National Signing Day 2013: Recruiting Classes That Will Make Immediate Impact
National signing day featured tons of twists and turns and countless storylines. But in the end, only a handful of college football teams came away with a 2013 recruiting class capable of making an immediate impact.
Once again, national signing day was highlighted by SEC and Big Ten dominance, but there were certainly a few surprises, including an under-the-radar Pac-12 school that slipped into the Top 10, keeping alive hope for more parity in 2013.
Here we'll take a closer look at three programs that certainly came through on national signing day.
Ole Miss Rebels
Only the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide signed more 5-star recruits than Ole Miss this February, according to 247Sports.com.
The Rebels landed four 5-star prospects on national signing day, including the nation's No. 1-rated recruit, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, safety Tony Conner and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell round out Ole Miss' four 5-star acquisitions.
The addition of such elite athletes will certainly provide coach Hugh Freeze's program with a mighty boost next fall, which is saying something considering the Rebels finished 7-6 last season.
Ole Miss' 2013 class ranks sixth in the country, according to 247Sports.com, but is behind only Alabama and Florida in the SEC. With rival Mississippi State bringing in the 24th-ranked class this year, Ole Miss could realistically challenge for fourth in the SEC West division this coming season (behind Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M), which isn't bad considering the Rebels went 2-10 and were win-less in the SEC in 2011.
Texas A&M Aggies
Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will have plenty of new weapons to get the ball to in 2013, after the Aggies cleaned up on national signing day, bringing in a Top 10 class highlighted by 5-star wide receiver recruit Ricky Seals-Jones.
The 6'5", 230-pound target will give Texas A&M a huge red-zone advantage as well as a player with a big frame capable of moving the chains consistently.
In addition to Seals-Jones, Kevin Sumlin's crew added 4-star wideout Laquvionte Gonzalez, who is much smaller than Seals-Jones at 5'10", but is a speedster who should find plenty of opportunities as a freshman, potentially returning kicks at some point along the way.
Regardless of whom Texas A&M had brought in this year, turning out another 11-2 season in the SEC was going to be a serious challenge. But Aggies fans can at least head into next fall with confidence knowing that their program added some impact players on national signing day.
Jim Mora is off to a phenomenal start in L.A. After leading the Bruins to a 9-5 season in 2012, Mora brought in a Top 10 recruiting class in 2013, according to 247Sports.com.
Most of the incoming stars are on the defensive side of the ball, which may not excite UCLA fans hoping to see a more explosive offense this coming fall. But as a coach who has won at the NFL level in the past, Mora understands the value of adding defensive talent.
Three of the biggest signings were safety Tahaan Goodman, linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea and defensive end Kylie Fitts. All three are 4-star recruits with early-impact potential. Savaiinaea is one of the best high school football players to ever come out of the state of Hawaii, though, and is the third-ranked inside linebacker in the country, according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings.
With several key additions, look for a Bruins team that ranked 78th nationally in total defense last season to make drastic strides on that side of the ball in 2013.
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