18-Year-Old-Palooza: The Fallout from Signing Day


Gung-ho Florida Gator safety Matt Elam

Wednesday was the official Joe Schad holiday, better known to most as National Signing Day. In recognition of the only day when it is arguably appropriate for middle-aged men to swoon over high school senior males, I have taken it upon myself to trot out my rambling thoughts on the issue. The following are the top-10 ranked recruiting classes for 2010 along with my mildly coherent feelings on them. I have decided to use the rankings of Rivals.com because ESPN 150 is relatively new, and new things scare me. In the words of Michael Buffer’s half-brother, “It’s Tiiiiiiime!”

10. Florida State Seminoles

Dear Bobby, It's about damn time. Love, Jimbo.

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

"I can't wait to sing Rocky Top all night long after we beat...Oh, nevermind."

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

They're not Song Girls, but they'll do.

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

Because The Boz makes everything better.

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

"If your kid does not come to LSU, we will kidnap him and feed him to Mike the Tiger."

Five-Star Recruits: ATH Spencer Ware
Analysis: Warning, if you are the kind of person that is allergic to all things SEC, you should probably turn away because things are about to get very SEC-ish around here. We’re talking like a fried chicken dinner with a side of grits and a bourbon on the rocks to drink SEC-ish. So SEC-ish that I literally just poured a drink to enhance my coverage of it. My apologies to those of you who have read this entire thing assuming that I was intoxicated. [End of off-topic ramble] Anyways, on to LSU, where Les Miles seems to have kept his Tigers in the thick of the SEC picture after a year when Alabama dominated the SEC West. The Tigers have a balanced class, and pro-style QB Zach Lee looks to be a promising asset for Miles in the future.
5. Alabama Crimson Tide

Nick Saban's Offseason Vacation

Five-Star Recruits: DB DeMarcus Milliner
Analysis: The 2010 Alabama recruiting scenario is very similar to that of the 2009 Gators. One month removed from being crowned the best team in the nation, the Crimson Tide have the majority of their core returning. There are few openings for freshman playing time and everyone is predicting them to return to glory next season. With that said, much like the 2009 Gators, the Crimson Tide didn’t have much need for a noteworty recruiting class but got a very good one anyways. Without the ability to promise much playing time or position availability, Saban the Grumpster was able to bring in a number of high-powered offensive recruits, including two four-star running backs. I’m sure Mark Ingram is shaking in his golden cleats.
4. Auburn Tigers

"Look at me now, Turner."

Five-Star Recruits: OL Shon Coleman, RB Michael Dyer
Analysis: Remember when Auburn was the most racist, backwoods, Klan-esque institution ever for hiring “village idiot” Gene Chizik over Buffalo up-and-comer Turner Gill? Well, roughly one year later Chizik is finishing off a mildly successful season with a premier recruiting class, and Gill is coaching at Kansas (No. 55 recruiting class in the nation). Now, it is far too early to name Chizik some kind of hidden genius, but he does seem to be much more promising that his initial critics would have you believe. Chuck Barkley, I’m looking at you. Chizik seems to be a hungry game manager that apparently has quite a knack for recruiting. Is he bringing tenacity back to Auburn? You decide.
3. Texas Longhorns

Sportsnation's Michelle Beadle loves the Longhorns...fanish.

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

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Song Girls.

 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

Insert your own corny Gator-related Uncle Sam line.

Five-Star Recruits: DT Dominique Easley, DB Matt Elam, DT Sharrif Floyd, DE Ronald Powell
Analysis: The Gators had a great recruiting season. In other news, LeBron James is good at basketball, Tiger Woods isn’t the most loyal husband and Todd Bertuzzi isn’t a nice boy. Much like a 1-900 operator, Urban Meyer is apparently excellent on the phone, and does not need to travel to get his recruiting done. Perhaps what is most surprising about the 2010 recruiting class is how defensively-heavy it is. I honestly expected defensive recruiting to drop off a small amount with Charlie Strong departing but the opposite is apparently true. Some of the best defensive players in America will soon be our classmates here at UF. Okay, maybe not really our classmates. Regardless, another strong showing in Gainesville.


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3 responses to “18-Year-Old-Palooza: The Fallout from Signing Day

  1. Good break down of the top 10 classes. On a side note, I have a feeling that Chizik is starting to create a monster at Auburn, don’t know why I just do.

    • bholt11

      I’m not sure about a monster, but Chizik is certainly building a very talented program. The question will now enter if Chizik is the complete package, or if he is just an extraordinary Ron Zook-esque (sans this year) recruiter.

      If Chizik can prove that he is a great game coach, then the possibilities are endless for Auburn, they definitely won’t stay down much longer. However, if he is not, expect Auburn to leave him around recruiting for a few years and then bring in their own version of Urban Meyer to close the deal.

      Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your feedback.

  2. Pingback: Girls That Cheer: USC Trojans Song Girls | Trojans 411

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