- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
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We're officially less than 24 hours from signing day. Seventeen of the nation's top high school recruits will announce their college decisions on live television Wednesday, and if we've learned anything from the past five years, expect the unexpected.
Players have become more creative. Parents have become more involved. And nothing is official until the fax comes in.
Here are five of the SEC's craziest signing day moments in recent years.
Not so fast (2011): On national television, five-star offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio announced he would be attending Auburn. There was just one problem. The fax never came through. Instead of signing his letter of intent and sending it off to the Plains, Kouandjio left his high school to "figure things out." Three days later, word got out he would be joining his big brother at the University of Alabama. Kouandjio went on to play three seasons in Tuscaloosa, won two national championships, and now he's in the NFL as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He not only spurned Auburn. He spurned Auburn for its biggest rival.
Puppy announcement (2011): In a world dominated by Twitter and Instagram, high school recruits have gotten more creative when it comes to announcing big decisions. The hats on the table are still popular, but baby alligators and break-dancing elves have both been used in the past year. Still, nobody can top five-star running back Isaiah Crowell and the bulldog puppy he pulled out when he committed to Georgia on signing day. Does it get any cuter? It's a good thing he didn't choose Alabama. How exactly does one go about obtaining a miniature elephant? I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we see one at a recruit's news conference.
Going against mom (2011): Floyd Raven was torn between Ole Miss and Texas A&M all the way up until signing day. When the big day arrived, his mother was happy to lend a hand. And by lend a hand, I mean forge his signature and fax a letter of intent to Ole Miss without him knowing about it. Awkward. The Rebels thought they had inked the three-star cornerback only to find out that he was not the one who sent the document. Later that day, Raven faxed a real letter of intent to Texas A&M where he went on to play the next four years. For what it's worth, former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt was a good sport about the whole thing.
Going against mom, Part 2 (2013): Forging your son's signature might be in a class of its own. But Alex Collins' mother deserves runner-up honors after she refused to sign her son's letter of intent on signing day two years ago. She wanted her son to stay close to home and play for Miami, but the ESPN 300 running back had other ideas. He was ready to join new coach Bret Bielema at Arkansas. The saga dragged on for an entire day before eventually the father stepped in and Collins was able to send off his papers the next morning. This past season, the sophomore back rushed for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In-state shocker (2014): The Iron Bowl rivalry is no joke. So when Rashaan Evans holds a signing day news conference at Auburn High School, there's no way he picks Alabama right? Wrong. To the chagrin of most everybody in attendance, Evans announced his intentions to sign with the Tide. It went from bad to worse for Auburn when the university website added Evans' bio to the page with all of the 2014 signees. Too soon? The ESPN 300 linebacker played sparingly at Alabama this season and finished with 14 tackles, two for a loss and one sack. He'll make his return to the Plains next fall for the Iron Bowl.
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