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Recapping National Signing Day

Dorial Green-Beckham AP

We have to ask. Did you get what you wanted on National Signing Day?

Yes? No?

Actually, you’ll probably find out in the next two to four years, and whether your school’s class was ranked first, or 50th, it matters not; most of the National Letters of Intent have been faxed in — a prehistoric method — and now it’s up the recruits and coaches to make a successful marriage.

In the meantime, here’s what we learned — or, remembered — from a busy and hectic signing day.

Just remember that everyone’s recruiting classes are like babies. No one’s going to say they have an ugly one.

Alabama wins recruiting title, too 
This year, Alabama came away with the top-rated recruiting class according to two of the three top recruiting sites. Rivals and 247Sports had the Tide ranked No. 1, with Scout placing ‘Bama just behind leader Texas. We could spew a cliché of something along the lines of “the rich just keep getting richer”, but with recruiting and impermissible benefit violations being the sensitive subjects they are, we’ll just say the Tide keep replacing great athletes with more great athletes.

Put it all together like Nick Saban does so well, and there’s no reason to think Alabama won’t be contending for more BCS championships in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, below is how the top sites rate the Top 5 teams at the end of signing day. You can also see the Top 25 rankings for HERE and HERE.

To see the sites’ top players: HERE, HERE and HERE.

Wait… i’m noticing a theme here  
As you all are either very proudly or nauseously aware, the SEC has won the last six BCS championships; it’s no coincidence that in the past six signing periods, no fewer than two SEC teams have finished in the Top 10 nationally in recruiting rankings from (incidentally, the lowest number, two, being this year). But no matter how you rank the classes, there’s no denying that the most highly regarded high school athletes are in the south, and most of them choose to stay nearby.

It’s been great for Clemson, Florida State and Miami, too.

Recruiting well without making a splash 
On signing day, the focus tends to drift to a handful of schools who are having big days. Here are some programs who quietly put together solid classes: Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech.

Doing more with less
Sure, USC has spent the last two seasons watching bowl season from home thanks to NCAA sanctions, but the real kick to the groin, scholarship reductions, began this signing class. In all, the Trojans signed just 12 players today (USC had three early enrollees that counted toward the 2011 recruiting class), meaning they have three more scholarships available for next year. Give Lane Kiffin credit, though, for putting together a pretty solid class. And, he seems to have a plan in place over the next few years. It’s going to be a tough road ahead for the Trojans, but if they can be competitive at all in the Pac-12, it would undoubtedly be Kiffin’s best coaching — and recruiting — job in his young career.

Mizzou bends it like Beckham 
Much like conference realignment, the thought of Missouri being the choice for top-ranked athletes is, well, unexpected. But Gary Pinkel reeled in the No. 1 recruit in the country in receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Missouri as a state has produced a few decent athletes in its day, but none in recent memory as big as DGB. Whether it was the “M-I-Z!… D-G-B!” chant at a basketball game, or the school’s move to the SEC, I don’t think anybody at Mizzou cares. They grabbed a recruit who could make an immediate impact.

Stanford sets itself up for life without Luck
Stanford started out quietly having a solid signing day, but by day’s end, had one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Specifically, the Cardinal concentrated on landing three elite offensive lineman and grabbed linebacker Noor Davis out of Florida. Obviously, there will be focus on David Shaw to see how well he does without Andrew Luck, but Stanford’s 2012 class was a resounding reflection of the type of football the Cardinal want to play.

Urban theft 
Perhaps no single team had as dramatic a shift for the better over the past few months in terms of their recruiting class as Ohio State. You can thank Urban Meyer for that. The former Florida coach already plucked some recruits from other Big Ten schools before Wednesday; today, he stole one more from Wisconsin — offensive lineman Kyle Dodson.

Landon Collins signs his LOI without drama
The mother of safety Landon Collins didn’t get her wish today, as Collins officially sent in his signature to Alabama over LSU with, as far as we’re aware, few to zero dishes thrown at any walls. April Justin has publicly voiced her opposition of Collins going to the Tide since his announcement at the All-American Bowl last month and later accused Alabama coach Nick Saban of “stereotyping” her and making decisions for Collins that weren’t in the teenager’s best interest.

In the end, it all went down according to Collins’ plan.

Meanwhile, Josh Harvey-Clemons makes Georgia wait 
Valdosta (Ga.) linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons was one of the first big announcements on signing day, telling ESPNU he would sign with Georgia over Florida and Florida State. By evening, Harvey-Clemons’ signature still hadn’t come through the fax machine. The hold up? Something about an unhappy grandfather and going AWOL. Also, there was a tweet from JHC, but it appeared to be written in Pig Latin … or Egyptian hieroglyphics … or Wingdings. In any case, I think it meant he was still committed to Georgia.

Miles finally makes his move
One of the top dual-threat quarterback prospects in the country, Cyler Miles, had a case of what appeared to be cold feet when he didn’t appear for his signing day ceremony at Mullen (Colo.) High School. Reports were that the No. 35 overall recruit (Rivals) was wavering on his commitment to Washington and considering USC. A few hours later, though, Miles reaffirmed his commitment to the Huskies.

Other unsigned heroes 
We’ve covered a lot of recruits who turned in their letters of intent today, but a few high-profile athletes chose to wait a little longer before making their choice. Among those big names still available to sign are receiver Stefon Diggs, quarterback Jameis Winston and athlete Davonte Neal.

Strangely, signing day was relatively normal
You’d think that when you’re talking about the futures of 17 and 18-year-old kids, there’s bound to be some strange happenings on signing day. Last year, there was the story about the mother forging her son’s signature on a letter of intent, not to mention the kid who made his college decision from a license plate. This year? Nothing so far, not even over-the-top commitment announcements. While personally I’m more thankful for a low-key signing day, it’s obviously far more interesting when a recruit decides to dress three greased pigs in school colors and make the respective head coaches tackle their pig first for that coveted signature.

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10 Responses to “Recapping National Signing Day”
  1. bunnymen808 says: Feb 1, 2012 9:54 PM

    So I guess we should get ready for an Alabama v. Texas rematch for the National Title in three years…

  2. imaduffer says: Feb 1, 2012 10:25 PM


  3. mrslay1 says: Feb 1, 2012 10:30 PM

    I wouldn’t look for Texas in 3 or 10 years. Bama probably Oregon, Ohio state, maybe Washington. But Arkansas, LSU Bama win it all for a while.

  4. Deb says: Feb 1, 2012 11:07 PM

    Since I’m a huge fan of defensive football, Saban is my kind of coach. But he’s also a good guy to have around at recruiting time. We’ve been blessed with another top-notch class. I’m grateful Collins sent his letter quickly and without anymore drama from Mommie Dearest. As a Mizzou grad, I’m also thrilled for the Tigers getting DGB and glad he didn’t string them along all day.

    Ben … what is an “athlete” Davonte Neal? Is he a sixty-minute man? Didn’t he play a designated position in high school?

  5. Walk says: Feb 1, 2012 11:23 PM

    Does rupert murdoch not own fox? The company seems to link back to. This would be the same billionaire whose us media rights acquisition started with san antonio express. I could be wrong, not entirely certain of that but its accurate far as i can recall. Just seems funny that two other companies favor alabama and one did not for some reason.

  6. pdcooper08 says: Feb 2, 2012 2:24 AM

    @ mslay: You seemed to have left out your favorite coached team from your list. How can you with a straight face not menition USC.

    Even if you have hate for them, they are loaded. The Trojans will be as tough as anyone next year. You just won’t admit it.

  7. canetic says: Feb 2, 2012 7:29 AM

    I’m just grateful that Golden pulled off a miracle class for Miami.

  8. mrslay1 says: Feb 2, 2012 1:36 PM

    Happy for Golden to. Miami is what it is, but he is a class man and stayed with them when they really didn’t deserve him. I hope the best for him more than Miami.

  9. mrslay1 says: Feb 2, 2012 1:43 PM

    pdcooper…This is a list of possible national championship teams not good ones. usc will will win a lot of games via the conference they play in, but they will not be in that mix of winning it all any more than ND. Just the way I see it, time will tell.

  10. pdcooper08 says: Feb 2, 2012 5:21 PM

    @mrslay.. I guess you know what your talking about. I guess USC has no history of getting to the big dance and winning and they have little talent returning this coming year. They have as good a chance as any team in the nation next season to go. In fact, if the Pac-12 is so weak as you put, why wouldn’t that just elevate SC chances at winning.

    I believe the proof is in the pudding here. ND has been irrelevant for some time. USC has shown over the past few years they remain an elite program.

    You are just hating here. But yes we will see for sure come September.

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