Signing day at the academies 

February, 2, 2010
On the eve of national signing day I wanted to do a Q&A with a recruiting coordinator from one of the military academies to see how life goes for them as they try to wait out the feeding frenzy. On Tuesday, about 17 hours before signing day gets under way, I spoke with Navy recruiting coordinator Dale Pehrson. (Navy has a trio of three-star players committed, according to ESPN's Scouts Inc., although we couldn't speak to Pehrson about specific prospects at this time. For those prospects, there has been interest from schools that include Wisconsin, Rutgers, BYU, Syracuse, Stanford, UNLV, Utah and Fresno State.)

Q: Just about every other FBS program signs 25 or 28 prospects on signing day. How many can the academies sign and what are the other big differences?

Pehrson: Really the big difference is we're recruiting for two schools, our prep school and direct into the Naval Academy. Our typical numbers will be about 40-45 kids into the prep school and another 20 direct. The nice thing about the Academy is that if we go a little over or a little under, we can do that because we never have to get to just 25.

Q: How is it determined who goes into the prep school or directly into the Academy? Is talent a consideration?

Pehrson: It has to be academics. It has nothing to do with athletics. There has to be something in their record, where maybe they've only had precalculus and haven't had calculus or they didn't have a lab or chemistry. Or their SATs are pretty good, but not quite high enough for them to go in direct to the Academy. To get in here direct, you have to be around 600-600 [out of the 800-point scale on the sections for Math and Critical Reading of the SAT.]