It’s a day when all the hard work of high school senior football players pays off. For coaches, it may be both the most loved and dreaded day of the year. So many ups and downs, so many surprises. Every year has its own crazy commitments and flips. For some colleges, one commit can make or break a class. Let’s look back at what went down yesterday and recap the madness.
LSU – Coach Miles and company started the morning with a bang, hauling in the nation’s top wide receiver, Malachi Dupre, along with four-star Trey Quinn, but the fun didn’t stop there. LSU also received a commit from defensive tackle Travonte Valentine. The uncontested No. 1 running back, Leonard Fournette, also signed on with the Tigers.
USC – Honestly, the Trojans could not have done better this year. The top uncommitted recruit, Adoree’ Jackson, picked USC over Florida State and LSU following a commitment from one of the top cornerbacks, John ‘Juju’ Smith. Another top 100 player, offensive guard Damien Mama, rounded out an all-star list.
Alabama – To no one’s surprise, Alabama has once again orchestrated a phenomenal class. What did come as a surprise was the singing of Rashaan Evans, who chose Alabama over Auburn. In addition, Alabama signed six five-star recruits, including four on defense. The nation’s No. 1 recruit, defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, is also taking his talents to Tuscaloosa this fall.
Surprises & Flip-Flops
Rashaan Evans – As mentioned above, Evans is heading to ‘Bama, which came as a surprise to most who thought Auburn had it in the bag. Evans was a coveted recruit, projected to be one of the nation’s top linebackers this season.
Darius Slade – It was the battle of the Big Ten schools for this athletic DE, despite a three-star ranking. Slade first committed to Bo Pelini and the Huskers before flipping to Michigan State. After a short stint with the Spartans, Slade finally put pen to paper for Ohio State, who made a big push the last couple of weeks.
Damian Prince – A top 20 lineman for the 2013 class, Prince could have gone to just about any school he wanted, but the Maryland native decided to stay home and committed to the Terps, giving their 2014 class quite a boost.
Treon Harris – A top 10 player in the Sunshine State and a top three player at his position announced yesterday that he would not sign with Florida State. He was verbally committed to play for this year’s national champion, but the Gators won the in-state matchup for Harris’ letter of intent.
Malik McDowell – Although it was not his parents’ first choice, Malik made the decision for himself and committed to the Michigan State Spartans. But what would Signing Day be without a little drama? McDowell has yet to officially fax his LOI to the MSU staff. There’s still a chance his parents could win the battle and he could become a Buckeye. All we can do is wait and see.
Biggest Moves in Team Rankings
USC – Depending on which recruiting site you follow, the Trojans jumped anywhere from 10 to 15 spots. However you look at it, you won’t find a team who moved up as much as USC.
MSU – Their jump was largely due to McDowell’s (pending) commitment, so it could disappear if he does what his parents want. Signing Montae Nicholson and Madre London also helped the Spartans find a higher spot on the list.
South Carolina – Helping make a big jump yesterday was the pickup of cornerbacks Chris Lammons and Wesley Green, filling a definite need for the Gamecocks. They were also able to flip three-stars Dexter Wideman and Blake McClain, and hang on to one of the top linebackers in the nation, Bryson Allen-Williams, who was considering Alabama late in the process.
It was another fun and crazy year in recruiting, but it’s hardly slowed down as coaches are already looking ahead to 2015. Can anyone top Alabama as the top recruiting team in the nation? What is the correlation between top recruiting classes and championships? Plenty of questions, each with a handful of answers. So hang tight and enjoy the ride of yet another year of recruiting madness.