Scenes from signing day at Penn State

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
11:30
AM ET
James FranklinMCT via Getty Images James Franklin announced player signings on a NFL draft-style board.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop rolled off his hotel mattress at 5 a.m. Wednesday and skipped his usual breakfast of Froot Loops and Pepsi.

He was needed at the Lasch Football Building, after all. And even Toucan Sam couldn't stand in his way. It was one of his boss James Franklin's favorite days of the year, a Christmas of sorts for the recruiting world, so Shoop preferred to dust the snow off his SUV and start what would inevitably become a 12- or 14-hour workday.

It was the most relaxing day he's had since landing in Happy Valley three weeks ago.

"I'd agree with that statement," Shoop told ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon. "There were no surprises today, but these last three weeks have just been a whirlwind for us. It's been kind of crazy."

[+] EnlargePenn State
MCT via Getty ImagesLike most major programs, Penn State's war room was a buzz of activity on signing day.
Before the fax machine even began whirring, he caught about a half-hour of Michigan State's defensive film -- something he feels he can learn from -- and then polished off his report on the top safeties for 2015.

By 7 a.m., he entered Penn State's blue-and-white war room, a place where he'd stand in a corner with a can of Pepsi and intermittently rush out of the room, stick a finger to his ear and chat with 2014 commits and 2015 prospects. He talked to about 20 recruits before the clock struck noon, all the while skipping the room's three coffeemakers in favor of about five cans of soda.

"The guys kind of make fun of me for that," Shoop said with a laugh, adding he's no coffee drinker.

He watched the faces of signees light up when Franklin spoke with them via FaceTime on a big screen. He was buzzing around the football building, somewhere, when a line of trumpets blared the school fight song moments after the fax of three-star tailback Nick Scott was received. And he chatted with alumni and the staff during the unusual lull.

Wednesday marked his 20th wedding anniversary. His wife remains in Nashville, Tenn., and they'll meet for a breakfast date Thursday. But Shoop couldn't skip all this. You just don't miss signing day.

"Some people think this job is so glamorous, but 90 percent is a grind -- and 10 percent is glamorous," he said. "But that 10 percent that is glamorous is so incredible. It's such an incredible adrenaline rush. It's why you deal with the other 90 percent.

"This is that 10 percent."

To read signing day scenes from other teams, click here.

Josh Moyer | email

Penn State/Big Ten reporter

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