It’s early February, which means football fans around the world are all talking about the sport’s biggest day. The Super what? No you dummy I’m talking about the Late National Signing Day, where high school athletes sign letters of intent to play football for colleges.
It’s a glorious day when your rival school signs a bunch of undersized bums, your school signs their top recruiting class ever (doesn’t matter, they’re all transferring next year), and the top 100 all somehow end up in the SEC. But more importantly than all of that, we’re introduced to some of the newest best names in the sport. Here are some of my favorites from the 2023 class.
Aitor Jr Urionabarrenechea, OT, Colorado State
Okay so right off the bat, technically Aitor signed early with Jay Norvell’s Rams, but I love a long name where they have to make the letters tiny and extend it to the shoulders. I did basically no research, but I believe Urionabarrenechea will have one of the longest non-hypenated names in college football come August. Big fan.
Houston Hendrix, DB, Air Force
Just an unbelievably cool name, dripping with confidence. I’m can practically see Jimi Hendrix on a rocket ship, intercepting a Fresno State slant and taking it to the house. Imagine Gus Johnson shouting “Houston Hendrix!” It just makes sense.
Rocky Shields, DT, Washington State
A real quick shout out to my beloved Cougs, who signed this defensive lineman from Colorado named Rocky Shields. If the football thing doesn’t work out he’s already got a perfect adult film star name.
Walteze Champ, DE, Texas Southern
First thing: what are they feeding kids these days oh my god. Second: if you search “Walteze” on Google Mr. Champ and his highlights are the only result. That’s just good SEO by his parents. I respect savvy planning like that.
Jax Leatherwood, QB, Nevada
New Nevada quarterback Jax Leatherwood is already getting some high praise.
“I did coach a guy in Oregon named Justin Herbert. I’m not saying Jax is Justin Herbert, but we see a lot of the same tools that I saw in Justin when he was a high school senior.” https://t.co/9e9UyPiWCY
— Chris Murray (@ByChrisMurray) December 22, 2022
There has never, and will never be, a more Mountain West quarterback name in football history. Jax Leatherwood. I’m wishing you all the success in the world kid but you’re named like the bully from a Disney Channel original movie.
Blesyng Alualu-Tuiolemotu, LB, UNLV
People love to make jokes about eccentrically-spelled names but I’m here to tell you they rule. I love them. Blessing is a great name. Blesyng is a FANTASTIC name. That’s a Skyrim dragon.
Tell Wade, DE, Wyoming
Huge fan of names that work as sentences. Go on, Tell Wade. Tell him.
Cash Turner, QB, South Alabama
I really hope this kid’s career pans out because the Pusha T lines referencing this name would be impeccable.
Rod Orr, OT, Toledo
Mr. Orr technically was a transfer signing from Florida State, but I’m including him because we don’t have enough guys named Rod playing football anymore. We gotta do something about that, it’s a great old man name. And on the flip side from our friend Aitor Urionabarrenechea above, there’s something so chill about a six letter name.
Kivon “Cheese” Wright, EDGE, Boise State
We’ve had a lot of nicknames-as-first-names lately. From Kool-Aid McKinstry to Sauce Gardner, it’s becoming a thing not only because it’s great fun, but I have to assume it helps with the NIL deals tremendously. Which is why I’m shocked Cheese ended up in Idaho. Wisconsin completely dropped the ball on this recruitment.