National Signing Day 2013: Elite Classes That Will Have Their Teams Contending

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 5, 2013

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 23: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former South Florida University coach Skip Holtz watch warmups before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play against the St. Louis Rams December 23, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Championship-caliber teams are made on national signing day; teams just generally have to wait two or three years to reap the benefits of their commitments. 

Some programs simply reload on this day every year, while others begin a tradition of winning with a special group of kids.

This year, three schools have classes coming in that will lead them to BCS-title contention in the next few years.

One is a perennial contender that you expect to be in the top five every year. Another is a storied program looking for redemption. The last is an almost-elite school ready to make the jump to the big time.



Remember what I said about reloading?

That is exactly what Alabama does every year, and 2013 will be no different.  According to 247 Sports, the Crimson Tide have the top recruiting class in the country.

Of their 23 commitments, five are considered 5-star prospects. That is the most of any school in the nation.

Think about this for a moment: The program that just won back-to-back national titles has the top recruiting class coming in, and they have their starting QB (A.J. McCarron), a great running back in T.J. Yeldon and other offensive weapons returning.

The defense was considered young in 2012, so they will be battle-tested and proven in 2013.

If you take a look at the star ratings for the Tide's 2013 class, you aren't likely to see more celestial bodies in the Tuscaloosa sky on a clear night.

Here is the cream of a ridiculously good Alabama crop of recruits:

Derrick Henry - Athlete, 6'3" 240 pounds

Robert Foster - Wide Receiver, 6'2" 185 pounds

Jonathan Allen - Outside Linebacker, 6'3" 260 pounds

Reuben Foster - Inside Linebacker, 6'1" 240 pounds

O.J. Howard - Tight End, 6'5" 221 pounds

With this school's tradition and the talent of this class, the question may not be if they will win a national championship, it may just be how many.


Ohio State

By now, we should believe in the Urban Meyer system. He has been a winner everywhere he has ever coached, and he led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 2012.

Now that the postseason sanctions are gone, the program can begin to dream about BCS titles again.

The strength of the 2013 recruiting class only supports that type of thinking. Only Alabama is rated higher by 247 Sports.

Meyer missed out on all the candidates that 247 Sports rated as 5-star prospects, but he did deliver 18 4-star recruits (247 Sports) to Columbus.

The standards were high for Meyer coming in, and going undefeated last season has only raised them.

He has delivered a class that appears capable of keeping up with the expectations, though. Meyer's secondary should be stellar moving forward, as he pulled in a nice group of young cornerbacks.

Here are the standouts from this year's class:

Eli Apple - Cornerback, 6'1" 185 pounds

Cameron Burrows - Cornerback, 6'0" 190 pounds

Corey Smith - Wide Receiver, 5'11" 185 pounds

Jalin Marshall - Wide Receiver, 6'0" 190 pounds

The Buckeyes will have speed to burn, and that will serve them well when they match up against SEC and ACC teams.


Texas A&M

The Aggies have a nice football tradition at College Station, but they aren't a college football powerhouse—at least not yet.

Riding the wave of attention created by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, the Aggies will be among the most covered teams in the nation in 2013. 

As long as Manziel is on the field, moreover, they can compete with most teams.

Add in a solid recruiting class that 247 Sports ranks seventh in the nation, and things could be looking up for the Aggies for the foreseeable future.

Manziel will be in College Station for at least two more seasons, and that gives this class some time to play with him and standout wide receiver Mike Evans.

Evans is a physical and athletic 6'5" receiver who led the team in receptions as a freshman. The Aggies have gone for more pass-catchers with a basketball player frame in this recruiting class.

The Aggies secured 32 recruits this season (247 Sports), and that includes one 5-star and 14 4-star recruits.

Here is a look at the best incoming Aggies:

Ricky Seals-Jones - Athlete, 6'5" 230 pounds

Isaiah Golden - Defensive Tackle, 6'2" 330 pounds

Derrick Griffin - Wide Receiver, 6'7" 210 pounds

JaQuay Williams - Wide Receiver, 6'4" 204 pounds

Justin Manning - Defensive Tackles, 66'3" 275 pounds

It seems the aerial assault will continue in College Station, and the program is doing their due diligence to strengthen the interior defensive line.

Texas A&M is set up to contend for the next five years.


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