Rod Walker: One last honor for Kristian Fulton and Kristen Nuss — they’re The New Orleans Advocate’s high school athletes of the year _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Rummel's Kristian Fulton (1), gets a first down for the Raiders during the first half of the Rummel vs. St. Augustine high school football game in New Orleans on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015.

Finally, it’s national signing day.

It is the one day out of the year that fax machines all of a sudden become relevant again.

But more importantly, it’s also the only day in recruiting that actually counts.

Everything you’ve read or heard over the past 364 days about recruiting really doesn’t mean a whole lot until national signing day, when players actually sign their names on the dotted lines.

All the verbal commitments, de-commitments, re-commitments, “re-opening my commitment” finally come to an end Wednesday.

All the schools that a recruit said “felt like home” or “felt like family” actually become home and family.

As late as Tuesday, there was big news among local recruits, as East St. John wide receiver Da’monte Coxie announced he was de-committing from LSU.

He had been committed to the Tigers, the nearby school he grew up dreaming to one day play for, since July.

He’s the latest reminder of just how fluid things can be when it comes to recruiting.

In recruiting, you really can’t count your chickens (recruits) until they hatch (sign).

That hatching happens Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the top five things to keep an eye on in recruiting among New Orleans area signees Wednesday.

1 Kristian Fulton (Rummel)

This is easily the biggest news of the day. The Rummel five-star cornerback is considered by some to be the top prospect in Louisiana, which is huge considering how deep and talented the state’s 2016 class is.

To help add to the hype, Fulton released a video Tuesday night to tease fans of the three schools he is considering: LSU, Arkansas, and Florida.

If the lockdown cornerback chooses LSU, it would be the cherry on top of what is already a stellar class for coach Les Miles.

Arkansas has been North Rummel University as of late, with two former Rummel players already on its roster, current defensive lineman Briston Guidry expected to sign on Wednesday, and junior linebacker Derrick Munson already committed to the Razorbacks’ 2017 class.

2. Sci Martin (McDonogh 35)

The McDonogh 35 defensive end is committed to TCU. But he took official visits to LSU and Alabama? Could either school steal him away at the finish line? He’ll be a major get for whoever lands him. A member of The Advocate’s Super Dozen as one of the state’s top 12 recruits, Martin is still one of the more under-rated players in the class.

3. Stephon Taylor (McDonogh 35)

Martin’s won’t be the only one at McDonogh 35 who will be of hot interest. His teammate, defensive lineman Stephon Taylor, is down to Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma. You won’t have to wait long to find out where the McDonogh 35 standout is heade. The Roneagles will hold their signing ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, one of the first of what looks to be a long day in the area.

4. Irv Smith (Brother Martin)

While the day’s first signing has its intrigue, the last one does as well.

Brother Martin tight end Irv Smith is scheduled to announce his choice at 3:15 p.m. Smith was committed to Texas A&M throughout the season. He de-committed from the Aggies two weeks ago and has narrowed his choices to Alabama, Memphis and Texas.

5. Coxie (East St. John)

What will he do at the last hour? He took a visit to Texas- San Antonio last week, which is now coached by former LSU assistant Frank Wilson. Will he end up in San Antonio?

We’ll find out Wednesday … the only day that really matters.