National Signing Day 2013: Projecting Output of Game-Changers in Freshman Season

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2013

Feb 6, 2013; Loganville, GA, USA; Robert Nkemdiche shown on stage after he announced his decision to attend Mississippi on National Signing Day at Grayson High School. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 national signing day has been one of the wildest in years, but a few of the game-changers committing to major schools will have an immediate impact in their freshman season.

Huge recruits like Robert Nkemdiche, Vonn Bell and others have made major commitments Wednesday, and the balance of power has shifted with the moves made by these potential stars.

All of the following prospects will make an instant impact on the college football landscape.


Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss

It’s almost impossible to use stats to project how an offensive lineman will translate from high school to college football, but a bona fide star like 247 Sports No. 3 overall prospect Laremy Tunsil will help the Ole Miss Rebels change the culture of their program.

The versatile tackle stands at 6’6” and weighs in at 295 pounds, making him the ideal size to not only be dangerous in the run-first SEC, but the ideal future prospect for the NFL.

Tunsil has a chance to be a star for the Rebels and help turn the team into a legitimate national contender almost immediately.

The talented tackle prospect will have the help of an elite recruiting class, but Tunsil’s ability to block for the pass and run will result in the recruit starting every game of his freshman season, barring injury.


Vonn Bell, Safety, Ohio State

Head coach Urban Meyer continues to recruit well with the Ohio State Buckeyes, landing 247 Sports No. 29 overall prospect Vonn Bell on national signing day.

As talented as Bell is, he is still raw and will have to prove to Meyer that he belongs in the starting lineup. With that said, the lack of elite depth at safety is setting the table for the freshman to step onto the field and make an immediate impact.

The huge coup of getting Bell to join the Buckeyes is just the latest in a number of top defensive recruits that will take their talent Ohio State in 2013 (h/t Columbus Dispatch), making the team a serious contender for a BCS National Championship in the first year under Meyer that they will be eligible.

Expect Bell to help the Buckeyes have a top-10 defense against the pass in 2013.


Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive End, Ole Miss

The biggest coup of national signing day was 247 Sports No. 1 overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche committing to the Ole Miss Rebels.

Nkemdiche can play defensive end in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, and his ability to rush the pass consistently along with the possibility that he will flourish into one of the nation’s top players has the Rebels looking like a serious threat in the SEC.

Ole Miss has a talented young team, but Nkemdiche will be an instant starter for the Rebels and make an impact in holding defenses to fewer points per game immediately. The team ranked 60th in college football on defense (27.6 points per game), and the freshman will ensure those numbers improve from Week 1.

The SEC is extremely tough, and Nkemdiche will be the perfect fit to make Ole Miss a powerhouse in college football. Expect big things from the freshman.