With another National Signing Day now in the books, here are a few observations from one the biggest events on the college football calendar each and every year.
- FSU isn't going anywhere.
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- Big Ten recruiting still starts with Ohio State.
With the Jim Tressel and Terelle Pyror sanctions now in the rear-view mirror, Urban Meyer has put together back-to-back Top 5 recruiting classes over the last two years, and the expectations are for the Buckeyes is turn these classes into National Championships. The highlight of the class is Raekwon McMillan, a 6'3, 235-pound physical freak at the middle linebacker position, a great sign for Ohio State when you consider the fact that Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Georgia all took a run at him. Offensive line was also a place of strength, picking up three 4-star lineman who could all play from day one. Penn State and Michigan State finished fairly well also, but no one else in the conference outside of those three teams finished in the Top 25.
- Tennessee is this year's Ole Miss.
Ole Miss shocked the college football world a year ago by pulling off the No. 1 class in the country, including the signing of DE Robert Nkemdiche, the No. 1 recruit overall. Despite only having one winning season since 2008, the Volunteers pulled off a top 5 class. Because they signed several players as early enrollees, UT's class ended up with 31 players, and possibly the most depth of any group in the country. Running back Jalen Hurd and wide receiver Josh Malone are the 5-star players that highlight the best collection of talent the Vols have lured to Knoxville in over a decade.
- USC rallied late.
A few days ago you could have argued that this Trojans' class was not even in the Top 30. But on Wednesday, USC picked up Adoree' Jackson, a 5'10 athlete from Gardena, Californa, who is regarded as one of the Top 10 players in the country. They also picked up JuJu Smith, a corner from Long Beach, California. Most experts thought he was going to Oregon, but he picked USC instead. The Trojans didn't have the depth that some of the other top classes had, but landing Jackson and Smith late made for a very good day overall. Much of the credit goes to wide receiver coach Tee Martin, one of the head recruiters for the school.
- Top-flight running backs ruled the day.
In the Rivals Top 100, you can find nine running backs inside the Top 35. LSU, Oklahoma, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida State all picked up huge RB commits. The most impressive back of the bunch is 6'1, 225-pound Leonard Fournette out of New Orleans, who many are already comparing to Adrian Peterson. Another running back to watch is Joe Mixon, an all-purpose back from California who committed to Oklahoma. He could be the starter right out of the gate this season.