National Signing Day is just over a week away! This is exciting!
Expectations may be tempered a bit for this signing class, because of the coaching change and Leipold's late start - he was just busy winning a national championship; really, it's no big deal - but it's still exciting to see the next class of Bulls, most of whom will spend their next four or five years in Amherst.
Over the next week, Tim will be catching you up to speed on the expected football names, while I'll cover the known incoming men's and women's soccer players, who are in lesser demand but no less important, culminating in 4 February itself.*
*Soccer recruits do not sign NLIs during the Fall Early Signing Period, instead getting their first opportunity to commit at the same time as Football and Men's Water Polo.
This post right now is not providing any of that information. BUT. We need to shed more light on UB's plans for National Signing Day, because they're a pretty big deal, relatively speaking:
BUFFALO, NY - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York football fans will be able to watch all the excitement of College Football National Signing Day live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app on February 4. Beginning at 7 am, Paul Peck, Scott Wilson and Brad Riter will give fans live, inside access as the UB coaching staff receives National Letters of Intent from the newest Bulls.
The Bulls broadcast team will breakdown the 2015 recruiting class featuring highlights and interviews with the UB coaching staff. The trio will also look ahead to the 2015 season, the first under new head coach Lance Leipold.
In addition, fans are invited to attend a special Football Signing Day event at Santora's Pizza Pub and Grill at their Transit Road location the evening of February 4 beginning at 5:45 pm. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Coach Leipold and his staff and listen to them discuss the newest football recruiting class. The event is free to the public.
In the past, UB has hosted events from Alumni Arena or Santora's, but the new ESPN3 deal gives them leeway to do this all-day (or at least until all the recruits are in) coverage. I'm still wary of the mystery MAC ESPN agreement, but this is the type of thing big-time schools do.
It's of course not on the level of "actually being a big-time school," but Danny White and the department have been throwing that buzzword around, and this is something Athletics has control over and can implement without much cost or risk. I doubt any recruit in the next week will be swayed because he can watch Paul Peck, Scott Wilson, and Brad Riter talk about him once the fax comes in, but it makes a difference in some regard.
Of course, the Santora's event is more for local fans. By all account Coach Leipold is extremely down-to-earth, and I imagine it will be a good time. If you're in the area, I strongly encourage you to attend (and perhaps write a FanPost of your impressions; BullRun is run mostly from out-of-state).