While National Signing Day has lost some of its luster due to the amount of early enrollees, it’s still one of the best days of the year. Here are some takeaways from this year’s NSD.
- The most interesting story of the day was the saga of Jarez Parks. He had made a Bleacher Report commitment video to Alabama from the Eiffel Tower. At some point this morning he was told that there was not space for him so he delayed his school signing ceremony. We now know that the 4 star DE will grayshirt. That is simply amazing that Alabama has no room for a Top 150 player. That leads us to the next point
– Bama closes an all time class by getting all the top prospects that were still deciding – Ray, Smith, Ruggs and Parks. Bama clearly lands the #1 class in the country. Nick Saban was so happy and relaxed that when ESPN interviewed him he said the biggest problem from the day was getting his new players the numbers they wanted. If that is your biggest worry from NSD then you know you had a very good day.
- Ohio State had a slow NSD but they already had most of their class wrapped up. The Buckeyes have the #2 class but that is nothing to be ashamed of. They actually have a higher average player ranking thank Alabama and would have had the #1 class in most other years.
- The biggest surprise of the day was James Robinson signing with Florida. Robinson was not supposed to sign with any schools today as his offer to Florida was supposedly pulled earlier this week after his incident at Ohio State. Late in the afternoon the news broke that Robinson had in fact been given an offer from Florida and is headed to Gainesville. We will never know but it will be interesting to see how this all played out. Is it possible that the Gators realized letting him go somewhere else even JUCO was too big a risk on losing a player they need badly?
- Speaking of the Gators. They had a great day and coach Mac needed it. Gator fans were getting restless but they are on cloud nine for now. The Gators landed DBs CJ Henderson and Brian Edwards. While those 2 are good players it was even more important to land them for the fan base after the big #DBU twitter fight between Gators and Canes fans this week.
- Canes fans did get some good news by landing the great WR duo of Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley. The good news for the fans is that the Gators and Canes will play each other in 2019 when the WRs and DBs can face off and decide who really won NSD.
- USC was the bigger winner of NSD. They signed all 6 players that they were in signing day battles for. It start with them landing Levi Jones over FSU early in the morning and ended by landing the Hawkins WR duo over Nebraska in the afternoon. In all the Trojans landed 6 Top 150 prospects on the day. The Trojans always close strong and today was no different.
- Florida State didn’t close as strong as usual but they won the big prize of the day when Marvin Wilson chose the Noles over LSU. Wilson was an absolute must get for FSU even though they were playing it down. The Noles are not very deep and have not signed an elite DT in the last 2 classes. The Noles also signed 3 star RB Deonte Sheffield which gives them a total of 17 stars for the RB class. That has to be a record.
- Michigan went into SEC country and pulled out two commits Aubrey Solomon out of Georgia and Nico Collins out of Alabama. Harbaugh was pretty stoic in interviews all day but you know deep down he was feeling tingly in his khakis landing two guys from the south.
- There was not any big waiting on the LOI to come in stories this year and that’s a good thing. I know ESPN has to hate the fact that they couldn’t follow one of these stories all day. That is a good thing though because it means that the athletes were not having any parents won;t let me go where I want to go moments.
- The biggest team loser on the day was Texas. Tom Herman came in with a lot of excitement but it did not translate to NSD. The Longhorns did not win any of the big recruiting battles they were involved in. Texas did not land a 5 star prospect and will end outside the Top25 team rankings. That is a real bad look for Herman. The good news is Charlie Strong left him with a lot of talent.
- The most disappointing story of the day was Donovan Winter. The Michigan State 3 star DE commit was sitting in jail today instead of signing his LOI. That should be a reminder to all the star athletes out there to never take anything for granted.
If you want to see where all the top prospects signed check out our National Signing Day page.