National Signing Day 2016 Is Afoot In Australia

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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.

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:

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.