National Signing Day is one of the most stressful days of the year for college coaching staffs and the legions of fans who support their programs. While a number of schools were already sitting pretty with several early enrollees, or with a number of solid commitments, others were waiting anxiously by their fax machines for whatever letters of intent came through.
Teams such as Florida, Alabama and Ohio State do not struggle for very long, and none of them will in the relatively near future. Their recruiting classes are superb, and generally speaking all of them — and a number of other programs — already knew who was coming aboard with only a few surprises either way. Other schools struggled mightily in 2012, but have some hope for the future in convincing uber-talented young men to come aboard and resurrect their programs.
[2013 College football rankings: Way too early preseason top 25]
Then there is Ole Miss — coach Hugh Freeze’s program made history on Wednesday. The Rebels’ recruiting class moved from outside the top 10 all the way up to No. 5-nationally with the decisions of a few elite prospects.
With most programs tying a bow around their 2013 recruiting classes and presenting them to their fans, here is our composite top 10 rankings.
We have averaged the rankings of ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports into one, easy-to-use ranking for you, the Gamedayr fans who simply ball way too hard to bother with checking so many divergent rankings yourselves.
The numbers in parentheses is each team’s average ranking from the three major recruiting services.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1 – surprised?) – ESPN: 1, Rivals: 1, 247Sports: 1
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (2.33) - ESPN: 3, Rivals: 2, 247Sports: 2
T3. Florida Gators (3.33) – ESPN: 2, Rivals: 4, 247Sports: 4
T3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3.33) – ESPN: 4, Rivals: 3, 247Sports: 3
5. Michigan Wolverines (5.33) - ESPN: 6, Rivals: 5, 247Sports: 5
6. Ole Miss Rebels (6 )- ESPN: 5, Rivals: 7, 247Sports: 6
7. LSU Tigers (6.66) - ESPN: 7, Rivals: 6, 247Sports: 7
8. Florida State Seminoles (8.66) - ESPN: 9, Rivals: 9, 247Sports: 8
9. Texas A&M Aggies (9.33) – ESPN: 8, Rivals: 10, 247Sports: 10
10. Auburn Tigers (10) - ESPN 11: , Rivals: 8, 247Sports: 11
Just Missed The Top 10: UCLA, Georgia, Clemson, USC, Texas, Oklahoma
Obviously, the big winner here, again, is Ole Miss. The pressure is going to be on this program to start winning big, but not without good reason. Laquon Treadwell was far and away the top receiver in this class. With Bo Wallace slingin’ him the pigskin opposite the sensational Donte Moncrief, the Rebels can easily show that their class is not made up solely of Nkemdiche and a bunch of rubbish.
Wednesday’s other huge movers were Ohio State, who is bringing in five of the nation’s top 50 recruits, proving that Urban Meyer himself is truly a national brand. Texas A&M, Florida State, UCLA and Auburnwere all pleasantly surprised. A&M knew the type of offensive weaponry it was bringing to campus, but the flip of 6-foot-6 defensive end Daeshon Hall from Washington at the 11th hour really helped solidify an already solid defensive class.
The Seminoles managed to flip five-star defensive back Jalen Ramsey from USC, and Auburn simply managed to hang on for dear life after all of the de-commitments following Gene Chizik’s firing. New coach Gus Malzahn brings in one of the top defensive lines in the nation, headlined by No. 2 defensive end Carl Lawson.
Now, of course, these young men have to get to college. They have to lift, they have to eat relatively well, and they have to study.
And they have to take on guys two, three and four years older than them and try not to get beat up too bad.
If these coaches thought National Signing Day was stressful, wait until they have to get these elite young men acclimated to college life and the college game. That is not exactly going to be a smooth ride, either.