I will never not get a kick out of national signing day. The first official signee of National Signing Day 2016 is a great example why.
He comes from a Land Down Under.
He’s 6-foot-4 and full of muscles, though his name’s not Brussels. Say hello to Max Hendrie, the man to officially fire up the fax machines on Recruiting Christmas.
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) February 2, 2016
Wait…isn’t national signing day Wednesday, Feb. 3? Let new Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich, captaining his first signing day ship, field that one:
— Nick Rolovich (@NickRolovich) February 2, 2016
When but national signing day does a rugby player from Sydney say g’day, and aloha to America’s only Oceanic football program?
Hendrie’s tutor told Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hendrie runs a 4.35-second 40-yard sprint, which, at a listed 6’4” and around 240 pounds, sounds terrifying.
“He’s already fast enough. I’ve watched him play rugby, where he’s carrying the ball. He broke tackles. He side-stepped people. He stiff-armed people. He tackled people. He ran over people. … He’s quite versatile.”
Rugby’s presence in college football has already made an impact, thanks to an influx of standout punters like Tom Hackett and Brad Wing. Imagine Hendrie kicking off a wave of rugby-trained athletes bringing their physical style to the gridiron as tackle-breaking running backs.
Hendrie’s (inter)national letter captures so much of what I enjoy about national signing day. It’s a day (and now days, thanks to this trans-Pacific connection) about celebrating athletes and their potential, as well as telling their stories. And there are so many stories. Hendrie’s is just one.