National Signing Day 2013: Schools in Trouble Heading to Deadline

Austin ChristensenContributor IIFebruary 4, 2013

January 4, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Highlight defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (1) prior to the the Under Armour All-America high school game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National signing day is one of the most anticipated days of the year for college football fans. It's the day when fans have their eyes fixed on their team's future with hope.  

Not every school will be able to provide fans with such excitement, however. There are some schools who are having big trouble locking down the commits that they were needing, while others are struggling to keep the players that have already committed.  

Let's take a look at some schools who will need some serious signing-day miracles in order to compete. 

UCF is coming off of a 10-4 season in which they won a bowl game. They have a strong roster down in Orlando, but it doesn't appear that the talent will keep coming. The Knights have the 88th-best recruiting class in the country according to's rankings, and have lost one of their biggest commits. 

Wide receiver Richard Benjamin originally committed to UCF, but he switched to Louisville in December and is also being recruited heavily by USF. Without Benjamin, the Knights don't have a single commit from a receiver in this year's class. Benjamin could have made a huge difference for the Knights, especially in conference play with his big play ability.

The Knights only have 16 commits so far.  They'll need to land a big-play receiver if they want to get a good start in Big East play. 

Utah State is switching leagues to the tougher Mountain West Conference this season. While the Aggies still have some very good players (e.g. Chuckie Keeton), they've lost some talent in the ground game in Kerwynn Williams.  Williams was the Aggies leading rusher last season and ran for over 1,500 yards.  

The Aggies don't have any promising halfbacks signed in this year's recruiting class.  They'll need one if they plan on competing in the Mountain West. has ranked the Aggies' 2013 recruiting class as the 118th best in the nation. It's looking like it will be an uphill battle for Utah State to repeat what they did in 2012.

Despite the 18th-best class in the nation (according to Scout), it looks like Clemson could use a boost—the de-commitment of defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, whom many consider to be the No. 1 recruit in the nation, has hurt the Tigers' momentum. Clemson currently sits at 18 commits for this class, which puts them at seventh in the ACC, though eight of those players are considered a 4-star recruit by at least one major outlet.

The Tigers have been competing for the conference championship over the last couple of years.  They'll likely need a signing-day surprise or two if they want to come away with a class to make up for the sting of losing Nkemdiche. 

Editor's note: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article mistakenly stated Clemson's 2013 recruiting ranking as 81st overall. The error was unintentional and has been corrected.