeldon said last fall during his turncoat press conference…

Over the last few weeks, I’ve really put a lot of time and thought into where I want to go to school and continue my football career. I am blessed to be in a situation where I have several great opportunities and I appreciate everyone involved who has helped me get to this point.

I want to make an announcement so I can put this behind me and get to work on the things I need to do to prepare for college both athletically and academically. I am going to enroll at the University of Alabama in January.

I have a lot of respect for Auburn, the coaches, and all of the people there, but at the end of the day I feel like the University of Alabama is the best situation and fit for me and my family. I am 100 percent confident with my final decision. I feel great about it and I’m excited to get started.

And here’s Foster’s announcement last week…

Over the last few weeks, I’ve really put a lot of thought and time into where I wanted to (continue) my football career. I am blessed that I am in the situation where I have several great opportunities, and I appreciate everyone attending this meeting. I want to make an announcement so I can put this behind me and get on with all the work that I need to do for high school and get prepared for college, both academically and athletically.

I am going to enroll at Auburn University.

I have a lot of respect for Alabama and the coaches and all the other people that are there. But at the end of the day, I felt like Auburn University is the place for me and my family and had the best situation for me and my family. I am 100 percent confident with my final decision. I feel great about my decision, and I’m excited to get started.

I’ll say it again…

Masterful!

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