Rivals.com national recruiting editor Jeremy Crabtree breaks down the top 25 teams in the national team rankings now that National Signing Day is here. Halfway through the day with many surprises already pulled, here's the updated list of teams that have improved their stock or lost momentum.
Team ranking and player status as of Wednesday, Feb. 6, 9 a.m. CST
This Irish class is loaded with prime time players, even though it might not get back to the top spot. Landing Kapron Lewis-Moore earlier today was a big get for Notre Dame. The Irish were also making a strong push with four-star running back Milton Knox, a UCLA commitment. He announces at 6 p.m. CST tonight.
The Crimson Tide has done a tremendous job this season, dominating not only in-state but elsewhere throughout the nation. By the time the smoke clears today, don't be shocked if the Crimson Tide finish with the nation's No. 1 class. With the announcements of five-star Julio Jones and four-star Jerrell Harris still on tap, either one could push Bama over the top.
The Gators lost two four-star commitments Wednesday morning when Ricky Barnum and Ramon Buchanan switched their intentions. Barnum has inked with Michigan and Buchanan is heading now to Miami. How far down will the Gators tumble when the smoke clears? We'll know more here as the day goes on. Regardless this is still a very deep and talented Gator class. UF loaded up on a lot of quality defensive players.
The Sooners have closed strong under Bob Stoops the past few seasons and this year is nothing different. Lamar Harris officially announced his decision to switch to Oklahoma earlier this week and there's still hope for the Sooners with Jones. Either way, this is still one of Stoops' best classes in Norman, and that's saying a lot.
The Dawgs did a tremendous job this season, scoring one of the best classes early on and then Mark Richt and Co. kept piling on the solid players. The Dawgs had to sweat out Toby Jackson's visit to USC, but he decided to stick with UGA. Xavier Avery visited Oklahoma, but also decided to stick with the Dawgs. Things have gone as expected on Wednesday for UGA.
The Canes did a tremendous job of raiding the top talent in their own backyard. It was extremely tough for anybody to get any of the top players in South Florida away from the Canes this season. That trend continued on Wednesday, when four-star receiver Tommy Streeter announced he was going to Miami. The Canes also added Buchanon to the mix and are awaiting the announcements of Brandon Harris at 12:05 p.m. today. The smart money is on Miami with Harris, but it'll have to play itself out.
FSU went about things differently this season compared to the past, as it went out and landed commitments in the spring and summer. The Noles kept a big commitment from running back Jermaine Thomas, who was torn between LSU and FSU. He announced his decision with FSU by donning a Chief Osceola head dress. Jones is also on the board for the Noles and his pledge could push them higher up the charts. T.J. Bryant is also still on the board for FSU and will announce shortly.
Ohio State's class has been relatively in place for quite some time. Once again Jim Tressel has Ohio State on track to land one of the nation's best groups. Five-star offensive tackles Mike Adams and Michael Brewster are the type of prospects you can build a future line around. The big question now is whether or not they will be blocking for Terrelle Pryor in the future. There's also rumblings that Brandon Harris could be more of an option for OSU than some think. We'll know soon enough.
The national champions have been on a roll and still have a shot at finishing somewhere in the top five if the dominoes all fall right for them down the stretch. The Tigers did a tremendous job of securing an early class with head coach Les Miles and recruiting coordinator Josh Henson leading the way. The Tigers are hoping to get good news from talented offensive lineman Greg Shaw at around 11 a.m. CST this morning. They did miss out on Thomas, Harris and Marcus Robinson.
What a day to be a Wolverine. So far things have gone exactly as planned and there were some big surprises in the mix. Getting Barnum away from Florida started off the fireworks, but then they continued with the news that Trotwood (Ohio) Madison receiver Roy Roundtree was heading to Ann Abor. Roundtree flipped from Purdue and if teammate Michael Shaw decides to come also, then it would be an even bigger day. Shaw at this point is torn and will announce at 1 p.m. Now if things go well with Perry later on, then UM hit a grand slam on Signing Day.
The Trojans are playing the waiting game. They're hoping to close strong with a flurry of Signing Day decisions. If things fall USC's way they could really move up the charts, but if not they've still landed one of the nation's best classes. USC is waiting on Nick Perry, who appears to be torn between Michigan and USC. He announces later today. USC is also waiting on Bryant, Joe Adams, Jerell Harris and a few others.
Things have been kind of quiet the past few weeks for UCLA. The Bruins have been busy working hard at trying to keep the pieces in place to what was a top five recruiting class. There have been some defections that really stung, but in the end most of the top players that were committed under the old staff have remained in place. All things considered, this is a very special UCLA class. The Bruins did add recently three-star juco quarterback Kevin Craft. UCLA is also sweating out a last-minute push by Notre Dame on Milton Knox.
Darrell Scott and Rod Davis. That's all that's left on the board for the Horns. Texas looks like it's slipped behind in the race to land the nation's top running back, but we won't know officially what he's doing until around 11:50 a.m. today. Davis is down to Texas and A&M, and he'll announce his decision at 7:30 p.m. this evening. The Horns, once again, did a tremendous job by jumping out of the gates early with a highly-regarded class. There are plenty of stars of the future in this group, but it'll go down as one of Mack Brown's best efforts if he can snag the nation's No. 1 running back away.
The Tigers have been set for a little while now, but await final word on Jamie Harper at 11:20 a.m. this morning. The four-star running back will announce between Miami, Florida State, Clemson and Illinois. There were rumblings Wednesday morning that he was Miami bound, but regardless this shouldn't take away from the amazing class that Clemson has put together. The Tigers addressed quite a few needs across the board.
Give the new Texas A&M staff a ton of credit. They took what could have been a major recruiting disaster and hit the road aggressive and it's paid off with a tremendous class. The Aggies did some major homework to find sleeper linebacker Ricky Cavanaugh, who might be one of Texas' biggest steals. Then on Sunday the Aggies landed four-star and top 100 running back Cyrus Gray. A&M – like Texas – could get a boost with the addition of Davis later this evening.
Tim Brewster is already well thought of as one of the nation's top recruiters, but the job that he's done this season at Minnesota has been nothing short of amazing. To struggle so bad on the field and then to recruit a class that could end up in the top 25 is simply mind-blowing. The Golden Gophers have had a solid foundation in place for a while, but recent additions from players like Kevin Whaley, Cedric McKinley and Brodrick Smith have pushed the Gophers up two slots from late last week. The latest addition of four-star linebacker Keanon Cooper put Minnesota on the verge of landing a top 15 class.
Things have been relatively quiet lately for Tech, as the foundation of the class has already been in place for a while now. The Hokies have landed a small handful of commitments in January with most of the work in the class done well in advance back this spring and summer. Ryan Williams has a chance to be a monster star for the Hokies. Not only is he talented, but he also fits the system really well. The Hokies also have one of the nation's best offensive line classes.
Like Alabama, the Tigers are also waiting to see what's going to happen with Gadsden (Ala.) Gadsden City four-star linebacker Jerrell Harris. The Tigers did slide a few slots when they decided to no longer honor its offer to four-star receiver Jarmon Fortson and four-star defensive lineman Charles Deas. Regardless, this is an exceptionally fast and talented class heading to Auburn.
It's also been quiet lately for ASU. The Sun Devils did a tremendous job on the field this season and then also in the recruiting front. Dennis Erickson complimented his high school class with a talented laden junior college class. The biggest gets, though, come from in-state high school stars like Gerell Robinson and Jarrell Barbour. Stealing away Ryan Bass from rival Arizona also had to feel really good.
The Illini have been holding steady also for a while now. The number of potential kids still on the list is down to a small handful. Ron Zook proved again in this year's class that he's one of the best recruiters in the nation. He did it both on the high school and on the junior college level. Four-star juco safety Donsay Hardeman has a real shot at being special for the Illini right away. If the Illini can hold on to Corey Liuget this morning then it's an A-plus effort for Zook.
The Ducks continue to do it all over the country. Not only do they recruit well in California, but they've recruited well in other parts of the country. They went into Kansas to pull in Chris Harper recently and went into Texas to pull in stud running back LaMichael James. The Ducks are making a strong push also for Kentucky receiver Aaron Boyd and five-star prep school running back Enrique Davis. Landing either could push them up the charts some.
Tyrone Willingham is flat out getting it done in Seattle this recruiting season. UDub might go down as the biggest surprise nationally, but it shouldn't be a true surprise because the Huskies have a tremendous recruiting base to recruit to – major urban area, great facilities, good tradition and a great fan base. The Huskies have done most of their damage this season in the Northwest with the key additions of stars like Kavario Middleton, Everrette Thompson, Alameda Ta'amu. But stealing Chris Polk away from USC also had to be exciting for the UDub coaches.
The Buffs leaped back into the national top 25 on Wednesday and could climb up even higher when Darrell Scott announces around noon. Sources say the nation's No. 1 running back is now leaning toward Colorado as he heads toward his final decision. The late signing day decisions of Rodney Stewart of Ohio and Paul Vigo of New Jersey helped also give the Buffs a bounce up.
The Tigers did a tremendous job of capitalizing on their Big 12 North championship. Mizzou landed the nation's top pro-style quarterback in Blaine Gabbert and also did a good job of sealing up the rest of its state borders by landing six of the state's top eight players. The Lone Star State was also kind to the Tigers with pledges from 12 players.
The Cowboys will sign one of the nation's best combinations of high school and junior college players. OSU already has eight players on campus, including top 50 juco players Maurice Gray, Beau Johnson and Swanson Miller. OSU also has done well on the high school level, re-loading at the defensive back spot. Safeties Victor Johnson and Markelle Martin have a shot to be really special for the Cowboys. Keeping Kye Staley, a highly-ranked player, away from Arkansas looks to be a big key in keeping OSU in the top 25.