National Signing Day 2013: Programs Ready to Celebrate Big Recruiting Classes
We're only days away from national signing day (Feb 6.) and the day figures to be another signing day full of suspense and high anticipation. Not only will fans be anticipating big news, so will a ton of programs. Coaches have worked hard all recruiting cycle and NSD is when all their hard work comes to the forefront.
Every program will sign a class that they will "really like," but their are some programs who are flat-out giddy over the class they will sign.
Whether it's a big class due to numbers, a big class due to circumstances or it's a big class because it's full of program-changing recruits, I see 10 programs right now who figure to be ready to celebrate a "big" recruiting class.
Signing season is among us!
10. North Carolina
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Larry Fedora has to be ready for NSD to get here because he's about to land a top-25 class. This could be the class that helps jump start Tar Heel recruiting.
Yes, Fedora did lose out on WR Marquez North, but he has a group of 18 commits who are all solid football players. I like CB Brian Walker, DT Greg Webb should become a solid starter and run defender and QB Mitch Trubisky is one of the better dual-threat prospects in the country.
Look for Fedora to have extra enthusiasm at his NSD presser due to this "big" Tar Heel recruiting class.
9. Penn State
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This is a big class for obvious reasons. We all know what the Penn State football program has been through over the past year and a half.
The sanctions placed on Bill O'Brien's squad were very harsh, and for him to be flirting with a top-25 recruiting class finish is pretty unbelievable. Somehow O'Brien has hung on to stud QB Christian Hackenberg while also netting TE Adam Breneman, OG Brendan Mahon and DE Garrett Sickels.
This is a great class for the Nittany Lions, and PSU should be proud of the recruiting job O'Brien did this year.
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Steve Sarkisian will be a happy man in Seattle come Wednesday, as the Huskies figure to land a top-25 class themselves.
Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi has helped put together a 21-commit class led by WR prospects Darrell Daniels and Damore'ea Stringfellow. DT Elijah Qualls is just a good all-around football player and QB Troy Williams is not going to concede playing time to Josh Lindquist and Cyler Miles without a fight.
DE Joe Mathis is another future starter from this class and U-Dub is still waiting word from DT Eddie Vanderdoes.
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Five years ago, if I were to have told you that Vanderbilt would be landing a top-25 class, you would have laughed at me.
Today, Vandy is just days away from landing their second consecutive top-25 class. James Franklin has to have a little more satisfaction with this class. Not to take anything away from the 2012 haul, but this 2013 class confirms that Franklin isn't a one-hit wonder on the recruiting trail.
Things are changing in Nashville, and it's not just within the country music scene.
6. Notre Dame
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This is a big class for the Irish because of all the talent that is in it.
With 23 pledges, Brian Kelly has recruits like S Max Redfield, RB Greg Bryant, OLB Jaylon Smith and OT Hunter Bivin among a slew of other talented players.
Sure, the Irish took their medicine in the BCS title game, but this 2013 class could easily be the foundation of a future playoff team. Kelly has to be stoked and ready to celebrate this big class in South Bend.
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Mark Richt is probably excited to celebrate his big recruiting class because it's, well...big. UGA has 30 commits in this 2013 recruiting class.
Several have already enrolled, and Richt will definitely use this class to construct another future SEC title contender. QB Brice Ramsey, CB Shaq Wiggins, S Tray Matthews, ATH Tramel Terry and LB Tim Kimbrough are just the tip of the Bulldog 2013 recruiting iceberg.
UGA also still has a hand in the pots of LB Reuben Foster, OT Laremy Tunsil, DT Montravius Adams and RB Alvin Kamara too.
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Momentum has swung in Los Angeles, as the Bruins have the mojo right now and USC is trying to recapture it.
Jim Mora and his staff are going to be celebrating a big recruiting class on February 6 because it's full great talent, will be ranked high and they'll have beaten out some big-time foes for several high-level prospects.
The class has 23 recruits and includes S Tahaan Goodman, S/CB Priest Willis and DE/OLB Deon Hollins Jr. Yet, UCLA still is hunting DT Eddie Vanderdoes and could shock many by landing stud QB Asiantii Woulard.
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UF must be thinking February 6 can't come fast enough, as they could finish with the nation's No. 1 overall class.
The class, right now, has 26 commitments and is led by special CB prospect Vernon Hargreaves III. Other Gator jewels include RB Kelvin Taylor, LB Daniel McMillan, DT Caleb Brantley, WR Ahmad Fulwood and S Keanu Neal.
Will Muschamp and his staff have done an outstanding job on the trail this year and they have to be ready to celebrate.
2. Texas A&M
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This is a big recruiting class for Kevin Sumlin for several reasons. For starters, it's simply a big class at 32 commitments.
Next, it's a likely top-10 haul and maybe even top five. Another reason this class is big is because it fills several needs for the Aggies and also proves that they are going to be a force in SEC recruiting.
WR/TE prospects Derrick Griffin and Ricky Seals-Jones lead a class that also features QB Kohl Stewart, WR Sebastian LaRue, LB Reggie Chevis, OG Joas Aguilar, Kameron Miles and DT Justin Manning.
Following the success of this recruiting class is going to be fascinating.
1. Ole Miss
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Hugh Freeze has the magic working on the recruiting trail and has Ole Miss in a position to land a possible No. 1 class.
Freeze has 23 commitments right now, and the Rebels are the "it" program on the recruiting trail this year.
There's a pretty solid chance that on Wednesday Freeze will be talking about how elite-level prospects like DE Robert Nkemdiche, OT Laremy Tunsil and S Antonio Conner are joining WR Laquon Treadwell, JUCO DT Lavon Hooks and DE Elijah Daniel to ball in Oxford.
I'm fully convinced Freeze and his staff won't be sleeping much in anticipation of signing the biggest recruiting class in Ole Miss history.
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.