The special moments make Signing Day Publisher
Posted Feb 6, 2013

National Signing Day carries a nasty public perception filled with dirt and filth. However, for each recruit, it's a special day of memorable moments which will last a lifetime.

Inside an otherwise empty classroom, a special moment occurred.

Seated at a table, Blake King gripped a pen and sported a smile on his face. His mother, Paula, held the camera to capture the moment. She then paused and adjusted his hat. The photograph had to be perfect, capturing a memorable occasion.

The Minooka, Ill. offensive tackle had signed his national letter of intent, officially making him a Northwestern Wildcat. There were no national television cameras to capture the scene, nor slimey boosters looking on. It was just a mother, her son, and a dream being fulfilled.

National Signing Day is widely celebrated throughout the football world. For the diehard fans, it’s about star ratings, recruiting rankings, and fawning over their team’s future stars. Boundless hype is built with each 40-yard dash time and bench-press total.

It’s viewed by many as a filthy day for amateur athletics. These are just 17-year-old kids!

But that’s where perspective is often lost. These are just kids—and very special ones, too. This is a day each kid will forever cherish.

Matt Alviti walked alone down a hallway of Maine South (Ill.) High School early Wednesday morning. He was proudly donning a purple sweater and tie. He had just faxed in his letter of intent to Northwestern.

The talented quarterback approached his coach of three years and two championships, Dave Inserra, and shook his hand.

“Congratulations,” the coach said to greet his quarterback, whom he once entrusted to lead his program. Inserra has been along for the whole ride with Alviti. He served as a mentor and friend while helping the quarterback reach his potential.

Both Alviti and Inserra were gleaming with pride.

“I’m just really excited for him,” Inserra said. “Really happy for him.”

Before the selection of a hat, the unveiling of a live animal (in some cases), or the signing of autographs, there are countless hours of dedication. For the kid, it’s a commitment to early-morning workouts and two-a-days in the hot summer sun. For the parents, it’s daily drives to and from practice and dollars spent on personal trainers. All is done to reach the dream.

For years to come, Signing Day will be about unfiltered excitement. There will forever be five-stars and blue chippers.

The message-board banter and star-system ratings didn’t matter inside that quiet Minooka classroom or the Maine South hallway. It was a day filled with pure jubilation, and one that won’t be soon forgotten.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats. He resides on Chicago's north side.
Facebook | Twitter| E-Mail |

Related Stories
Class builds around the King
 -by  Feb 6, 2013
Coverdale, King aim to start at tackle
 -by  Jan 27, 2013
NU commits set stakes high for matchup
 -by  Sep 19, 2012

Get the 2013 Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
OT Blake King (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Northwestern > Recruiting
[View My HotList]