10 College Football Programs with the Most to Gain on National Signing Day

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 8, 2013

10 College Football Programs with the Most to Gain on National Signing Day

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    National Signing Day is coming up in a few weeks and many programs are coming down the stretch for their 2013 recruiting. The day is going to be a huge day and there's something to gain for every program in the country.

    Which programs have the most to gain? Who are those programs that have a lot riding on their 2013 recruiting class? This piece will focus on 10 programs who stand to gain the most by signing good recruiting classes on February 6th.

    You may gain a lot by reading this piece, so I advise you to come inside and check to see if your favorite school may be in a position collect big dividends on NSD.

10. UCLA

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    The Bruins are on a pace to finish with a top 25 class and the fact they will be able to boast another solid recruiting effort will help them in a long run.

    They're making more and more in-roads to prospects that USC usually locks up and they stand to gain more ground on the Trojans on signing day. Finishing strong with Priest Willis and Tahaan Goodman would be huge.

9. Virginia Tech

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    There's starting to be rumblings about Frank Beamer's retirement around the Hokies' program. Landing a good class like the one he has right now will go a long way in showing that Beamer Ball is still alive and kickin'.

    With prospects like CB Kendall Fuller, S/OLB Holland Fisher and QB Bucky Hodges, Beamer has shown he still can bring in solid talent to Blacksburg. This may be his best class in years. 

8. Ohio State

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    The Buckeye fans will get to see what their head coach can do if you give him a full year to recruit on signing day. Urban Meyer will land a top five class and he'll bring in prospects who can run.

    With Ohio State expected to be a national title contender, a celebrated top five class on signing day could be the unofficial start to a great year in Columbus. 

7. North Carolina

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    The Tar Heels could be positioned for a top 15 finish and they stand to gain a recruiting coming out party. I've long stated that UNC is a sleeping recruiting giant and like Texas A&M last cycle, they could be on to something big.

    Keep your eye on Larry Fedora's program because they could just be getting started. Gaining some recognition on signing day will be huge. 

6. Penn State

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    What doesn't Penn State have to gain on signing day? They could land a top 25 class even with all of the controversy around the program and Bill O'Brien almost departing for the NFL.

    This class will show the country that for one, O'Brien is a great recruiter.

    Second, it'll show that Penn State will not just sit around feeling sorry for themselves and thirdly, that just because they won't be eligible for post-season play that the Nittany Lions won't fight for wins in the coming seasons.

5. Auburn

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    Auburn hired Gus Malzahn to fix their offense and also because he's a solid recruiter. If Malzahn can hold on to the bulk of the class that Gene Chizik built, that would be a major coup.

    The Tigers would re-gain a little momentum on the recruiting trail going forward and it would show that there won't be a big drop off from Chizik's recruiting standards.

    Holding on to Carl Lawson, Dee Liner and getting Reuben Foster back in the fold would be a start. 

4. Alabama

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    I'm sure they don't care, but 'Bama could also repeat as back to back Recruiting Champions too.

    Being able to win a national title and following it up with a No. 1 recruiting class is the way to go when you want to establish a "dynasty".

    To some around the Crimson Tide, this is just another outstanding recruiting class. To others and people around the country, this could be the true sign that Alabama is in the middle of an all-time historical run in college football and maybe even all of sports.

3. Notre Dame

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    Right now, ESPNU ranks the Irish with the No. 1 recruiting class. It remains to be see if they'll stay there but landing a No. 1 class is one thing, landing it at Notre Dame is another thing.

    The Irish have a roster that has been transformed to being able to compete with the SEC and USC. There's more speed and athleticism, as this 2013 class will certainly add to that.

    Brian Kelly has recruited well and he stands to gain a class that will help the Irish be major players for the playoffs in the years ahead.

2. Texas A&M

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    Kevin Sumlin stands to gain a class of 35 commitments to which he should be able to hit on at least 20 players. That's 20 players that should be the foundation of a team in the future to compete for an SEC title.

    This Aggie class is the epitome of what recruiting is all about: getting players to set up your team to be strong in the seasons ahead. Not only will this class help Texas A&M immediately, but it'll be the class that helps the Aggies remain strong after Johnny Manziel leaves. 

1. Ole Miss

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    The only thing Ole Miss stands to gain on signing day is perhaps the greatest recruiting class in school history. Nothing too major, right?

    The Rebels already have a solid top 25-caliber group headed for Oxford, yet landing Robert Nkemdiche, Antonio Conner and Laquon Treadwell could put them in the top 10.

    While he may not be celebrating a No. 1 class nationally, Hugh Freeze could be the biggest winner in the country on February 6th.

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.