National Signing Day
By: JJ Lanier
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Outside of the opening weekend of March Madness, I’m not sure there’s a weekday in college athletics that deserves to be labeled an “unofficial holiday” more than a college football signing day.
For all the buildup, all the phone alerts, all the sneaking away to the bathroom so you can see if your team signed that three-star backup punter, it always seems to end the same; with the SEC on top.
Once again college football’s best conference (according to those in the Southeast, at least) treated this year’s signing day like a sumo wrestler at a Chinese buffet. As soon as the doors opened, they bum rushed the buffet line, grabbed all the Sesame Chicken and General Tso’s they could get their hands on, leaving nothing for left for anyone else except the beef and broccoli that had been sitting under the heat lamp since early that morning.
And just like death and taxes, the one thing you can count on is Alabama bringing in a recruiting class rated either first or second. I would say they always finish first, much like this year according to most sites, but Georgia has become Alabama 2.0 in almost every facet of their program and I’m pretty sure they had the higher rated class last year. Either way, when it comes to recruiting it’s been Alabama, Georgia, and then everyone else.
Of the other three SEC teams that finished ranked in the top ten, one is a regular participant (LSU), one is a familiar face we haven’t seen for a couple of years (Florida), and the third, is a new addition thanks to a head coach going through his first full recruiting cycle with the program (Texas A&M).
Having said that, it’s very easy to speak rhapsodic about a program that brings in a top ten recruiting class- they’ve all brought in talented players that should help their team, that’s why they’re rated where they are.
There are three teams however, that stuck a little bit as I was reading over the final outcomes: Tennessee, Ohio State, and Florida State.
For Tennessee, they’ve been just good enough on the recruiting trail recently to be able to have the product they put on the field not live up to expectations. It’s been a few years since they were able to put together the type of class Jeremy Pruitt was able to this year, and it will be intriguing to see if that success translates onto the field.
Ohio State signed some of the blue-chip athletes you would expect (plus a particular transfer from Athens), but where they “struggled”, was with quality depth. It would’ve been unrealistic to expect them to do much better than they did with everything that has transpired over the past year, but when you have a new coach you have to wonder if it’s a blip on the radar, or the beginning of a trend?
As for Florida State they just lost their primary target at quarterback to a Maryland program so toxic Montgomery Burns wouldn’t even have Smithers touch it.
I have nothing against Willie Taggart and I know he says he has a plan, but unless it includes owning stock in U-Haul, I don’t have much faith in it.
To absolutely nobody’s surprise the SEC puffed out its chest and dominated signing day. The national title may reside in another conference, but when it comes to pure talent, the SEC is first in line, and they’re not leaving many leftovers.