Signing Day Central | Franklin's Press Conference | Order Season Tickets
Welcome to the National Signing Day blog from Vanderbilt's McGugin Center. Beginning Wednesday morning and going through the lunch hour, VUCommodores.com provided an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes as the Commodores welcomed their 2012 signing class.
With the last NLI off the fax machine, Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin took a few minutes to reflect on the 21-member signing class of 2012 before he formally meets with the media at 3:30 p.m. CT. (Watch Press Conference)
As a reminder, you can meet Coach Franklin and staff at 6:30 p.m. this evening at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center where the Commodores will hold their annual Signing Day Celebration.
The 21st and last NLI to arrive on Wednesday belonged to offensive lineman Kevin McCoy. His addition to the class became official at 12:18 p.m. CT. Announcing McCoy's addition was offensive quality control coach Charles Huff.
Vanderbilt's 21-member signing class included six offensive linemen and was most represented position in the class. The signees included Adam Butler (Duncanville, Texas), Blake Fromang (Orlando, Fla.), Barrett Gouger (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.), Will Holden (Green Cove Springs, Fla.), Andrew Jelks (Paris, Tenn.) and Kevin McCoy (Tampa, Fla.).
With these additions to a position lacking depth, there was no one on the coaching staff happier than Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand. Watch him discuss the class.
While Vanderbilt's football staff welcomed the newest members to the program this morning in the war room, other athletic department staffers were hard at work preparing for tonight's Signing Day Celebration at the Student Life Center. The doors to the event open at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
To announce the signing of linebacker Ja'karri Thomas (Tallahasse, Fla.), Sam Williams is delivered the NLI by Ryder Rahne, son of quarterback coach Ricky Rahne. Williams was afforded the opportunity of introducing Thomas as a signee by Charles Huff, who typically holds that role.
Vanderbilt photographer John Russell has been in the signing day war room throughout the morning and has been snapping photos of the scene. To view the gallery, click here.
Among those spotted in the photo above is Head Baseball Coach Tim Corbin. Corbin spent the first few hours of his day experiencing signing day in the war room.
Charles Huff announces the signing of Torey Agee, which draws round of applause from the staff. Agee is a 6-foot-3, 250 lb. defensive lineman from Opelika, Ala.
Sam Williams, defensive quality control coach, adds some comic relief inside the war room by donning the Mr. C head.
Charles Huff, offensive quality control coach, and Charles Bankins, special teams coordinator/tight ends coach, sort through the most recent faxes. Huff is the watch dog of the fax machine today.
Not only does he ensure there is plenty of ink in the toner cartridge and paper to print on, he also has the honors of stepping to the podium in the war room to announce the latest signee to the staff.
Throughout his tenure with the Commodores, Coach Franklin has been very open with access to his football program. He has allowed reporters, photographers and videographers inside locker rooms and team meetings, and the access has continued on signing day.
In addition to the aforementioned members of media in attendance today in the war room, Franklin also invited a few members of the National Commodore Club to experience the day from the inside.
One member receiving an inside look at today's festivities is longtime supporter Joe Barrett. Barrett arrived to the war room at 7 a.m. this morning and has been taking everything in.
"I like to see the behind the scenes aspect of things such as this to see how the puzzle comes together," Barrett said. "It is a well organized process, electric atmosphere and like beating UT."
Experiencing signing day is a first for Barrett. He had an idea for what the day involved from the inside, but there is nothing like seeing it in person.
"A lot of people just think there is one guy in a room pulling in a bunch of faxes off the machine," Barrett said. "They don't know what all goes into the process and how it comes down to the last minute. It is an electric atmosphere and something that I've enjoyed being a part of."
In addition to members of the coaching staff and support staff, there are a number of members of the media at Vanderbilt this morning for National Signing Day. Among those here are Andy Staples and Jenny Brown from SI.com, Mitch Light from Athlon Sports and Clay Travis and Brent Dougherty from Nashville's 3HL afternoon sports talk show on 104.5 FM.
Here is a short video of what it looks like inside Vanderbilt's war room this morning.
Signing Day is here! Coach Franklin arrived at 5:30 a.m. CT and the entire staff was here before 6 a.m. The fax machine is ready for its annual day to shine.