National Signing Day 2014: Schools Set to Make Big Final Push

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

247 Sports

Get the hats ready, folks—national signing day is almost here.

While many of the top recruiting classes are set in stone and a good deal of the prospects have already declared, there are still a slew of talented players yet to announce their intentions. And there are still plenty of schools primed to seriously bolster their programs on the huge day.

Let's break down three that could make the biggest national signing day splash.


Florida State

What do you do when you are one of the most recognizable programs in the country and are the defending BCS national champions? You win national signing day, that's what you do.

And according to JC Shurburtt of 247Sports (for CBS Sports), the 'Noles are primed to do just that:

But coming off the school's first national title since 1999, there's a ton of momentum late and plenty of elite, undecided prospects who have the Noles high on their list. Five-star wide receivers Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis) and Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla.), 5-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell (Southfield, Mich.), 4-star offensive tackle Roderick Johnson (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) and 4-star defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) are some of the top uncommitted prospects who could end up signing with the Noles. On top of that, FSU could flip 4-star athlete Javon Harrison (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen) from a long-standing pledge to Virginia Tech. Florida State's class currently ranks No. 5 nationally.

That would be quite the haul for Florida State, especially if they could bring in a pair of 5-star wide receivers for Jameis Winston. The 'Noles are trying to reclaim their old dominance in college football and their old recruiting edge in the south.

The SEC has become the annual winners in the recruiting wars but with a recent national championship, Heisman Trophy winner and what is shaping up to be a huge national signing day, the Seminoles could be flipping that script.


Michigan State

Much like Florida State, the Spartans are trying to turn their recent success into a recruiting edge. According to Shurburtt, Sparty is in for McDowell, could flip 4-star offensive tackle Jamarco Jones and 4-star defensive tackle Craig Evans and remain in the running for 4-star defensive tackle Daniel Cage and 3-star athlete T.J. Harrell.

Michigan State's class isn't going to crack the top-10 when the rankings come out, but we've all underestimated the Spartans in the past, haven't we? 

While other Big Ten programs (cough, cough, Ohio State and Michigan, cough) make the splashier signings, the Spartans will continue to build a strong, talented squad on national signing day.



The Trojans remain the front-runners for three 5-star recruits—cornerback Adoree' Jackson, athlete John "JuJu" Smith and guard Damien Mama, and landing all three would be a huge, huge result on national signing day.

Smith is an interesting prospect. He projects as both a safety and wide receiver at the next level, though USC signed top safeties Su’a Cravens and Leon McQuay III just a year ago. And according to Smith, he learned after his last visit with the Trojans that he would have the opportunity to play receiver immediately.

From Chris Swanson of (subscription required):

[Wide receivers coach Tee Martin] told me I could come in and get a lot of playing time. USC is known for playing their true freshmen. You could see that over the past couple of years with Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor. That would be great for me to come in and get some playing time.

Jackson could also be a two-way player—and special teams standout, as well—so the Trojans could end up with quite a bit of versatility if they manage to sign he and Smith.


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