clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Recruiting: National Signing Day Recap and Wind-Down

New, 54 comments

Now that we have time to decompress, three words to remember: Always Trust Saban.

5-star LB Mack Wilson rocking the Wimp Sanderson blazer.
5-star LB Mack Wilson rocking the Wimp Sanderson blazer.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

After much hand-wringing through January, the Crimson Tide quelled the fears of their fans with yet another top rated recruiting class. Anchored by 5-stars Ben Davis, Lyndell "Mack" Wilson, Jonah Williams, the nation's top running back B.J. Emmons, and the #2 juco player Charles Baldwin.

When it comes to recruiting coverage, there are four who cover it the best. They are 247sports, Rivals, Scout, and in a distant fourth ESPN. I am not just saying ESPN is "distant" because they picked Alabama second behind Florida State. They truly do trail the other three when it comes to insight. But they are the almighty four-letter network, so they do deserve some credit.

National Ranking Average:

The chart below is based on the Team Rankings for the Big 4 in recruiting services. The 247sports is their rankings, and not the composite rankings they compile whose exact algorithm and sources are not completely divulged. So, back to the basics: (a+b+c+d)/4.

# TEAM 247 Scout Rivals ESPN AVG
1 Alabama 1 1 1 2 1.25
2 Florida State 2 3 2 1 2.00
3 Ohio State 3 2 3 5 3.25
4 LSU 4 4 6 3 4.25
5 Michigan 5 6 4 6 5.25
6 Ole Miss 7 5 7 4 5.75
7 Clemson 8 14 5 8 8.75
8 Georgia 9 9 10 7 8.75
9 Southern Cal
6 11 8 11 9.00
10 Auburn 10 12 9 9 10.00
11 Texas 13 8 13 10 11.00
12 UCLA 11 7 11 15 11.00
13 Florida 14 10 14 12 12.50
14 Notre Dame 12 13 12 16 13.25
15 Tennessee 15 17 15 14 15.25
16 Stanford 17 15 18 13 15.75
17 Baylor 19 19 17 17 18.00
18 Texas A&M 16 21 16 20 18.25
19 TCU 18 16 21 22 19.25
20 Michigan State 21 18 20 21 20.00
21 Penn State 20 22 23 18 20.75
22 Oklahoma 23 20 19 23 21.25
23 Miami (FL) 22 37 22 19 25.00
24 Nebraska 24 28 25 26 25.75
25 South Carolina 28 26 26 27 26.75
26 Arkansas 25 32 32 24 28.25
27 North Carolina 33 23 24 34 28.50
28 Pittsburgh 26 27 30 31 28.50
28 Oregon 35 24 28 32 29.75
30 Duke 34 33 31 28 31.50
31 Wisconsin 27 25 33 41 31.50
32 Arizona State 32 36 34 25 31.75
33 Kentucky 28 38 29 35 32.50
34 Washington 36 29 38 28 32.75
35 Mississippi State 31 35 36 33 33.75
36 California 37 39 27 40 35.75
37 Utah 30 41 35 38 36.00
38 West Virginia 41 34 39 37 37.75
39 Louisville 39 40 37 36 38.00
40 Iowa 38 31 42 49 40.00
41 Texas Tech 46 30 45 42 40.75
42 Houston 44 51 44 30 42.25
43 Oklahoma State 42 43 46 46 44.25
44 Maryland 43 54 40 43 45.00
45 Virginia Tech 40 56 49 39 46.00
46 NC State 57 47 43 44 47.75
47 Northwestern 47 45 47 52 47.75
48 Minnesota 45 42 50 55 48.00
49 Arizona 51 44 51 47 48.25
50 Oregon State 52 55 41 45 48.25
51 Iowa State 50 46 54 54 51.00
52 BYU 49 53 48 57 51.75
53 Missouri 56 57 53 51 54.25
54 Washington State 59 50 52 56 54.25
55 Indiana 55 52 55 58 55.00
56 Vanderbilt 48 68 59 48 55.75
57 Wake Forest 54 63 61 50 57.00
58 Boise State 62 48 57 68 58.75
59 Syracuse 65 59 56 62 60.50
60 Virginia 61 62 60 60 60.75
61 Georgia Tech 58 66 67 53 61.00
62 Temple 53 74 63 59 62.25
63 Marshall 67 58 68 65 64.50
64 Illinois 70 60 66 71 66.75
65 UCF 71 75 58 66 67.50
66 Colorado State 73 64 62 73 68.00
67 Memphis 60 69 71 72 68.00
69 South Florida 63 78 69 63 68.25
70 SMU 74 61 72 67 68.50
71 Kansas State 69 73 75 70 71.75
72 Rutgers 79 71 79 64 73.25
73 Cincinnati 75 72 74 75 74.00
74 Boston College 77 70 81 74 75.50
75 Purdue 96 82 73 61 78.00
76 Colorado 72 67 64 999 300.50
77 San Diego State 90 65 65 999 304.75
79 East Carolina 66 89 77 999 307.75
80 UNLV 82 80 70 999 307.75
82 Miami (OH) 92 81 80 999 313.00
84 Tulsa 88 85 85 999 314.25
85 Navy 76 92 92 999 314.75
88 Arkansas State 84 90 89 999 315.50
89 Kansas 80 93 91 999 315.75
90 Tulane 89 97 84 999 317.25
91 Toledo 98 88 87 999 318.00
92 Western Kentucky 95 86 96 999 319.00
95 Troy 91 98 94 999 320.50
96 UAB 64 79 999 999 535.25
98 Connecticut 85 99 999 999 545.50

(ESPN only does the top 75. Rivals only goes up to 100. Therefore, for teams that did not make their lists, I gave them a value of 999, just because.)

National Notes:

FLORIDA STATE - As much as things change, the more they stay the same. Despite a "down" year by their standards, the 'Noles still dominated the ACC and put together a good solid class. FSU pulled in recruits from nine states and Washington DC but missed out on several in-state players. They got one 5-star in Levonta Taylor, the only cornerback to unanimously earn that many stars.

CLEMSON - The Tigers did pretty good but not as good as you might expect from this past season's runner-up and favorite for next season. 5-star DT Dexter Lawrence was their big catch.

OHIO STATE - The Buckeyes had a pretty quiet but successful NSD having the class basically sewn up before the crack of dawn on Wednesday.

MICHIGAN - Jim Harbaugh's antics were enough to trick convince recruits from 13 different states to sign but only three from Michigan. There is something to be said for players who are unfamiliar with each other. It will be interesting to see if he can get them to coalesce.

BIG TEN - Aside from Ohio State and Michigan, the rest of the conference was pretty lacking. If they are not careful, the B1G could fall into that ACC hole of two up top with a bunch of Participation Award recipients.

TEXAS finished strong as always but will it translate to the field?

OKLAHOMA - Wow, what happened here? The Sooners got some good players up top but the back end hurt them.

USC - Despite another coaching change, the University of South Central L.A. still got a good haul.

OREGON - Not a great class for the Ducks. You have to wonder if the sheen of too many failed season endings is starting to effect recruiting.

POWER 5 DOGS
#71 Kansas State, BIG XII
#72 Rutgers, B1G
#74 Boston College, ACC
#75 Purdue, B1G - 247 ranked them #96 while ESPN had them at #61.
#76 Colorado, PAC - The Buffs shared the MNC back in 1990.
#89 Kansas, B1G - Eight years ago, this team was playing in the Orange Bowl

SEC logo

EssEeSee:

Eight teams in the top 20 and half of the top ten.

SEC NATL TEAM 247 Scout Rivals ESPN AVG
1 1 Alabama 1 1 1 2 1.25
2 4 LSU 4 4 6 3 4.25
3 6 Ole Miss 7 5 7 4 5.75
4 8 Georgia 9 9 10 7 8.75
5 10 Auburn 10 12 9 9 10.00
6 13 Florida 14 10 14 12 12.50
7 15 Tennessee 15 17 15 14 15.25
8 18 Texas A&M 16 21 16 20 18.25
9 25 South Carolina 28 26 26 27 26.75
10 26 Arkansas 25 32 32 24 28.25
11 33 Kentucky 28 38 29 35 32.50
12 35 Mississippi State 31 35 36 33 33.75
13 53 Missouri 56 57 53 51 54.25
14 56 Vanderbilt 48 68 59 48 55.75

LSU - A great class but where is the quarterback? After months of scrambling and being left at the altar, Les Miles settled for 5'11" barely 3-star Lindsey Scott who chose the Tigers over Rutgers and Tulane.

Ole Miss - Another good class for the Rebs but they missed out on three of the state's top five (Jeffery Simmons, Nigel Knott, Raekwon Davis).

Georgia - You've learned well young Jedi. Kirby Smart has one of the best UGA classes in many many moons. Bama fans have to be a little concerned about the fence he is erecting around the Peach State.

Auburn - A disappointing class was saved by Derrick Brown's last minute decision and WR Nate Craig-Myers.

Florida - Gators lost a few players to flips on NSD but hung on to QB-of-the-future Feleipe Franks.

Tennessee - The Vols made some headlines but the back end is not so great.

Texas A&M - Alumni have to be fuming after Tejas stole the spotlight on NSD.

South Carolina - Honestly, this is not a bad class for the crater Steve Spurrier left behind. 4-star QB Brandon McIlwain is a good start.

Arkansas - An okay class for Bert but he is not getting them to the top of the heap anytime soon. He could've used another running back and some more OL help.

Kentucky - bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-DUNK! Hooray!

Mississippi State - Despite landing 5-star Jeffery Simmons, the Bullies were outdistanced by many. Dan Mullen committed a cardinal sin by not signing a quarterback.

Missouri - This is why Gary Pinkel retired. Expect some dark days ahead for Mizzou.

Vanderbilt - Vandy's gonna Vandy.

alabama logo script a 100x100

Alabama by Position:

Offense (11):
Dual-Threat Quarterback
All Purpose Back
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End
Tight End
Offensive Tackle
Offensive Tackle
Offensive Tackle
Offensive Guard
Offensive Guard

Defense (13):
Weak-Side Defensive End
Strong-Side Defensive End
Defensive Tackle
Defensive Tackle
Defensive Tackle
Inside Linebacker
Outside Linebacker
Cornerback
Cornerback
Cornerback
Cornerback
Safety *
Safety *

Special Teams:
Kicker (preferred walk-on) 
Long Snapper(preferred walk-on)

*  The safeties refer to Trevon Diggs and Shawn Jennings who are listed as Athletes but most likely end up at safety.

Bama Crootin Map 2016 2.0

Alabama by State:

Alabama (6)
California (1)
Connecticut (1)
District Of Columbia (1)
Florida (1)
Georgia (1)
Louisiana (2)
Maryland (1)
Michigan (1)
Mississippi (3)
North Carolina (1)
Oklahoma (1)
Texas (4)

The Decommits

Alabama had four 3-star recruits decommit this past week. In case you are curious as to where they landed:

Riley Cole LB South Alabama
Joshua Perry S Memphis
Brendan Scales TE Mizzou
Tyler Simmons WR Georgia (see below)

The Sleepers

This is going to sound awfully Gumpy, but three of the lowest rated pick-ups from Wednesday may be the most underrated.

Joshua Jacobs (McLain HS, Tulsa, OK) APB 5-10/200 - A few months ago, this running back was only getting looks from New Mexico State and Wyoming. He didn't even have the attention of home state schools Oklahoma, Okie State, or even Tulsa. My guess is his coach did not know how to promote his players. For more, read this good article from the Tulsa World.
Jamar King (Mendocino CC, Ukiah, CA) SDE 6-5/285 - This lineman has been overlooked for years. Originally from Detroit, he got no offers out of high school and landed at this middle-of-nowhere northern California juco where he grew into himself. King also played for his juco's basketball team.
Aaron Robinson (Deerfield Beach HS, Deerfield Beach, FL) CB 6-1/178 - This flip from Florida took all of us at RBR by surprise. The Tide staff loves this kid's talent and believe he could be the steal of this class, much like like Eddie Jackson was three years ago. The story of his offer can be read below.

What Could've/Should've Been

It is hard to be upset with what Nick Saban did on NSD. If you listened to his press conference, he was happy but you can tell that it wasn't perfect (at least by Saban's definition). He mentioned that they were hoping to get another "edge rusher" defensive end and another wide receiver. As you know, Saban rarely lets details that he can control go bad. He has no control of people who are less than honest with him. I believe I can fill in some blanks.

The following narrative is unsubstantiated but came from a good source and makes some sense.

The defensive end Bama missed out on was 5-star DE Jeffrey Simmons who made the surprise commit of the day to Mississippi State. Coming into the day, it was thought to be a tight race between Ole Miss and Alabama. The story goes that Simmons gave a silent commit to Alabama about two weeks ago and he even told the Tide staff early Wednesday morning that he would be signing with Bama. Because of this, the Alabama staff turned their attention elsewhere and missed out on someone else who could have replaced him.

The second part of this involves 3-star WR Tyler Simmons who committed to Alabama back in early January. However, he started looking around, listening to overtures from Kirby Smart, taking an official visit to Miami, etc. The Tide staff was not happy with these activities but Simmons convinced them he was still committed to Alabama. He even went as far as telling Nick Saban on NSD eve that he would be signing with the Tide. And then he flipped to Georgia.

You may be thinking that the Crimson Tide is better off without guys who do this sort of thing. However, the real damage is that Alabama misses out on other recruits who they had to back off on. However, the Tide made a great recovery in grabbing Aaron Robinson almost as soon as Simmons teeter-tottered over.

Bama is still missing that second wide receiver that they had wanted. As you may know, 5-star WR Demetris Robinson did not sign on Wednesday and may take a visit to Alabama. If Saban can convinced him to make the trip, you have to like his chances with the top ten player. All of this is depending on whether there is a scholarship waiting for him.

Also of interest, 3-star DE Sci Martin, who took an OV to Tuscaloosa on Jan. 15, has not signed anywhere either. He was committed to TCU and has considered LSU and Oklahoma as well as Alabama.

Quote of the Day:

"Florida is kind of the new Ole Miss. They're doing some things in recruiting that just kind of shocks you a little bit."

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema made this quip during a live interview with ESPN. While most people took these comments as a shot at both Florida and Ole Miss, Bielema later insists that he was complimenting both schools.

Key & Peele All-Stars

FIRST TEAM

• RB Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Texas - This gives us hope that there could be a recruit named Lil'Penny after the Nike Penny Hardaway commercials of the 1990s.
• WR Ralphlauren McCauley, undecided ...

I didn't have time to share all the wonderful terrific names with you but check this great post from Yahoo.

Roll Tide