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Three things to watch on Signing Day

Alabama Hand Football AP

1. The rich get richer. As things stand on Signing Day eve, Alabama has the nation’s top recruiting class and is one of seven SEC teams in Rivals’ top 10 class rankings. But it’s not just the traditional SEC powers — Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU — that are adding loads of talent.

Kentucky’s class currently ranks 13th by Rivals, ahead of powerhouse programs like Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Michigan and USC. Ole Miss (No. 15) will bring in another talent-rich class after blowing the doors of signing day a year ago.

Tennessee, which hasn’t had a 10-win season since 2007, currently has the third-best class in this cycle. And Texas A&M is bringing in the top-ranked quarterback in Kyle Allen (No. 7 overall) and third-ranked wide receiver in Speedy Noil (No. 21 overall). Not a bad way to replace Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans.

It’s a rosy situation for every SEC team — 2013 SEC East champion Mizzou has the 36th-best class, for one. But Gary Pinkel has generally done a good job turning diamond-in-the-rough types (like Sean Weatherspoon and Michael Sam, both two-star recruits) into elite collegiate players.

Ohio State, Florida State and Notre Dame are bringing in top-10 classes, while Texas (No. 17) and USC (No. 34) can blame their lackluster showings on regime changes.

Long story short: The talent gap between the SEC and the rest of college football’s conference will only widen when the fax machines get to work on Wednesday.

2. Plenty of talented players are still uncommitted. Seventeen of Rivals’ top 100 players have yet to verbally commit to a school, led by No. 6 overall recruit Adoree’ Jackson. If Jackson stays home in Los Angeles and commits to USC, he — along with five-star recruit JuJu Smith — could rocket USC’s class into the top 25.

No. 1 linebacker Rashaan Evans is down to Alabama, Auburn and UCLA — but he’s from Auburn, and missing out on him, especially to Alabama, would sting for the Tigers.

Of the 17 uncommitted Rivals100 players, seven have five star ratings. Those are the kind of players who can make or break a class — like five-star tackle Damian Price, who has Maryland, South Carolina and Florida in his top three.

3. The surprise decommitment. We’re talking about life-changing decisions for 17- and 18-year-olds here, so cold feet are a real possibility. Parents sometimes get involved and try to force a change, like last year’s Alex Collins saga.

Inevitably, a high-profile recruit will decommit at the last second and fax his letter of intent elsewhere. And when that does happen, don’t do something stupid.

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7 Responses to “Three things to watch on Signing Day”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 4, 2014 4:39 PM

    “And Texas A&M is bringing in the top-ranked quarterback in Kyle Allen (No. 7 overall) and third-ranked wide receiver in Speedy Noil (No. 21 overall). Not a bad way to replace Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans.”
    ______________________________

    Aggies also signed #2 player in the country in DE Myles Garrett. If OL Braden Smith signs with the Aggies tomorrow, they will have grabbed the #1 player from 4 different states. (TX, AZ, PA, KS)

  2. 4512dawg4512 says: Feb 4, 2014 5:02 PM

    Oklahoma is so young Im not surprised at all that they aren’t too high on the recruiting list this year

  3. djshnooks says: Feb 4, 2014 8:23 PM

    Go Syracuse! Lol.

    I wish they could get back on the map. :-(

  4. be4bama says: Feb 4, 2014 11:51 PM

    Feels like Christmas Eve to me!! ROLL TIDE

  5. chex1868 says: Feb 4, 2014 11:52 PM

    Vols have 30+ recruits. Their ranking is a sham.

  6. Professor Fate says: Feb 5, 2014 12:11 AM

    If USC has a “lackluster showing” you can put more of the blame on 30 fewer scholarships the past 3 years than a “regime change.” They’ve done pretty well with the albatross the NCAA saddled them with and it couldn’t have been because of Lane Kiffin, who turned up smelling like a rose at Alabama.

    “Long story short: The talent gap between the SEC and the rest of college football’s conference will only widen when the fax machines get to work on Wednesday.”

    Freudian slip? The rest of college football’s conference (singular rather than plural)? At some point you’d think some of these high school studs would want to make a name at other schools, rather than just being the latest flavor of the month in a place already successful. Some guys like to blaze their own trail, others take the easy route.

  7. normtide says: Feb 5, 2014 12:26 AM

    Usually a regime change at a top tier program actually helps recruiting. I think A&M is what’s hurting Texas and the emergence of the rest of the PAC is hurting USC.

    The SEC dominates recruiting for a number of reasons. I personally think location is a huge one. Ohio and California are the only two fertile states not in the SEC footprint. Add in the NFL pipeline.

    As for the easy way, your kidding right? These kids want to play against the best. The strongest iron is forged in the hottest crucible. I don’t blame a young man for going elsewhere for fast playing time. But, if you think your the best, you prove it by playing against the best.

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