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Signing Day '71

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National Signing Day is an annual college football holiday these days, but it was a bit quieter back in 1971 when Pat Haden and J.K. McKay inked their names on Trojan letterhead. 

"There was no Internet.  There was no demand.  You did not turn over hats," Haden described earlier this year.  "You just kind of decided.  There was not a 'Signing Day.'  I was recruited by all the schools, but it was not anything like it is today."

At the time, Haden was living with the McKay's, so it was an awkward situation when the greatest coaches in the country, legends like Alabama's "Bear" Bryant, Nebraska's Tom Osborne and Notre Dame's Ara Parseghian, would deliver their recruiting pitches with USC's legendary head coach sitting upstairs.

"My dad always told me I could go wherever I wanted," J.K. McKay tells the story.  "We were seriously considering Notre Dame.  When my dad got wind of that, he told me, 'Johnny, you can go anywhere you want, but I need the quarterback.'"

Here is a photo from 1971 passed on to us by reader Mark Jones from coach McKay's book...

Haden-McKay-NSD.jpeg

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