Metro takes a look at the top recruiting classes after the Feb. 2 National Signing Day for college football.
1. Florida State
The scoop: Bobby who? Coach Jimbo Fisher closed strong again for Florida State. Clemson was the only other ACC team with a top-notch class, but FSU actually brought in real players not just freak athletes.
Prized prospect: RB, James Wilder, Jr. —MVP of the U.S. Army National Combine.
The scoop: The defending national champs should continue to blow teams off the line after landing perhaps the top two offensive tackles and top-ranked center Reese Dismukes.
Prized prospect: OT, Cyrus Kouandjio — The 6-foot-7, 325-pound monster announced his decision but still hasn’t signed his LOI.
The scoop: Nick Saban’s class is completely balanced, with four respected receivers and top-10 defensive players at linebacker and safety.
Prized prospect: S, Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix — Stolen from Florida, he has NFL written all over him. Long reach helped make him the top safety in the nation.
The scoop: The Ducks always max out their talent, often finding gems in strange places. The verbal of the state’s top player, five-star athlete Colt Lyerla, capped off a great recruiting season.
Prized prospect: RB, DeAnthony Thomas — The No. 1 back originally committed to USC but was leaning toward OU?late last night.
The scoop: Despite sanctions galore, the Trojans continued to load up on talent. The class includes two four-star quarterbacks and the nation’s top receiver.
Prized prospect: DT, Christian Heyward — Powerful lower body gives USC a much needed, high-end pass-rusher.
Ups and Downs
The Horned Frogs followed up Rose Bowl success with a solid crew of January additions, positioning themselves well for a move to the Big East. They stole athlete LaDarius Brown from Oklahoma and A&M.
Even with possible sanctions looming, the Tar Heels closed out strong. Highly ranked Pennsylvania defensive tackle Delvon Simmons and his quick first-step stuck with UNC despite a visit to USC?late last month.
The Scarlet Knights signed a top-30 class but closed out poorly. They landed a stud in Florida offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson, but lost verbal Lafayette Pitts to Pittsburgh and failed to sign JUCO lineman Fou Fonoti, who chose Michigan State.
Al Golden lost out to RU on Marquise Wright and Johnson. Plus, south Florida high school coaches feel he has not made enough overtures to them. Not being friendly with the deepest talent pool in the nation? Not the Golden boy we saw at Temple.
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