National Signing Day Recap

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Today, the best excuse to get drunk on a Wednesday in February, National Signing Day, took higher education institutions nationwide for a wild ride. Featuring some highly awkward and entertaining press conferences, shocking moves of treachery, and surprise revelations in commitment, ESPNU started broadcasting the festivities surrounding the country’s top high school prospects at 7:00am.

As expected, the SEC cleaned house in the recruiting realm, acquiring 11 of the top 22 recruiting classes in the nation, according to ESPN.

An unusual suspect in Ole Miss, was the school making headlines, though. At 7:35 this morning, Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top prospect who originally committed to Clemson, pledged his Rebel allegiance to kick off a historic day for the Hotty Toddy-faithful. If his dress was any indication of what’s to come, I’ll be the first to say this kid’s got a goddamn tremendous upside.

The prized defensive end will play alongside his older brother, and will be joined by Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell, the nation’s #1 OT and WR, respectively. The Rebels were able to ink five of the ESPN Top 150 and 28 players all together. The 2013 class is undoubtedly the strongest ever to come into Oxford, and is graded by ESPN to be the 5th strongest in the county.

No surprise, the nation’s consensus top recruiting class is Tuscaloosa bound to play under Saban. Alabama was able to score 17 of ESPN’s Top 300, including top ranked athlete, Derrick Henry, the nation’s preeminent MLB, Rueben Foster, and a kid that was clearly conceived to play defensive tackle, Dee Liner. Seriously, that’s his name. With 25 recruits signed as of 4:30pm on Wednesday, ten of them ranking in the top five at their position, the Tide is poised to roll into the 2014 season without missing a step.

Will Muschamp and Florida have secured the #2 class, with 11 recruits out of the ESPN’s 150, and 28 all together. The Swamp will be graced by ESPN’s #1 RB Kelvin Taylor, with the Florida native looking to get touches early on in his career. The already stellar performance by the Gators’ D will be bolstered by play from the nation’s #1 CB Vernon Hargreaves III, and four-star prospects OLB Daniel McMillan and DT Caleb Brantley.

Proving that it’s definitely easier to recruit without a sweater vest, Urban Meyer was able to attract five of ESPN’s Top 50 to the Buckeyes, earning the program the #3 national recruiting ranking. Undefeated last year, Ohio State looks to further bolster their dominance in the BIG10 and contend for a national title when eligible.

It’s assured that Notre Dame and Michigan will be looking to give them a run for their money, with the fourth and sixth ranked classes, respectively. The schools are slated to play in the forthcoming season and the following, renewing rivalry that began in 1847.

A few other notable takeaways from the day include:

This is only the 6th time in history a school has landed three players ranked #1 at their position (Alabama & Ole Miss). Florida State did it last year, Florida in 2010, and both LSU and USC in 2009.

The worst recruiting conference this year was the Big XII, landing only four teams in ESPN’s top 40, with Texas peaking at #15.

Texas A&M, undoubtedly still riding the Johnny Football Heisman Express, landed the largest recruiting class in the country: 34.

The USC Trojans were Signing Day’s biggest bust. Lane Kiffin was only able to field 13 recruits, albeit the nation’s #2 QB Max Browne. Surely his previous misguidances in recruiting policy saw any level-headed parent steer their son away from the maniacal former Vols coach.

The nation’s #1 QB prospect, Christian Hackenberg, was unwavering in his original commitment to the Penn State Nittany Lions – understandable as he’s likely to get first team snaps next year in Bill O’Brien’s prolific, Brady-breeding offense, that turned even Matt McGloin into possible NFL crop.

Even after going 0-8 in conference play this year and losing Rueben Foster to Bama, Auburn still secured the #11 overall class in the nation. To boot, Foster tattooed his loyalty to the Tigers before pulling one of college sports’ Judas moves and renounced his commitment, so you’ll always have that Auburn fans…

If this isn’t the best week of Ray Lewis’ life since he got off for double homicide, his son Ray Lewis III committed to his alma mater, the University of Miami. Coming off of a Super Bowl that boasted five former Hurricanes (Ed Reed, Bryant McKinnie, Frank Gore, Tavares Gooden and Lewis) who knows, maybe Deer Antler Jr. will provide a rebirth for Al Golden’s program.

Obviously not learning from history, Junior Seau’s nephew committed to Nevada.

In closing, despite being the nation’s 2nd best cornerback, Clemson commit Mackensie Alexander gave hands down the best press conference of the day. Kid took charge of everything involved with his “million dollar decision,” worked the crowd, and made sure he received more air-time than Dari Nowkhah, before making his announcement.

Well played, sir. Love the attitude – see you in the NFL.

___

To see where your team stacks up, ESPN’s comprehensive Top 40 Rankings can be found here.

[via ESPN]

Image via Rant Sports

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    • Vineyard Vines 4ever

      I’m a libertarian, and people like you are why conservatives are painted in a bad light. You’re nothing but a piece of trash. Go educate yourself and get out of your trailer park in Alabama.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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    • Fraternity Lifestyle

      I’m a conservative, and VV4Ever your comment is a prime example of why conservatives don’t take libertarians that seriously. You’re so quick to try and paint yourself as “better” than a conservative, while still being one. You understand economics, yet socially you have the mindset of a liberal, meaning your sole purpose in life is to clear your own conscious. The Ron Paul/Gary Johnson circlejerk of failure is somewhere else.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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    • Tommy Gufano

      By the way, how big of a piece of shit is Ron Paul for saying Chris Kyle’s murder was justified? “Live by the sword, die by the sword” is fine in battle but for a veteran with 4 tours under his belt, countless lives saved to be murdered is not “dying by the sword.”

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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    • J Parks

      ^^ Meh. Social conservatism is bullcrap. If it’s not the economy/foreign affairs, then I don’t give a shit. If a couple of dudes wanna be miserable like the rest of us, wear a ring, and poke each other’s shoots behind closed doors, who the fuck cares.

      And before anyone starts harping the sanctity of marriage, remember one thing- this happened, and we let it happen:

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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    • ReaganKA

      J Parks you would literally not get a bid at any of the fraternities at the school I went to. I can’t decide if you are a hipster, yankee asshole, or just an overall pussy. It is probably some combination of all three. I don’t know whose idea it was to give you a job at TFM but whoever it was needs to take you behind closed doors “poke your shoot” and then both of you can chug bleach.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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    • J Parks

      I’m apparently a pussy because I’d rather see the GOP focus on the economy, rather than ostracize the entire moderate populace and flush another election down the toilet because the party is fixated on gay butt sex.

      Shiny objects.

      Guess what. I’m personally (probably) socially conservative (more so apathetic).

      Guess what. No one gives a shit. The country’s social mores have changed, and there’s no turning back. That’s reality, and the GOP needs to realize that stat. That’s why I’m not dying on the gay marriage hill. It’s about jobs. That’s my point. And until you and the rest of the EvangeliDERPPP base realizes that all this anti-gay buttsex bashing is doing is turning off huge chunks of people from being associated with a party of ignorance, well frankly, the Republicans aren’t winning shit for a very long time. Stop being short-sighted.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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      • Tommy Gufano

        Parks, I agree with you on this one, why didn’t you tell me you felt this way before? I wouldn’t have commented mean things on your other columns.

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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  1. cleavage

    UNC always seems to have good recruiting classes for an ACC school. Why the fuck are they so average every year?

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 1 year ago
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