NCAA Autographs

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Whew, what a week....

A recap of a very full week at the mailbox...

Georgia head coach Mark Richt was kind enough to sign an 8x10 photo I designed myself. That was sent care of the UGA athletic department and was returned in just 16 days. Coach Richt has led the Bullogs to a trio of SEC East titles and two SEC championships since arriving in Athens back in 2001. He is also a solid Christian man and one of the most respected college coaches in the game today.

There were also a pair of football successes in the box this week, including former Memphis and current New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Though he played both football and baseball at UM, he was one of just two kickers drafted in 2006, and the only one to make a roster. That request was sent care of the Patriots and was returned in 70 days.

Also signing was Rutgers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. He returned a pair of index cards care of the Scarlet Knights' athletic department in just 12 days. Underwood, who also returns kicks for Rutgers, had four touchdowns a season ago and has gotten off to a hot start in 2007, already accumulating 500 receiving yards and a trio of TDs.

Turning to hoops, Tennessee star Chris Lofton signed a pair of index cards care of the UT athletic department in just 11 days. Though he was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky his senior year in high school, neither of the two big in-state schools recruited him. Now a candidate for national player of the year this season, Lofton is coming off a 2006-2007 season that saw him earn SEC player of the year honors after leading the league in scoring last season.

Syracuse super freshman Donte Greene also took time to sign a pair of index cards care of the SU athletic department. That request took just 11 days. A top 10 national recruit, Greene chose the Orange over the likes of Texas, Georgetown, and the home state Maryland Terps. He is expected to contribute right away for Syracuse this season.

His teammate, sophomore Paul Harris, also signed a pair of index cards care of SU, with that request also taking 11 days. Harris had a superb freshman campaign last year, leading the team with seven double-doubles and leading all Big East freshmen with more than 7 boards per game. In addition, Harris was the first 'Cuse freshman to post a double-double in his first college game since Carmelo Anthony did so in 2002.

Arizona State big man Jeff Pendergraph also signed a pair of index cards and included a nice note as well. That request, sent care of the ASU athletic department, took just 12 days. Pendergraph, a junior and also a stellar student in the classroom, nearly averaged a double-double a season ago, piling up 12 points and securing 9 rebounds a contest, leading the team in both categories.

VCU star Eric Maynor also took time to sign a pair of index cards in just 14 days care of the school's athletic department. Now a junior, Maynor is remembered by many for his clutch basket to take down Duke in last spring's NCAA Tournament first round game. For the season though, he averaged nearly 13 points per game while shooting better than 40% from downtown.

Also signing was NC State's Ben McCauley. That request was sent care of NCSU and took just 9 days. The big man, who will be a junior this season, was honorable mention All-ACC last year after averaging 14 points and 7 boards per game. He looks to be perhaps the top player on second-year head coach Sidney Lowe's 2006-2007 squad.

Utah's Luke Nevill also signed a pair of index cards care of the school's athletic department in only 8 days. The 7'1" junior center from Australia led the team in scoring last year with nearly 17 points per game while also pulling down nearly 8 boards per night.

Wrapping the week up was Nebraska big man Aleks Maric, who signed care of the Huskers' athletic department in 10 days. After taking his name out of the NBA Draft hat this past summer, the senior from Australia will return to Lincoln this season following an '06-'07 campaign that saw him average nearly 19 points and 9 rebounds per game, resulting in Second Team All-Big XII honors.

You can view the addresses used to contact each of these players by checking out the Success Database, and also view the questionnaires many of them returned by visiting the message boards.

SENT: 175
% RECEIVED: 21.7%
AVG # OF DAYS: 23.8

SENT: 75
% RECEIVED: 17.3%
AVG # OF DAYS: 17.3