February 6, 2013

Signing Day 2013: Inside the Top 25

MORE: Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings

Rivals.com takes a closer look at the top 25 teams in the national team rankings after National Signing Day.

See where your favorite team stacked up as we break down each of the top 25 classes.

A look at top 25 signing classes
1. Alabama
Total signed: 25
Five-stars: 4. DE Jonathan Allen, LB Reuben Foster, TE O.J. Howard DT A'Shawn Robinson.
Four-stars: 13. QB Cooper Bateman, OL Bradley Bozeman, WR Raheem Falkins, WR Robert Foster, RB Derrick Henry, OL Grant Hill, RB Tyren Jones, RB Alvin Kamara, DT Darius Paige, DB Maurice Smith, ATH ArDarius Stewart, RB Altee Tenpenny, DE Tim Williams.
Three-stars: 8
Average stars: 3.84
Points: 3,166
Instant impact: Howard. The Crimson Tide lose their top tight end from 2012, and Howard is too talented not to factor into that competition
Bottom line: After losing the lead to Ohio State early in the day, the Crimson Tide rallied with commitments from five-star defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, four-star defensive end Dee Liner and four-star running back Alvin Kamara on Wednesday to run away with their fifth national recruiting title in the past six years.
2. Ohio State
Total signed: 25
Five-stars: 2. DB Vonn Bell, LB Mike Mitchell.
Four-stars: 16. DB Eli Apple, QB J.T. Barrett, TE Marcus Baugh, DE Joey Bosa, WR James Clark, DT Michael Hill, LB Trey Johnson, DE Tyquan Lewis, OL Evan Lisle, ATH Jalin Marshall, DT Billy Price, WR Corey Smith, DB Jayme Thompson, RB Dontre Wilson.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.76
Points: 2,903
Instant impact: Marshall. In the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Marshall, Meyer has his Percy Harvin.
Bottom line: Head coach Urban Meyer started by locking up the top three prospects in-state in Marshall, Burrows and Lisle, then went national and cherry-picked as many top prospects as he could to complement the in-state talent. The Buckeyes capped the class with a strong Signing Day haul that included grabbing five-star Vonn Bell out of Georgia.
3. Notre Dame
Total signed: 24
Five-stars: 4. RB Greg Bryant, DB Max Redfield, LB Jaylon Smith, DT Eddie Vanderdoes.
Four-stars: 14. OL Hunter Bivin, OL Steve Elmer, RB Tarean Folston, WR William Fuller, TE Mike Heuerman, WR Torii Hunter Jr., DB Cole Luke, OL Mike McGlinchey, OL John Montelus, ATH James Onwualu, LB Doug Randolph, WR Corey Robinson, DE Isaac Rochell, QB Malik Zaire.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.92
Points: 2,893
Instant impact: Smith. The Irish lose Manti Te'o, but in Smith add one of the 2013 class' most athletic prospects at any position.
Bottom line: Notre Dame showed its ability to recruit nationally by pulling prospects from 15 different states plus the District of Columbia. Their perfect regular season and national championship appearance further fueled a strong early start to the class in the offseason. Taking Vanderdoes late in the day was the icing on the cake for Brian Kelly and his staff.
4. Florida
Total signed: 27
Five-stars: 2. LB Alex Anzalone, CB Vernon Hargreaves III.
Four-stars: 14. WR Alvin Bailey, DT Jaynard Bostwick, DT Caleb Brantley, DT Darious Cummings, WR Ahmad Fulwood, DB Marcell Harris, DE Joey Ivie, LB Daniel McMillian, DB Keanu Neal, WR Demarcus Robinson, LB Matt Rolin, DE Jordan Sherit, RB Kelvin Taylor, DB Nick Washington.
Three-stars: 11.
Average stars: 3.67
Points: 2,792
Instant impact: The nation's No. 2 ranked prospect, Vernon Hargreaves III is a game-changer at the cornerback position
Bottom line: With Hargreaves and fellow five-star Alex Anzalone leading the way, the Gators signed a top-three class with talent across the board. Needs were met at practically every position, but this class is exceptionally strong at defensive tackle, safety, wide receiver and linebacker.
5. Michigan
Total signed: 27
Five-stars: 1. RB Derrick Green.
Four-stars: 16. OL Kyle Bosch, TE Jake Butt, DE Taco Charlton, OL David Dawson, DB Ross Douglas, OL Chris Fox, LB Ben Gedeon, DB Delano Hill, OL Patrick Kugler, DB Jourdan Lewis, LB Mike McCray, QB Shane Morris, DT Henry Poggi, ATH Wyatt Shallman, DB Dymonte Thomas, OL Logan Tuley-Tillman.
Three-stars: 9.
Average stars: 3.63
Points: 2,661
Instant impact: Green. Michigan wants to get back to a power running game on offense, and in Green it has the back who can be dynamic in that scheme.
Bottom line: Michigan started the 2013 class of quickly and held the No. 1 position in the national team rankings for several months. Twenty-one of the 27 prospects who signed with UM were committed to the Wolverines before the 2012 season even started. They recruited particularly well on the offensive line and at running back.
6. LSU
Total signed: 26
Five-stars: 2. DE Frank Herron, DB [/db]Tre'Davious White[/db].
Four-stars: 15. ATH Kendell Beckwith, OL Josh Boutte, DE Tashawn Bower, DB Jeryl Brazil, WR John Diarse, OL Andy Dodd, DT Greg Gilmore, DB Rickey Jefferson, QB Anthony Jennings, WR Quantavius Leslie, OL Ethan Pocic, QB Hayden Rettig, DB Rashard Robinson, TE DeSean Smith, WR Kevin Spears.
Three-stars: 9
Average stars: 3.73
Points: 2,643
Instant impact: White. The five-star defensive back is one of the country's most explosive athletes and should factor in early on special teams, if not defense.
Bottom line: The Tigers' class is solid from top to bottom. They grabbed their quarterback of the future in Los Angeles native Rettig, put a group of bruising offensive linemen in front of him and surrounded him with playmakers at wide receiver and tight end. LSU then went out and signed two elite defensive prospects in Herron and White.
7. Ole Miss
Total signed: 27
Five-stars: 3. DE Robert Nkemdiche, WR Laquon Treadwell, OL Laremy Tunsil.
Four-stars: 9. WR Quincy Adeboyejo, DB Nickolas Brassell, QB Ryan Buchanan, DB Antonio Conner, RB Mark Dodson Jr., OL Austin Golson, DT Lavon Hooks, RB Kailo Moore, RB Jordan Wilkins.
Three-stars: 15
Average stars: 3.56
Points: 2,496
Instant impact: Treadwell. The five-star is one of the most college-ready wide receivers to come out of the high school ranks in several years and should be an immediate complement to junior Donte Moncrief.
Bottom line: Once five-stars Nkemdiche and Treadwell started naming Ole Miss as their leader, other top prospects took notice. That started a two-month run of top prospects taking a closer look at Ole Miss and scheduling official visits to Oxford, eventually resulting in a huge Signing Day that saw them add Rivals100 prospects Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil and Antonio Conner.
8. Auburn
Total signed: 23
Five-stars: 2. DT Montravius Adams, DE Carl Lawson.
Four-stars: 9. RB Cameron Artis-Payne, DT Ben Bradley, DE Elijah Daniel, RB Jonathan Ford, QB Jeremy Johnson, OL Deon Mix, WR Earnest Robinson, ATH Jason Smith, WR Tony Stevens.
Three-stars: 13.
Average stars: 3.57
Points: 2,384
Instant impact: Lawson. There is not a more disruptive edge rusher in this class than the five-star defensive end.
Bottom line: No team got as much bang for their buck on the defensive line as Auburn, thanks to Signing Day pickups of the five-star Adams and the four-star Daniel to go along with Lawson and Bradley. With defensive line play so important in the SEC, adding two five-stars and two four-stars will certainly bolster the Tigers' front seven.
9. Florida State
Total signed: 21
Five-stars: 2. DB Jalen Ramsey, LB Matthew Thomas.
Four-stars: 9. DT Keith Bryant, OL Ira Denson, RB Ryan Green, WR Isaiah Jones, LB E.J. Levenberry Jr., LB Freddie Stevenson, DE DeMarcus Walker, DB Marquez White, WR Levonte Whitfield.
Three-stars: 9
Average stars: 3.57
Points: 2,352
Instant impact: Ramsey. The five-star cornerback flipped to the Seminoles late, but he should see the field early.
Bottom line: At one time in danger of falling out of the top 20 in the national rankings, Florida State summoned that old Signing Day magic and pulled in five-stars Ramsey and Thomas in the final hours. Retaining Levenberry after Tennessee made a strong, late push for the four-star also helped the Seminoles rally on Signing Day.
10. Texas A&M
Total signed: 31
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 15. DB Noel Ellis, DB Tavares Garner, DT Isaiah Golden, ATH Laquvionte Gonzalez, DE Daeshon Hall, QB Kenny Hill, WR Sebastian Larue, DT Justin Manning, DB Kameron Miles, WR Kyrion Parker, ATH Ricky Seals-Jones, QB Kohl Stewart, DT Hardreck Walker, WR JaQuay Williams, OL Ishmael Wilson.
Three-stars: 15.
Average stars: 3.45
Points: 2,332
Instant impact: JaQuay Williams. Having a post-grad year under his belt should allow the 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver to make an early impact for the Aggies.
Bottom line: An impressive first season in the SEC and a Heisman Trophy-winner returning at quarterback certainly helped the Aggies on the recruiting trail. They pulled in as many top 20 in-state prospects as former Big 12 rival Texas, lead by four-star athlete Ricky Seals-Jones and four-star defensive tackle Justin Manning.
11. UCLA
Total signed: 23.
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 16. OL Caleb Benenoch, DT Kenneth Clark, WR Thomas Duarte, DE Kylie Fitts, DB Tyler Foreman, DB Tahaan Goodman, LB Deon Hollins Jr., LB Myles Jack, DB Johnny Johnson, OL Kenny Lacy, OL John Lopez, WR Eldridge Massington, OL Poasi Moala, OL Christian Morris, OL Alex Redmond, QB Asiantii Woulard.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.65
Points: 2,283
Instant impact: Although not the highest-ranked prospect in the class, cornerback Johnny Johnson has the tools to play early.
Bottom line: The Bruins were one of the top stories on National Signing Day, landing Rivals250 quarterback Asiantii Woulard out of Florida and fighting off other schools to keep four-star offensive lineman Christian Morris and four-star linebacker Myles Jack in the fold.
12. Georgia
Total signed: 32
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 15. DT John Atkins, LB Reginald Carter, WR Reggie Davis, DE Leonard Floyd, LB Tim Kimbrough, OL Brandon Kublanow, DB Brendan Langley, DB Tray Matthews, LB Johnny O'Neal, QB Brice Ramsey, WR Jonathon Rumph, ATH Tramel Terry, RB A.J. Turman, DB Shaquille Wiggins, DB Reggie Wilkerson.
Three-stars: 17.
Average stars: 3.47
Points: 2,211
Instant impact: Matthews. At the U.S. Army All-American Bowl last month, Matthews was arguably the most physically impressive safety and the Bulldogs could use a hard-hitter in their secondary.
Bottom line: The Bulldogs had hoped for more on National Signing Day, but they still sign a class of 32 that includes 15 four-star prospects. Head coach Mark Richt wanted to add big hitters to the middle linebacker position, and he definitely got that in Kimbrough and Johnny O'Neal. There are high expectations in Athens for Ramsey to be the long-term answer at quarterback.
13. USC
Total signed: 12
Five-stars: 5. DT Kenny Bigelow, QB Max Browne, DB Su'a Cravens, RB Ty Isaac, DB Leon McQuay III.
Four-stars: 7. RB Justin Davis, OL Nico Falah, DB Chris Hawkins, LB Michael Hutchings, WR Steven Mitchell, LB Quinton Powell, OL Khaliel Rodgers.
Three-stars: 0.
Average stars: 4.42
Points: 2,193
Instant impact: Defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow will play in the NFL one day, if he can prove to be an every-down lineman
Bottom line: At one point, USC had what looked like an insurmountable lead in the national team rankings. As Signing Day drew near, however, the Trojans suffered a wave of de-commitments. Although it is a very small class, USC still managed to sign more five-star prospects than any other program.
14. Clemson
Total signed: 23
Five-stars: 0
Four-stars: 10. DB Mackensie Alexander, LB Ben Boulware, OL Tyrone Crowder, RB Tyshon Dye, ATH Jayron Kearse, DE Shaq Lawson, LB Dorian O'Daniel, DE Ebenezer Ogundeko, DT Scott Pagano, WR Mike Williams.
Three-stars: 10
Average stars: 3.30
Points: 2,131
Instant impact: Alexander. Clemson coaches expect the Rivals100 cornerback to compete for the starting job from day one.
Bottom line: The big news on Signing Day was the additions of Alexander and Crowder, but the Tigers also grabbed three-star cornerbacks Adrian Baker and Korrin Wiggins as well as three-star safety Ryan Carter on Wednesday to finish with a class of 23 that is deep at the skill positions.
15. Oklahoma
Total signed: 24
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 7. DB Hatari Byrd, RB Keith Ford, DT Kerrick Huggins, QB Cody Thomas, DE D.J. Ward, DB L.J. Moore, ATH Stanvon Taylor
Three-stars: 14
Average stars: 3.17
Points: 2,068
Instant impact: Ford. The Sooners have depth at running back, but Ford is the type of freshman who may be too talented to redshirt.
Bottom line: The Sooners had a slow start to the 2013 class, but rallied in the final two months to move up in the national team rankings. A program with Oklahoma's tradition expects to finish in the top 10 every year. That was not the case in 2013, but the signing day addition of Moore will allow the Sooners to transition into the 2014 class on a high note.
16. South Carolina
Total signed: 22
Five-stars: 0
Four-stars: 8. LB Larenz Bryant, ATH Pharoh Cooper, DT Kelsey Griffin, QB Connor Mitch, LB Skai Moore, OL D.J. Park, OL Na'Ty Rodgers, RB David Williams
Three-stars: 14.
Average stars: 3.36
Points: 1,962
Instant impact: Williams. With Marcus Lattimore off to the NFL, the Gamecocks could use immediate backfield help.
Bottom line: The Signing Day addition of Moore may prove to be the biggest pickup in this class. He still has some physical development before he reaches full potential, but the four-star linebacker knows how to make plays. The Gamecocks added six linebackers, addressing a big defensive need.
17. Nebraska
Total signed: 25.
Five-stars: 0
Four-stars: 5. LB Josh Banderas, DE Randy Gregory, LB Marcus Newby, RB Terrell Newby, RB Adam Taylor.
Three-stars: 19
Average stars: 3.16
Points: 1,921
Instant impact: Terrell Newby. The explosive athlete's versatility should allow him to see the field early in Lincoln.
Bottom line: Nebraska quietly put together a really solid class, out-pacing all but Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten. The Huskers made the biggest additions to their roster at running back, where Newby and Taylor each bring something a little different to the table. Banderas is a Cornhusker legacy who understands the Blackshirts tradition and has the talent to play early.
18. Washington
Total signed: 24
Five-stars: 0
Four-stars: 7. LB Sean Constantine, WR Darrell Daniels, DB Jermaine Kelly, DE Joe Mathis, DT Elijah Qualls, WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, QB Troy Williams.
Three-stars: 17.
Average stars: 3.29
Points: 1,906
Instant impact: Stringfellow. At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, he is a strong and physical pass-catcher.
Bottom line: The recruiting landscape in the Pac-12 appears to be shifting, and head coach Steve Sarkisian has established an ace recruiting staff to take advantage. Tosh Lupoi might be the best recruiting assistant in the country, but the addition of Peter Sirmon further strengthened the group and was key in signing a top-20 class.
19. Vanderbilt
Total signed: 26
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 5. LB Nigel Bowden, WR Jordan Cunningham, LB Zach Cunningham, QB Johnathon McCrary, TE Mitchell Parsons
Three-stars: 20.
Average stars: 3.15
Points: 1,870
Instant impact: Cunningham. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound linebacker tallied 194 tackles, including 43 for loss, as a senior.
Bottom line: Head coach James Franklin told Rivals.com on Wednesday that Vanderbilt is becoming a "sexy" name on the recruiting trail, and the 2013 class backs his claim. Just a few years ago, a top-20 class for the Commodores was a pipe dream, but Franklin has them recruiting on par with the better teams in the SEC.
20. Tennessee
Total signed: 21
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 5. DE Jason Carr, WR Paul Harris, WR Marquez North, ATH Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OL Austin Sanders.
Three-stars: 15.
Average stars: 3.19
Points: 1,820
Instant impact: North. When he is healthy and focused, the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder can be as good as any receiver in this class.
Bottom line: The Volunteers did not make as big of a splash on Signing Day as they had hoped, but adding Dobbs helps secure the quarterback position in Knoxville. For a team that went through a rough 2012 season and a long coaching search, finishing in the top 20 has to be considered a win for Butch Jones and Co.
21. Oregon
Total signed: 19
Five-stars: 1. Thomas Tyner
Four-stars: 7. WR Devon Allen, WR Darren Carrington, OL Cameron Hunt, DE Torrodney Prevot, ATH Tyree Robinson, ATH Tyrell Robinson, OL Evan Voeller
Three-stars: 7.
Average stars: 3.26
Points: 1,778
Instant impact: Tyner. Known for his big play ability and game-breaking speed, he also has the size to take the pounding.
Bottom line: Another school that had to overcome a coaching change, Oregon definitely took their lumps and lost some good prospects in the aftermath of Chip Kelly's late decision to bolt for the NFL, but there are good prospects in this class, especially at the skill positions. The addition of Prevot was one of the biggest surprises of Signing Day.
22. Virginia Tech
Total signed: 19
Five-stars: 1 DB Kendall Fuller
Four-stars: 3. DB Holland Fisher, QB Bucky Hodges, DE Wyatt Teller
Three-stars: 15.
Average stars: 3.26
Points: 1,758
Instant impact: Fuller. The five-star cornerback is a Hokies legacy and has the skill set to see the field immediately in Blacksburg.
Bottom line: highlight of the 2013 class for Virginia Tech was landing three Rivals100 prospects in Fuller, Teller and Fisher. The Hokies closed out their class fairly early and did not stray far from home -- 15 of the 20 signees hail from the state of Virginia.
23. Mississippi State
Total signed: 22
Five-stars: 1. DE Chris Jones.
Four-stars: 2. WR Fred Ross, QB Cord Sandberg.
Three-stars: 17.6
Average stars: 3.04
Points: 1,742
Instant impact: Jones. The five-star defensive end proved at the Under Armour All-American Game he is a disruptive force.
Bottom line: While its in-state foe Ole Miss was grabbing most of the Signing Day headlines, Mississippi State was pulling off several nice moves. It started the night before when they nabbed the four-star Ross from Oklahoma State, and then continued on Signing Day when they fended off the Rebels to hold onto Jones.
24. Texas
Total signed: 15
Five-stars: 0.
Four-stars: 9. DB Antwuan Davis, LB Deoundrei Davis, OL Rami Hammad, OL Darius James, WR Jake Oliver, OL Kent Perkins, DE Jake Raulerson, QB Tyrone Swoopes, WR Jacorey Warrick.
Three-stars: 6.
Average stars: 3.60
Points: 1,737
Instant impact: Perkins. The four-star's versatility may allow for him to be a rare freshman contributor on the offensive line.
Bottom line: The Longhorns are used to finishing in the top five of the national team rankings, but a low number of scholarship offers available in the 2013 class and stronger competition from the likes of Texas A&M and others for in-state prospects makes this one of Mack Brown's lowest-ranked classes of all-time.
25. West Virginia
Total signed: 28
Five-stars: 0
Four-stars: 2. WR Shelton Gibson, LB Darrien Howard.
Three-stars: 22.
Average stars: 2.96
Points: 1,722
Instant impact: Gibson. One of the nation's most explosive players, he could help out immediately on offense and in the return game.
Bottom line: With just two four-star prospects in the class, the Mountaineers are not bringing in an eye-popping group, but what they lack in star power they make up for in quality. Howard joins Gibson as the only four-stars in the class, and is a big, athletic linebacker who could one day move down to defensive end or even tackle.




 

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