Thursday, 7 February 2013

NCAA: National Signing Day Recap

National signing day is American football's equivalent of transfer deadline day. There's going to be drama, constant coverage, last second transfers and finally, a lot of hope for the future. No one knows exactly how that future is going to pan out, but almost every school is going to have a ray of hope after seeing some of the talent that's going to arrive on campus.

After a couple of years of being the object of attention for many of the nations biggest schools, high school players have to sign and fax in their letters of intent to schools to formally enrol at a college. Some recruits like to make a show of their commitments, whilst others prefer to keep it quite or enrol early to get on campus and begin working with the team.

Here's a little DC roundup of the top stories from the day and a rundown of the nations top 5 classes.

Biggest Stories

 - By far the most unusual story of the day involved a running back prospect and his commitment to Arkansas. Upon learning of his desire to go to Arkansas, Alex Collins’ mum confiscated his intent papers and went AWOL for a number a hours, leaving Brett Bielema and Alex in suspense. As of this morning there has been no conclusion to this story. 

Reuben Foster's tattoo

- The number 16 overall prospects Reuben Foster is certainly going to become a talking point when it comes to the state of Alabama. Having previously committed to Auburn and commemorating it with a tattoo on his arm, Foster flipped his decision and instead committed to Alabama and signed his letter of intent dressed as Nick Saban. Needless to say, I think he’ll be wearing forearm guards come game day.

- Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze did perhaps one of the best recruiting job in recent years by securing the number 1 prospect at the defensive end, offensive tackle and wide receiver positions. Signing Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell. Ole Miss is going to be a team to keep and eye on in a year or two after having their best ever class.

Top prospect Robert Nkemdiche is a Rebel.

- Ohio State appeared to secure the future of their defensive backfield in an apparent anti-spread manoeuvre by picking up the #3, 7 and 9 cornerback as well as pulling off a coup in wrestling the #4 safety Vonn Bell from Alabama. 

- USC had a terrible day when they lost 7 of their earlier commits, two of which went to cross-city rival UCLA. USC are hurting still from NCAA sanctions and this kind of demoralising class is not going to help lift the Trojans mood after a poor season.

Top 5 Classes

1. Alabama
5 – 1
4 – 20
3 – 4

Top Commit: Derrick Henry, ATH – #1 Athlete, 9th overall. Henry wants to play running back in college and faces a tough competition in Tuscaloos.

2. Florida
5 – 2
4 – 20
3 – 5

Top Commit: Vernon Hargreaves III, DB – #1 Corner, 3rd overall. Lockdown corner who could probably start straight away if needed.

3. Ohio State
5 - 1
4 - 18
3 – 6

Top Commit: Eli Apple, DB - #3 Corner, 11th overall. Tall and explosive with great range, will likely make an impact on special teams too.

4. Notre Dame
5- 1
4 - 18
3 – 4

Top Commit: Jaylon Smith, LB - #2 OLB, 7th overall. Showed his athleticism by playing running back in high school and can develop to play any of the three linebacker spots in a 4-3.

5. Ole Miss
5- 2
4- 12
3- 13

Top Commit: Robert Nkemdiche, DE - #1 DE, 1st overall. Likened to Da’Quan Bowers, offers versatility as well as the size and speed to play where he is needed. 

Instant Impact Players

1. Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss - Scouts say that he'll be able to provide production for 15-20 snaps a game to begin with, but with this kids talent, he could easily be taking 45+ snaps by the end of the year. Let's not fool ourselves, he's going to be competing in the SEC so don't expect him to dominate from day one, but do expecting him to flash his ability often.

2. Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida - Son of ex-Jacksonville and Patriot running back Fred Taylor has committed to his fathers alma mater. He may not have the speed of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, but he's a tough back with an all around game and good speed. He will likely get quite a few carriers in the Gator backfield this next season.

Kelvin Taylor playing for Yulee

3. Derrick Green, RB, Michigan - Arguably the best power back in this years class who is likely to become the Wolverines workhorse in the post-Robinson era. He hasn't managed to get on campus early  but has the physical talents to adapt quickly and contribute early.

Derrick Green, strong back committed to Michigan

1 comment:

  1. Did you know that Alex Collins mom (the Arkansas running back) has hired a lawyer to attempt to force her son to go to Miami. She doesn't have a legal leg to stand on, but interesting none the less. Good article by the way.


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