The first Wednesday in February no longer holds the same luster in the world of college football as it did just two years ago — the single day when every single soon-to-be college football star would make their college choices official, or even publicly known for the first time.
The bulk of that star power has migrated to announcing during the newly installed early signing period in December. For those who can handle the pressure of pursuing state title dreams on Friday nights and official college visits on Saturdays and Sundays, the move made sense: get the stressful day out of the way six weeks sooner and start really enjoying that senior year, or in some cases, get a jump start on your freshman year of college.
But for others who de-committed this fall and need the extra time, or who don’t want to distract themselves from their high school pursuits, or those who needed their season to end to send out highlight tapes to show their body of work, Feb. 6 is still the same special day they’ve always dreamed of.
Wednesday’s national signing day lineup, though not as flush with Power Five school commitments, still contains a dose of unannounced intrigue and local flavor for New Orleans-area seniors.
The biggest question mark rests on the shoulders of Warren Easton’s Lance LeGendre, rated the top senior quarterback prospect in the state. LeGendre is one of just four top-20 recruits in the state, according to the 247Sports Composite, yet to sign a national letter of intent during the early period, and he’s been the only one without a connection to LSU.
The nation’s ninth-ranked dual-threat quarterback will announce his decision Wednesday morning between Florida State and Maryland. Nearly a year ago, LeGendre had committed to Kansas but continued fielding offers from some of the nation’s top programs – including one from Florida State March 6, 2018 — while taking unofficial visits, making it unclear if the struggling program would be able to hold onto the nationally-acclaimed talent.
Just weeks before his senior season, the four-star talent confirmed the Jayhawks’ worst fears. “This process is unsteady so therefore I would like to (de-commit). This decision is not easy but I have to do what’s best for me,” he announced in a since-deleted tweet.
The Eagles quarterback lit up the stat sheet during his senior campaign, finishing with 1,707 yards passing on 115 completions for 27 touchdowns while rushing for 577 yards and seven more scores. In one of his best performances of the fall, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior accounted for more than 200 yards rushing and all three of his team’s scores in a 28-20 loss to Edna Karr in the Class 4A state title game.
In the months that followed, LeGendre was visited by the Florida State and University of Miami coaching staffs and grabbed late offers from the Hurricanes and the Terrapins. Maryland dished out its offer on Jan. 26, just a day after he arrived for his official visit in Tallahassee.
He then took an official visit to College Park last weekend to get acquainted with the program recently taken over by newly-minted head coach Mike Locksley, who showed interest in LeGendre when he was the offensive coordinator for Alabama, who offered the quarterback nearly a year ago.
Both programs are shallow in experience at the quarterback position, especially the Seminoles after 2018 starter Deondre Francois was dismissed from the program this weekend following a domestic violence allegation surfaced on Instagram Saturday night. At this point, LeGendre would be competing for a starting job with current freshmen or sophomores at either program.
Overall in the New Orleans area, more than 80 senior football players from at least 24 schools will sign scholarship offers on Wednesday. Other local standouts headed to Power Five programs include LeGendre’s teammate offensive tackle Caleb Etienne (committed to Ole Miss) and John Ehret defensive End Earl Barquet (committed to TCU).