Tyler Wickham /Nevada Sagebrush Brian Polian leads Nevada’s national signing day party at the Joe Crowley Student Union on Wednesday, February 4.

Nevada head coach Brian Polian repeated numerous times at his national signing day press conference how recruiting sometimes leaves him feeling “icky” and in dire need of a shower.

The ills of national signing day were on full display Wednesday, Feb. 4 as college football diehards stayed glued to their TV and Twitter feeds as 17 and 18-year-olds around the country decided where they will play football for the next four or five seasons.

Exhibit A: Brandon Martin, a four-star wide receiver, drew national attention when he announced his decision to ditch Missouri in favor of Louisiana State University via Twitter with the all-too-comforting hashtag #decommit.

Polian mentioned he found out one player — one he’d spent the past two years trying to woo to the Wolf Pack — picked another school over Nevada via a 140-character direct message on Twitter. Apparently, a two-year relationship didn’t warrant a phone call, at the very least.

Both anecdotes have become all too common on national signing day, where big-time recruits have their decisions broadcast on national TV. It’s celebrated when a player lines up the hats from all the schools he’s considering, picks one and throws the others to the ground.

You can’t point the finger at any one particular thing, either — the media, social media, the schools and the players and their families. It’s a byproduct of all of them combined.

The result of national signing day? An entitled player who believes he deserves the world at his feet.

More than anything, national signing day is about selling a new cycle of hope and, hopefully, more tickets.

“National signing day is like the first day of spring training,” Polian said. “Hope springs eternal. Everybody is undefeated. Everybody that we signed is going to be an all-conference player and all of that fun stuff.”

Imagine a world without national signing day, where get this, a player can sign an offer from a school and be done with it. A world where an arbitrary date isn’t set by a governing body to make a decision that most players already have made. A world where the good of high school kids is the goal, not pumping more money into a seedy organization like the NCAA. Maybe one day.


Alabama spent $983,721 on recruiting alone in 2013, according to the USA Today. In contrast, the Wolf Pack pumped $208,485 into recruiting — just 79 percent less than Nick Satan, excuse me, Saban and the rest of the Crimson Tide.

Alabama and other powerhouse schools can use glitz and glamor to lure recruits. Whether it’s touting the size of their locker room (and how many flat-sceen TVs it has) and state-of-the-art facilities, duplicating a video game cover with the recruit’s face or surrounding the player with a slew of good-looking girls or “hostesses” as they call them, money goes a long way in its recruiting process.

Nevada doesn’t have the same luxury, no pun intended. Instead, the Wolf Pack plays to its strength — relationships.

“Nobody remembers how big the locker room was when they are 35 — it’s the relationships that matter,” Polian tweeted back on Jan. 2. “It’s not about stuff, it’s about PEOPLE!”

In spite of the money barrier, Polian signed six players that had offers from Power Five conferences. Moreover, Polian’s 15-player class stretched seven states and one Canadian province.

Money or not, Polian said he think he’s built a good foundation of recruits the past two years.

“The Alabama and Florida States of the world can change their program in one recruiting class… that doesn’t happen at our level,” Polian said. “You have to build it with one strong class on top of another and I think we’ve done that for two years now.”


Polian sounds like a broken record when he talks about star-ratings and recruit position rankings. In Polian’s book, both are irrelevant.

I agree wholeheartedly with Polian’s approach. Instead, a recruiting class should be weighed by how a program addresses the team’s area of concerns.

Linebacker, secondary and tight end were all positions of need for Nevada, according to Polian.

To address the linebacking corp, Polian wooed Riley Brand, McQueen High’s own Ricky Thomas Jr. and Gabe Sewell, who picked the Wolf Pack over Pac-12 school Colorado.

In the secondary, Polian came away with cornerbacks Dameon Baber (a former Oregon State commitment), EJ Muhammad from powerhouse DeSoto High School in Texas and Cal Kee from Virginia.

Tight end became a need after Patrick Clifford retired due to a serious concussion. Entering to fill the void will be Glendale Community College transfer Evan Faunce, a burly 6-foot-4 and 240-pounder.

The Wolf Pack’s 2015 class could largely be judged by the performance of the aforementioned seven players. Either one playing this upcoming season isn’t out of the question, either. Over the last two years, Nevada has played 28 redshirt or true freshman.

Eric Uribe can be reached at and on Twitter @Uribe_Eric.