College Football Recruiting 2014: Biggest Commitments on National Signing Day

Dilan Ames@@DilanAmesNFLCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2014


It's been quite a national signing day. While the day is about where some of the country's greatest rising athletes will spend their college years, it wouldn't really be NSD without some surprise commitments and parents unhappy with their child's choice.

We've already seen a large number of recruitsign their letters of intent, but we have many more to go before the day is over. A handful of the country's best have already locked in their commitments earlier Wednesday morning, most of which came as no surprise. 


Marcus Griffin Ready for War with the Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats reeled in quite a catch with Marcus Griffin, a 4-star defensive tackle from Bellevue, Wash. The Wildcats now get a quality player to incorporate and develop in the middle of their shoddy defensive line. 

Mississippi State and Cal were also in the mix, but Griffin ultimately decided to go with his gut and commit to Arizona. He has a big frame, and it's clear he has the build to pack on more mass—whether it be weight or muscle. He may even have the ability to be shuffled around on the Wildcats' D-line.

All around, this was the right choice for Griffin and Arizona. The Wildcats fill a need, and Griffin gets a chance to start right away. Win-win in Tucson.


Treon Harris Takes a Chomp out of Jimbo's Recruiting Class

The Florida Gators pulled their in-state rivals' feet out from under them Wednesday when quarterback Treon Harris flipped his allegiance from Jimbo Fisher and Florida State to Will Muschamp and his program.

Harris had been a longtime commit for the 'Noles, but the Gators whisked him away from Fisher's clutches down the stretch. Part of Florida's draw is likely its new offensive coordinator, Kurt Roper. Roper will be plugging in a new offense, one that would likely favor a dual-threat passer such as Harris.

In the end, it was a smart decision for Harris, as there's no telling how long he'd sit behind current Seminole quarterback Jameis Winston, whereas he could compete the job right away in Gainesville. 


Derrick Nnadi Reeled in by Fisher

It's not all bad for Florida State. Derrick Nnadi, a U.S. Army All-American, chose 'Nole Nation over the long-favored Virginia Tech, per Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel. He's Rivals' 81st-ranked player nationally and will be filling a much-needed position along the FSU's defensive line.

Nnadi is a pass-rushing beast who could make an impact right away for Fisher's program. His senior year was a great one—he recorded 71 tackles and 20 sacks. Nnadi made the smart choice, as he will be another recruit who'll compete for a starting job right away. 


Solomon Thomas Ready to Fly with the Stanford Cardinals

The 5-star prospect from Texas will be wearing Cardinal red this fall, as he inked his commitment to Stanford Wednesday morning. As one of the best defensive ends in the country, Thomas will make an immediate impact in an already stout defense at Stanford.

He has great size to begin with, but he looks as if he could possibly make the jump to a 3-4 defensive end if he packed on some mass. Thomas' commitment will likely help the Cardinals ascend from a top-15 recruiting class to a top-10 group.

Although they don't count for much, Thomas did rack up some style points with his announcement earlier Wednesday morning.


Malik McDowell Channels Gerard Butler, Joins Spartans

Malik McDowell locked in his expected commitment to Michigan State Wednesday. According to Joe Rexrode of USA Today, his parents were pushing hard for him to go to school out of state, but McDowell chose to stay at home in the end.

With his commitment, the Spartans have added one of the most physically gifted defenders in the country.

At 6'7", 290 pounds, McDowell has monster size with athleticism to match. He could potentially make the move inside to defensive tackle once football starts up, as he is a much more disruptive force on the interior than the edge.

His undoing comes with his technique, but that will be coached out of him soon enough. McDowell will be a day one guy for the boys in green.