Signing Day; Catching Up with Jack Sock, Mitchell Krueger, Noelle Hickey; Orange Bowl Mystery Solved
Today is the big day for the Class of 2013, the first day a recruit can officially commit to attend a school in the fall of 2013 by signing a National Letter of Intent.
These seven days, known as the early signing period, will see a raft of announcements by sports information departments once they have the signed NLI in their possession. I will do my best to provide links to those that have not been covered by the Tennis Recruiting Network, but your best bet for keeping up to date with all the activity is check in there regularly. Today TRN kicked off their coverage with the announcement that Jamie Loeb, the bluest of blue chips, will be wearing Carolina blue next fall. George Goldhoff's commitment to Texas was also announced, and Taylor Davidson will be revealing her choice any minute.
A couple of recents announcements that aren't NLI signings, but recruiting news nonetheless, disclosed that Kiah Generette will be joining the Baylor women in January of 2013, and Nick Wood will be joining the Georgia men at that time as well.
USA Today ran a feature today by Romana Cvitkovic, who was at the Charlottesville Challenger two weeks ago, where she conducted an interview with Jack Sock. Sock, who lost in the opening round of the Knoxville Challenger, is in Champaign, Illinois this week for that $50,000 Challenger, and he has reached the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Bradley Klahn earlier this afternoon.
Mitchell Krueger is competing in the IMG Academy Futures this week, and the Bradenton Herald provided this article about the 18-year-old (complete with his player credential photo from Kalamazoo).
Former UCLA All-American Noelle Hickey will be returning to the ITF Women's Circuit, according to this article from North Jersey's The Record. Hickey's last year at UCLA was a memorable one, clinching the Bruins upset of No. 3 Duke to reach the NCAA team Final Four in 2011. Hickey played some in her first year out of college, but not since April, and she has been an instructor at Court Sense in Tenafly, where Christina and Lauren McHale trained for many years. (I believe Christina has left USTA Player Development in New York and returned there recently).
It turns out that the lower ranking for Seong Chan Hong (and others) in the Orange Bowl, which resulted in his being subjected to qualifying rather than the main draw, (he gained direct entry at the Eddie Herr) is the result of an earlier cutoff date for the Orange Bowl than for the Eddie Herr. I haven't been able to find out the reason why the Orange Bowl has an earlier cutoff date, since it is a week later, but I'm told that Grade A's often do, although the ITF regulations are vague on that, saying that Grades A's and their warm-up tournaments have entry cutoffs of 27, 34 or 41 days out.
Hard to believe that I never noticed that reversal before, but it certainly makes for an interesting qualifying round when you have Top 50 players in it. Hong's success in the big Asian events this fall were no help to him when it comes to the 2012 Orange Bowl.