10. Florida State Seminoles
Five-Star Recruits: LB Christian Jones, DB Lamarcus Joyner
Analysis: Ugh, who invited them back to the party? After nearly a decade of recruiting underachievers and failed Abercrombie models, the Seminoles look to have acquired a solid class in the first official and third actual year of the Jimbo Fisher Era. Looking to regain relevance in both Florida and the nation after a season in which they lost a trifecta against Miami, USF and Florida, the Seminoles made their mark on signing day. The ‘Noles were able to retain their prospects, and even managed to pull a Jersey Shore-esque robbery of ATH Christian Green late on Wednesday. Few were expecting Green to split from his high school teammate, OL Chaz Green, who decided to go to Gainesville.
9. Tennessee Volunteers
Five-Star Recruits: WR Da’Rick Rogers (Yes, that is by all accounts his real name)
Analysis: Derek Dooley loyalists rejoice! The previously unknown and belittled head coach has come out of the bullpen in the ninth inning with Hell’s Bells blaring over the loudspeakers and secured a very respectable recruiting class. The immmediate assumption after Lane Kiffin burned Knoxville to the ground and relieved himself on its ashes was that Tennessee football was royally screwed for years to come. That does not appear to be the case, atleast in the recruiting side of things. It appears that threatening recruits with gas station jobs and verbally attacking every coach in the SEC is not the only way to obtain a top-ten recruiting class. Dooley surprised the country with his signing day surge, which was highlighted by WR Da’Rick Rogers. As Ed Orgeron would say, “Grumble grumble.”
8. UCLA Bruins
Five-Star Recruits: DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (Wow, my kid is definitely getting a crazy first name to increase his Five-Star chances)
Analysis: Tuesday night must have been one extravagant event of wheelin’-and-dealin’ with Rick Neuheisel, the Ric Flair of college coaching. The Nature Boy managed to bring a star-studded cast to the Los Angeles football equivalent of the San Fernando Valley. Managing to bring in a strong class while directly competing against the Hollywood of Los Angeles Football, USC, where Song Girls flourish and Layla Kiffin makes house visits, is quite a feat. Either this class will be torn apart my numerous NCAA violations in the near future, or this many talented Calfiornia kids were just THAT desperate to make it to the Rose Bowl, one way or the other. Regardless, the Bruins won some major national publicity this signing day. TMZ check ’em out!
7. Oklahoma Sooners
Five-Star Recruits: Much like a guy leaving the bar at 3 A.M., the Sooners had no Five-Star recruits. They instead decided to go with the “well, a two and a three combine to make one five” logic. Quantity baby, quantity.
Analysis: This is where the countdown becomes a little less fascinating and becomes a series of “ho hum, they got a lot of really good high school players again.” The Sooners really did nothing too spectacular this recruiting season, but still managed to put together a noteworthy class with a giant collection of three and four-star recruits. For Bob Stoops, the recruits always look better at closing time.
6. LSU Tigers
Five-Star Recruits: LB Jordan Hicks, DE Jackson Jeffcoat
Analysis: Texas rebounded from their failures in the national championship game with an impressive recruiting performance. However, selling 18-year-olds on moving to the college haven that is Austin, Texas, is a lot like selling them on a beautiful blonde. Their handling of the quarterback position was interesting as they do have Garrett Gilbert already prepared to take over for Colt McCoy at quarterback. In this class, Texas is bringing in four-star QB Connor Wood whose first sit-down conversation with Mack Brown probably went something like this:
Brown: : “Okay, so if you were playing in the national championship game, and you suffered a minor shoulder injury, what would you do?”
2. USC Trojans
Five-Star Recruits: WR Markeith Ambles, RB Dillon Baxter, OL Seantrel Henderson, WR Kyle Prater, ATH Robert Woods
Analysis: DISCLAIMER: Rivals just began listing USC at No. 1 for some reason. However, their statistics have still not changed from when I began writing this and they were No. 2 then, so I will keep them at that spot here on Sports Casualties. Lane Kiffin, possibly the most hated man in college sports right now, likely just made himself more disliked by laughing in the face of all of his haters and snagging one of the country’s best recruiting classes. An obscene amount of top talent, Kiffin managed to keep Pete Carroll’s recruits and add to them some new tastes of his own. Yes, there were probably strippers and/or ridiculous amounts of money involved, but that’s not what matters for now. Kiffin has plenty of time to rack up his own NCAA violations. Let’s get the party started.
1. Florida Gators