As if there were any doubt, at least based on the projections heading into signing day, the Florida Gators have made their way out of today with the top recruiting class in the country.
All of those big boys of high school football recruiting listed above have loudly bestowed upon the Gators the mythical crown of having the best group of players who may or may not amount to much of anything at the collegiate level.
And, at least according to Rivals, it wasn’t even close this year. Which was a given coming in.
What was perhaps the most surprising aspect of the final rankings was the school that came in right behind the Gators.
Entering this morning, Southern Cal found itself outside the Top Ten of the rankings. Less than a day later? Lane Kiffin‘s first USC class found itself quite a distance behind the Gators but ahead of every other school in the nation to end up as Rivals’ No. 2 team.
Texas, No. 2 coming into signing day, finished No. 3, followed in quick succession by three SEC schools — Auburn, Alabama and LSU.
Another SEC school found its way into the Top Ten as well, and it might be the most impressive one of the bunch.
Faced with the daunting task of keeping a Top Five recruiting class from splintering thanks to the defection of the coach of the No. 2 recruiting team in the country, Derek Dooley grabbed the reins of an out-of-control Tennessee group and brought it home at No. 9 in Rivals’ rankings. Again, that might be the most impressive job of any coach for any program in the country.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Oklahoma at No. 7, UCLA at No. 8 and Florida State — in their first Bobby Bowden-less class in over thirty years — at No. 10.