The college football recruiting process never really ends, but on the night following the circus that is national signing day, college coaches can finally take a little breather.
Wednesday marked the culmination of a year of hard work and dedication on both the part of college coaches and the high school players they recruited, soon to depart for their new school.
Several programs found success on national signing day. The usual suspects littered the top of the recruiting ranks, but some surprising schools snuck into the top 10, none more impressive than an Ole Miss program that secured three top-25 prospects on Wednesday.
While Ohio State and Florida made a push for the top spot this year, Alabama ran away with that distinction. The Crimson Tide received letters of intent from six 5-star recruits and a dozen 4-star recruits, finishing the year with 26 in all.
The biggest stories of the day centered on the decisions of such top recruits as Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss), Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss) and Montravius Adams (Auburn) joining programs that put together strong recruiting effort. Perhaps lost in the shuffle were the stories of recruits that had last-second changes of heart in the hours leading up to national signing day.
USC lost several recruits in the last two days (via the Los Angeles Times), detracting from a class that was once in the top five of the ranks. The Trojans still finished with 247Sports’ No. 14 recruiting class, but the finale could have gone much better for Lane Kiffin and his USC program.
Months still separate us from the start of the college football season, but now is a good time to evaluate the incoming talent some of the nation’s top teams will infuse with their roster this fall. Some players will find immediate playing time on Saturday and some will not, but each player that committed to a program will have an impact in some way, be it this year or in the next four.
We’ll take a look at the top 10 college football programs from last year as ranked in the final Associated Press poll of the 2012 season and break give grades and analysis for their new recruiting classes.