Thoughts On Signing Day

Steve O Speak

How good is Florida’s class?:

The Florida Gators may have lost the SEC and National Championship to their rival Alabama, but they won yesterday on National Signing day, inking the best class of any school (Texas is close though). The best part about this class is how they built it, with an intense focus on defense including the top 6 players in their class. The Gators have set themselves up to have one of the best defensive units ever on the gridiron. They covered every position on defense and now have tremendous depth in their secondary. On offense the Gators focused on their their offensive line, running backs and receivers. UF also added a couple of athletes, who could develop into spread quarterbacks or switch to another position. Overall from top to bottom the Gators had the best class, not only in terms of top end talent, but also depth and positional need.

How good is the rest of the SEC?:

ESPN and Rivals both rated the SEC with having 8 top 25 classes (Scout only had 7), by far the best of any conference. All three publications have at least 4 teams ranked in the top 10, with ESPN and Rivals each adding Tennessee to the top 10 as well. Even the teams that didn’t make the top 25 rankings had great recruiting days yesterday, and had they been in other conferences, their classes would be considered among the top 4 or 5 in the league. From the top to the bottom the SEC were the big winners yesterday.

Is USC’s class a bit overrated?:

ESPN has the Trojans 7th overall, with Scout having them 5th and Rivals placing them as the top recruiting class in the country. As a side note, USC has a verbal commitment from Seantrel Henderson the top ranked OT in the nation, but he won’t sign until after the NCAA investigation of past recruiting issues, so if the NCAA comes down on the Trojans, they could lose one of their top recruits. Outside of Henderson, the Trojans had a good, albeit small class.

Of their 18 signed recruits, 14 were 4 or 5 star recruits according to ESPN.  While that is impressive, of that group of talent they added 3 wide receivers and 3 tight ends among that group. Having a third of your class as pass catchers is dangerous. While they should almost certainly find some good starters from that group, they spent too many scholarships on a group that is notorious for failed prospects. Yes, other schools like Florida, Alabama and others added just as many pass catchers, but with 8-12 additional scholarships they were able to address other needs as well. The minimal focus on defense and the offensive line (which are other positions that are in need of new starters) could come back to haunt the Trojans down the line. In fairness they were in on some players, but just couldn’t close on them. With the way the Trojans class went (even with Henderson) I don’t know if they are deserving of anything in the top 15 much less the top 10, given their lack of depth, positional value and filling of need.

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