The dotted lines are signed and the letter of intents are faxed and 2018 National Signing Day is pretty much a wrap.
It is an annual festival of high school football prospects choose where they want to partake in their football activities for the next few years. With so many storylines and so many signings, here is a recap of what transpired throughout the day.
Bulldogs Own The Room
Entering the day, the Georgia Bulldogs had themselves a very stellar class thanks to the signing of the #1 dual-threat quarterback (Justin Fields), the #1 running back (Zamir White), the #2 defensive end (Brenton Cox), and the #3 offensive tackle (Cade Mays), just to name a few. But once head coach Kirby Smart signed the #4 cornerback Tyson Campbell, a 4-star 6’5 receiver in Tommy Bush, and the #3 outside linebacker in the country in Quay Walker, the defending SEC champions made a clear and precise statement on signing day. The Bulldogs have the clear cut #1 class and have cemented themselves as true contender in the College Football Playoff in the upcoming future.
Trojans With The Late Surge
USC has limited scholarships to distribute but the ones they do hand out are to ones that are high quality players. The late signings of the #3 and the #5 cornerbacks in Olaijah Griffin and Isaac Taylor-Stuart, respectively, gave USC a major
boost in the recruiting rankings. According to Rivals, the Trojans are third overall and the Trojans ended up with the third-most five-star recruits (5) in the entire class, behind Georgia and Clemson. The entire class however is centered around what pans out from five-star quarterback JT Daniels, who reclassified to the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Looking at the rankings, the Michigan Wolverines placed 25th in the recruiting cycle. For a school with that much pedigree and one of the more popular head coaches in all the land, that placement is without a doubt disappointing. The Wolverines saw one of the their top targets in the #4 outside linebacker in Otis Reese flip to Georgia and they also missed out on 5-star offensive tackle Nick Petit-Frere. To put it in perspective, Michigan has the fourth best class in the Big Ten according to rankings and the class is only slightly better than rival Michigan State. I truly mean slightly.
Alabama No. 1 No Longer
In six of the last seven recruiting years, the Alabama Crimson Tide ranked first overall in recruiting. Here in 2018, the Tide find themselves in uncharted waters as they sit only seventh overall in recruiting. Alabama added to their impressive defensive back hauling by signing 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. out of Plantation, Florida. Surtain plus 4-stars Josh Jobe and Jayln Armour-Davis gives head coach Nick Saban a trio of well-rounded defensive backs. Plucking receiver Jaylen Waddle out of Houston, Texas was a great signing also. Alabama may not be #1 in recruiting this year, but their 19-man class is still quite impressive.
Canes Continue To Climb
In just his second recruiting class in Miami, head coach Mark Richt added more juice to an already talented roster. A pair of
5-star offensive guys in running back Lorenzo Lingard and wide receiver Mark Pope adds a lot more skill on the field for Miami. Keeping defensive tackle Nesta Silvera in-state was huge and signing 4-star receiver Marquez Ezzard rounds out one of the best wide receiving hauls in the country. Miami still has a corner to turn in terms of development but this kind of class is exactly what they need.
Missouri’s Dreadful Day
The day did not start off well for the Missouri Tigers with their Twitter account being suspended for the day. Pile that on top of the Tigers missing out on key in-state talent such as defensive tackle Michael Thompson (Oklahoma), defensive back Mario Goodrich (Clemson), and wide receiver Kamryn Babb (Ohio State) and you have a heap of bad things that occurred that truly hurt the program overall.
Top Under-the-Radar Classes
Texas A&M – The Aggies collected 23 total commitments by the end of signing day which included a 4-star 300-lb defensive end in Bobby Brown, who flipped from Alabama, and even grabbed a skilled tight end in Glenn Beal out of Louisiana.
South Carolina – Most of the signings for the Gamecocks occurred on the December signing day but they were still productive the second go-around. Getting 4-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge out of North Carolina was a big move. Sandidge along with 4-star receiver Josh Vann and 4-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner help give the Gamecocks their second straight top-20 recruiting class.
Oregon – Head coach Mario Cristobal is known for his recruiting chops and it showed with a class that is 15th overall and includes 11 four star players. It came late in the day but getting the fifth best offensive tackle in the country in Penal Sewell was an excellent signing. A pair of 4-star defensive backs in Steve Stephens and Jevon Holland were key additions to the class that were made last year.