College Football Recruiting: Biggest Steals from National Signing Day

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2014

Rashaan Evans talks with the media after the Auburn High School football player announced that he will attend Alabama during a national signing day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

It'safe to say that this year's national signing day was...interesting.

There were many players who signed with the schools they were expected to, but there was a very healthy portion of recruits who flipped on their commitments at the last minute. One of the most notable last-minute changes of heart came from athlete Torrence Brown.

Brown had been committed to Southern Miss for just under a month before he decommitted and switched his attention to Penn State and the Nittany Lions. The school gave him an offer just a day before signing day and were very happy to pull in his commitment.

Brown's flip-flop, although generally unconventional, is just one of many that took place on Wednesday.


Treon Harris, QB

After being a longtime recruit of Florida State, Treon Harris changed his mind at the 11th hour and opted to sign with the Florida Gators. This newshould come as no surprise considering that Florida provides a much more favorable situation for him at this point in time.

If he did join the 'Noles, he would have to sit behind Jameis Winston, the star of the 2013 season, and there's no telling when he would get a chance to play. He likely doesn't want to wait as long as Winston could potentially remain in school (he has three more years of eligibility), and that could've been what forced his hand in thisituation.

Harris committed to the 'Noles in July before we even knew how important Jameis Winston would become to the team. While I'm sure he's happy for him, Winston'success doesn't help Harris' own case.

With the Gators, Harris will have a better chance to earn a starting spot sooner than later. Jeff Driskel has just one more year left in college, while backup Tyler Murphy transferred from the school in December. Despite quarterback Will Grier being the crown jewel of Florida's recruiting class, Harris may be able to challenge him after being immersed in the Gators' system.


Cory Thomas, DE

As one of the most physically gifted defensive ends in the country, Cory Thomas was a prime target for many schools. He initially committed to Tennessee in November but flipped his decision at the last minute and will be joining the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the field this fall.

He showed much interest in joining the Bulldogs in the middle months of 2013, which made his commitment to the Volunteers that much more surprising. It's clear now that his heart wastill with Miss. State, and his flip from UT is an understandable one.

As if this didn't sting for the Vols already, Thomas was in Tennessee on a visit mere days ago, yet he still changed his mind.

This marks the second year in a row that the Bulldogs have nabbed a recruit that was originally committed to a BCS school, and they ended up getting some much-need depth out of it.


Torrence Brown, ATH

Torrence Brown, an athlete from Alabama, had committed to Southern Miss in early January, but he switched his allegiance and is now a Nittany Lion. Penn State made their offer to Brown just a few days ago after it lost a commitment from Lloyd Tubman.

Brown may end up being an even bigger steal for the Nittany Lions, as he would've been a much more sought-after recruit had he not torn his ACL his junior year of high school. He will add a whole lot of size and talent to a defensive line that could definitely use an upgrade.

Brown could also stand up and act as a rush linebacker, but the coaching staff will figure all that out. For now, the Lions are happy to have hauled in a player with so such potential.


Rashaan Evans, LB

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Although Auburn got the best of Alabama the last time they were on the field, the Crimson Tide can feel good about whisking away Rashaan Evans from the clutches of Gus Malzahn.

As one of the best and most highly touted linebackers in the country, Evans could be an immediate contributor on the Tide's defense. The Tide will be in need of talent at the linebacker position now that Adrian Hubbard will be going off to the NFL, and Evans could be a more-than-worthy replacement.

The decision of the 5-star linebacker was, ironically, swayed by the man Alabama ripped from Auburn last year, Reuben Foster. Evans is an impact player with a huge ceiling, and he will fit into the 'Bama defense nicely.