Wednesday’s National Signing Day festivities reminded me how much I enjoy the introduction to a wave of new names that might become household over the next four or five years of competition.
The Mountain State did quite well in this regard. Marshall signed Sir Patrick Scott and Pro Wells. West Virginia locked up Toyous Avery and Zach Sandwisch. Even here in the Kanawha Valley, Mister Merriweather will take the field at the University of Charleston this fall. Mr. Mister might line up next to UC’s new receiver, Keyshawn Johnson.
It has always amazed me how apropos names can be in college football. Of course Jawon Pass will play quarterback at Louisville. Of course Isaiah Goodspeed is a fleet-footed receiver headed to Air Force. Players with the last names of Fries and Mayo? Well-fed linemen. Tank Smith? He’ll be pushing people around in the trenches, too.
Here are my picks for the best names at each position, with a few runner-up nominations. Please note that not all of these players signed Wednesday, but may do so in the near future.
Winner: Messiah deWeaver — strong first/last name combo here puts this one over the top. He’ll play at Michigan State.
Also considered: Feleipe Franks, Jett Duffey and Gunnar Hoak. The last of those three is listed only because my son is named Gunnar and my wife’s maiden name is Hough, which is pronounced “hoke” like this Gunnar’s last name.
Winner: Tre Nation — the backs had the weakest offerings, but Tre Nation is marketable.
Runner-up: Armond Weh-Weh.
Winner: Dock Luckie — this Floridian is headed to Florida A&M, and, like Messiah, gets points for the first/last combo.
Also considered: Goodspeed deserves mention again, as well as Eddie McDoom, Allenzae Staggers and the unsigned Jerry Hippolyte.
Winner: Pro Wells — his real name is Provonsha, but he gets extra credit for being bold enough to go with “Pro” while still an amateur.
Also considered: Mister Merriweather, who is coming all the way from California to catch passes at UC.
Winner: Sage Doxtater — The 320-pound Canadian is headed to New Mexico State, but he sounds like a movie villain.
Also considered: Dixie Wooten, Tiller Bucktrot, Dakota Birdyshaw, Nigel Warrior, Gentle Williams, Michael Jordon and Rowdy Frederick. Doxtater received the strongest pushes from Wooten, Bucktrot and Warrior, while Rowdy Frederick might be the perfect linemen name.
Winner: Handsome Tanielu.
Also considered: Brodarius Hamm, Shug Frazier, Boss Tagaloa, Raekwon Davis (!), Bo Peek and Naquez Pringle. I wish I was confident enough to pull off Handsome McGill or Boss McGill. Also, this list makes me want ham and some Pringles.
Winner: Pookie Maka — If his real name isn’t Pookie, I couldn’t find it.
Also considered: WVU’s Sandwisch, Tuck Tucker and Majestic Jordan.
Winner: DiCaprio Bootle — What? Awesome. And he’s prompt … the first to fax his letter of intent to Nebraska on Wednesday.
Also considered: Gilbert Gildersleeve, Montavius Smoke, Cycoby Burch and Raleigh Texada. Smoke probably posed the biggest threat to Bootle. Don’t forget Marshall’s Sir Patrick Scott and WVU’s Elijah Battle here.
Winner: Jet Toner — By default. He is headed to Stanford, and no one posed a threat to this punter.
Also considered: None.
Winner: Lil’Jordan Humphrey — Also appears to be a given name. Well done.
Take a bow, fellas. Especially those linemen.