Signing day thoughts

North Texas football head coach Dan McCarney speaks at the UNT signing day press conference, Wednesday

Another national signing day is in the books.

That means two things.

One, I have used up my cell phone minutes for approximately the next six months talking to high school coaches, recruits, school secretaries and other random people on the annual hunt for news and information.

Two, it’s time for some thoughts.

Before we get to that, make sure to pick up a copy of tomorrow’s paper, which is loaded with goodness and covers all the nuts and bolts.

The question of the day is just how did UNT do?

Recuiting roughly equates to the old saying about beauty being in the eyes of the beholder.

Dan McCarney is like a lot of coaches, he’s not a fan of services that rank classes and players. He firmly believes he and his staff are better evaluators of talent. They had better be. They are being paid a small fortune to prove that is the case.

McCarney covered that right off the bat today.

“I don’t pay too much attention to rankings and ratings. You have a guy up the road in Manhattan, Kansas, who has never had a class that has been ranked very high in Bill Snyder and all he does is win and win with class and win with dignity and have one of the great programs in the country that is respected by everyone.

“I was at Florida when we had the No. 1 defensive line class in the country and you know what that meant to me? Absolutely nothing. I could care less. What happens when they get here? What happens when they get down between the white lines? What happens when they get to campus and start going to class? What happens when they have the opportunity to answer the challenge? That is what really counts.”

That is all very true. And there is a lot to like about this class. Brock Berglund is as good a quarterback prospect as UNT has had in the era of recruiting rankings. McCarney talked about how he made UNT’s defense look silly all fall as the Mean Green’s scout team quarterback.

Berglund was one of nine FBS or JUCO transfers UNT brought in for 2013.

Most of them will be around two years. Louisville transfer Zed Evans will be around for one.

That batch of guys had better pan out. If they don’t, UNT is going to have fewer options in terms of high school signees to turn to.

The Mean Green signed a few good high school prospects like wide receiver Darvin Kidsy, but missed out on some of its top targets. Jermaine Antoine backed out of his commitment to UNT to sign with TCU, which really hurt. Seeing Sherman linebacker Kahlee Woods sign with Texas Tech didn’t help.

UNT also tried to flip Washington State commit Darius Lemora of Port Arthur Memorial and couldn’t convince him to back out.

McCarney talked a little about changing the perception of the program today. UNT has done a good job of that by talking to high school coaches and getting out in the community. He talked about changing the perception that UNT is a last resort.

UNT has made some serious headway in that regard. The problem is when everyone opens up the Morning New tomorrow or looks online, they are going to see that UNT was shut out in terms of landing a player on the Morning News’ Area Top 100 list and that UNT’s class tied with Akron for 114th out of 123 teams nationally in the rankings and came in at 123rd out of 125 teams in the rankings.

Is that the reality? Probably not when you look at the transfers UNT brought in, but seeing that in print isn’t going to further UNT’s cause of changing the way people see the program.

There really is nothing UNT can do to move the needle but win. It’s been the same story for the last few years.

UNT dropped nearly $80 million on a stadium, bumped up its pay for coaching salaries and moved into a better neighborhood with its shift to Conference USA.

It seems like McCarney and his staff just got here, but the group is already heading into Year 3.

McCarney said it before.

It’s time for UNT to win.

That stance came to mind today when UNT signed a whole load of transfers who won’t be around long.

UNT might have pushed all its chips to the middle of the table with that move.

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