A year ago, Tom Brady, Ric Flair and Migos made Hill Auditorium home to the most star-studded National Signing Day in the country. In case you dismissed that event as a fever dream, it bears repeating that on that day, Jim Leyland — longtime MLB Manager and least likely rap fan in the building — dabbed with the up-and-coming Atlanta rap trio Migos. Other than being an unpredictable collision of worlds, it was proof that, at Signing of the Stars, anything can happen.
That got us at the Michigan Daily thinking: What would be the perfect Signing of the Stars? Who should introduce whom? Is the dab too dead to revive? We took a stab at predicting the ideal event.
11:00 a.m.: Doors open. Fans are stunned when they enter and, in place of last year’s cardboard cutouts, they find a wax sculpture of every single commit. There first appear to be two sculptures of three-star running back Kurt Taylor, but fans eventually realize Taylor has simply decided to pose next to his likeness, completely still, until the event begins. Oddly, his biceps are even more defined than the wax sculpture.
11:08 a.m.: Upon arriving at their seats, guests are delighted to discover Jordan Brand Signing of the Stars headbands. It’s not clear whether fans will ever use them, but the Jumpman logo is enough to send them over the moon.
11:59 a.m.: As lights dim in Crisler Center, the crowd begins to applaud as Randy Sklar takes the stage, ready to host the event for the second straight year. But just as he raises the microphone to his mouth, familiar music blares over the public address system, startling him. Sklar looks over his shoulder to see John Cena charging toward him. Cena steals the mic and challenges Sklar to a title match for the right to host the event. Sklar suggests the two share emcee responsibilities, and, for some reason, Cena agrees to the compromise.
12:12 p.m.: Harbaugh takes the stage for the first time. He does not seem to be totally sure whether he invited Cena, of if he just sort of showed up. Harbaugh introduces himself to the wrestling star and asks if Cena has any eligibility left. “You’d make a heck of a fullback,” Harbaugh tells him.
12:17 p.m.: Migos makes their first appearance to get the crowd fired up. They perform “T-Shirt,” and as the crowd goes wild, Quavo requests that “the kid in the Brady jersey I always saw dabbing on TV” come up on stage. A line of 40-50 students forms near the stage.
12:28 p.m.: Harbaugh begins introducing the early enrollees. The first celebrity presenters, introducing five-star receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, are the Young Pope and the actual Pope, both of whom declare their fondness for Harbaugh. Harbaugh fist-bumps the Young Pope and formally asks the actual Pope to baptize his newborn son, John, at the Vatican this spring. The Pope agrees to do so.
12:35 p.m.: Things are starting to get weird. Cena goes on a minute-long rant about how hungry he is and demands that sophomore offensive lineman Michael Onwenu, seated in the front row, share his large bowl of grapes. Onwenu refuses. Cena challenges him to wrestle for the grapes, but when Onwenu stands up to accept the challenge, Cena inexplicably rescinds the offer.
12:46 p.m.: Harbaugh sets up a live video stream introducing four-star quarterback Dylan McCaffrey. But Harbaugh can also be seen in the background of the video, climbing a tree behind McCaffrey’s house. At first, fans assume this must just be a taped video, but then the quarterback starts taking audience questions. One asks how it is possible Harbaugh is in the background. “Oh, that’s just one of his recruiting clon-” he starts to respond, before Harbaugh cuts the feed and abruptly moves on.
12:54 p.m.: The stadium goes fully dark for just one moment, and when the lights come back on, the stage has been turned into a courtroom set, Judge Judy presiding. Harbaugh and NCAA President Mark Emmert emerge and debate the NCAA’s recent passage of a measure banning Spring Break practice trips. Emmert spends his entire time allotment trying to explain Judge Judy doesn’t have jurisdiction over the NCAA. Judge Judy asks who does have jurisdiction over the NCAA. Emmert vanishes into thin air.
1:22 p.m.: That last part took a while. Sensing the crowd starting to get distracted, Harbaugh calls in the big guns. Tom Brady walks out onto the stage, with fans wondering aloud whether it’s a good idea for him to be in Ann Arbor during Super Bowl week. Brady confesses he’s actually in town to help the Patriots sign star cornerback Jourdan Lewis to their Super Bowl roster. “You can’t do that!” one Falcons fan shouts from the upper bowl. “You have to wait for the draft!”
“Who’s going to stop me?” Brady responds. “Roger Goodell?” Harbaugh and Brady look at each other and then burst into maniacal laughter. Migos is visibly upset.
1:36 p.m.: Harbaugh announces that he has a special surprise for fans. Najee Harris, the nation’s No. 1 overall player and an early-enrollee at Alabama, emerges from the tunnel and announces he has changed his mind. He wants to come to Michigan. Emmert re-appears out of thin air, ready to scold Harris, but Cena uses his famous “Attitude Adjustment” on the NCAA president. Emmert decides to allow Harris to transfer and play immediately.
1:40 p.m. Grateful for the recruiting help, Harbaugh convinces Onwenu to share his grapes with Cena.
1:41 p.m. – 1:59 p.m.: The rest of the event goes on. It’s basically the same as last year.
2:02 p.m.: Fans exit the arena and realize that those weren’t wax sculptures at all. Those were the real players. “So how were there two Kurt Taylors?” one intrepid student asks.
It’s a great question.
Max Bultman knows this was super weird. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @m_bultman.