CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- PARDON ME for this day-late, dime-short attempt at Groundhog/Signing Day humor: The pudgy rodent crawled out of his hole, saw the shadow of Jake Laudenslayer and scurried back.
Wouldn't you like to see National Signing Day, Groundhog Day and the Super Bowl on the same day? Me neither.
So we have until Wednesday, when prospects all over our beautiful country sign some document called the National Letter of Bondage, figure out how to work a 1990s-vintage fax machine and pray it gets to a group of anxiety-soaked, sleep-deprived coaches.
Meanwhile, the ESPN empire is planning more coverage than NBC gives the Winter Olympics. As an annual bonus, a dozen or so full-of-themselves recruits ham it up for the cameras, showing the world that, yes, they can sign their name. For half of them, it will be the highlight of their soon-to-be-underachieving college careers.
Wednesday's festivities shall be forgotten by sun-up Thursday because (a) coaches are hitting the road for 2015 recruits and (b) just because.
But Wednesday won't be completely forgotten, because a few of us like to peek back and see how the day really went. Five years later, when the players' work has (usually) finished, we take an enlightening look back.
2009 was one of the most entertaining classes I have examined. That was the last go-around for coach Mark Snyder, who was fast becoming a lame-duck coach. He tried everything to extend his tenure.
I mean, three quarterbacks? C'mon, man!
This time around, I solely looked at ESPN.com and saw how the folks there sized up the MU class. There were no stars, but grades are still listed for those rated 70 or higher.
MU had eight such prospects. In order, they were Quanthony Fletcher, C.J. Crawford, A.J. Graham, Zakee Bashir, Phil Walker, Jamal Wilson, Colton Griffis and James Rouse.
Oh, you liked that, didn't you? Only one of these made it to senior day, and that was Rouse. The oft-dominating defensive tackle will see another one this fall after receiving a sixth year of eligibility.
Crawford scored the winning touchdown in Marshall's 17-13 upset of Louisville in 2011, but he earned his degree and skipped a fifth year. He wasn't going to overtake Gator Hoskins in the Herd's flexible tight-end scheme, and he proved he wasn't West Virginia's best prospect of 2009. (Crawford over Aaron Dobson? Really?)