Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow.
Like the Post Office, Carson Ladd delivered, not just on time, but first.
On the traditional National Signing Day on Wednesday, while school being out prevented the customary signing photos, Ladd beat everyone on Central Oklahoma’s list in signing on the dotted line.
UCO Broncho Football tweeted: “First signee of the day out of Fort Gibson, OK Welcome home Carson Ladd! @ctladd24 #RollChos #CHOSen20”
It was straight up 7 a.m. and Ladd did it with a cell phone picture of his signature.
“I’m ready to continue the process and get up there in July,” said Ladd, who was signed as a tight end and H-back.
It was last July when he made the commitment.
“UCO just a great school, I had some smaller (schools) to choose from. I told my parents if I got a good offer early I was going to commit," he said. "It’s a great town, they’ve got a lot of job opportunities after football and the coaching staff is awesome. Their big thing is making sure the players graduate. It just fits the brand up there.”
A former Tiger running back who played at UCO, Jake Gandara, pitched the younger Tiger, Ladd said.
“He talked to me a little bit. He just told me to do whatever is best for me. Everyone talked highly of UCO and when I visited, it was just a great place.”
Carson’s decision came less than 24 hours after his older brother Chandler, who is playing baseball at Seminole, committed Tuesday to transfer to Pitt State for baseball, adding to the cause for family celebration.
“We’ll probably go eat or something,” Carson said.
A graduating teammate of Carson's, Tavien Woodworth, decided to sign as a preferred walk-on at Oklahoma State. The reigning All-Phoenix Large School Offensive Player of the Year picked them over a similar offer at UCO, which had filled their slot at running back.
“Growing up I was an OU fan,” Woodworth said. “UCO talked to me a little bit but OSU talked a lot more and what I’d be doing and more on a personal level and it’s an opportunity at the highest level.”
Muskogee defensive lineman Devion Williams and receiver Jordan Bradley have committed to Northeastern A&M.
Bradley used cell phone technology to get his in, but wasn’t the first.
“Probably one of the first but not the first,” he said. “I think a few people got up earlier than me.”
He said he’ll be looked at at various receiver spots.
Willliams, meanwhile, wants to use NEO as a proving ground.
“This will give me a chase to show what I can do. “I’ve been knocked for my height and I know I can play D1. I’ve been following NEO on Twitter and I know they’ve sent quite a few defensive linemen to D1 schools and that was convincing to me, as well as talking to (Roughers assistant Anthony) McNac who had a brother who went there and said it was a great school.”
Wagoner kicker/punter Jaden Snyder signed with Pitt State and defensive back Marcus Newton, who transferred from Muskogee last season, signed with Northwestern Oklahoma.
Also bound for Central Oklahoma: Haskell defensive lineman Zane Adams, Vian linebacker Elijah Wright, and John Smith, who played high school ball for the Roughers then signed from there at Howard University. He has three years of eligibility left and is already enrolled on campus.
Northeastern State wound up with the biggest haul of area talent: Eufaula linebacker Trae Hampton, Vian defensive lineman William Lyons and linebacker Gunnar Griffith, and a boatload of Tahlequah Tigers — running back Dae Dae Leathers, wide receiver Tristan King, quarterback Tate Christian, offensive lineman Kooper McAlvain, linebacker Dylan Parrish and defensive lineman Blake Corn.
Running back Jimmie Coleman did not sign Wednesday. He had been offered by NSU.
Hilldale lineman Devin Brandt withdrew his commitment to Northwestern Oklahoma. He said his desire to pursue an engineering degree didn't mesh with that route.
"I had a long talk with some of my coaches over deciding if I was gonna go to Northwestern or a prep school out of Pennsylvania when they told me I had a better opportunity to go division one out of a junior college," he said, noting that the prep school option would not have counted toward his NCAA eligibility limit and would give him a chance to raise his test scores.
OU: Added two to its December signees and ninth-ranked nationally by ESPN: Four-star cornerback Joshua Eaton from Aldine MacArthur High in Houston, and ESPN’s No. 31 overall recruit in Joshua Eaton, an outside linebacker. That brought OU’s total 2020 class load to 23.
OSU: Added two to its December signees. Wednesday’s additions include a high school cornerback in Jabbar Muhammad, as well as two junior college transfers in quarterback Ethan Bullock and linebacker Lamont Bishop.
The full signing class now includes nine defensive players, 11 offensive players and one athlete who will be assigned at a later time. The two most well-represented states are Oklahoma with six players and Texas with five. In total, 10 states are represented. There are 18 high school players in the class and three junior college transfers.
The Golden Hurricane added junior college safety LJ Wallace from Iowa Western Community College, where he spent one season after spending the 2018 campaign at the University of Colorado as a true freshman.
The addition of Wallace gives TU 22 newcomers, 10 on defense, 11 on offense and a kicker.