National Signing Day 2011: Which Freshmen Will Have The Biggest Impact?

Dan WelinCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2011

National Signing Day 2011: Which Freshmen Will Have The Biggest Impact?

0 of 12

    Courtesy of

    National Signing Day is finally here.

    While some recruits made their decisions public and simply had to sign on the dotted line, others are making their decisions public today.

    As the commitments become official, college football coaches everywhere start to understand the potential that their teams will have adding some of the nation’s best prep athletes to their rosters.

    The class of 2011 is loaded with talent, but not all of them will have the chance to make an impact as a freshman.

    If you’re wondering who will be the Marcus Lattimore or Michael Dyer of 2011, look no further because this article holds the answers.

    To track all of the top recruits, check out the following links:


Malcolm Brown

1 of 12

    Commit:  Texas

    Malcolm Brown is considered the top running back in the 2011 class according to Rivals.

    He is also the top rated recruit that Mack Brown hauled in for the Longhorns for next season.

    Brown was a punishing runner in high school.  Add in his breakaway speed and this 6’0” 200 pound should allow him to shoulder the load of being a feature running back at a premier college football program.

    Longhorn fans will be reminded of Cedric Benson when they see Brown throwin’ up the Hook ‘em Horns gesture when he scores six.

George Farmer

2 of 12

    Commit:  USC

    Despite having to endure another season dealing with the sanctions placed on them by the NCAA, Lane Kiffin does not have a problem selling the USC football program to talented recruits.

    He currently owns the second best recruiting class for 2011.

    His top recruit: George Farmer.

    Farmer is a big, strong, and athletic receiver that has good hands and blazing speed.

    He should be able to fit right in with Matt Barkley and become a fan favorite in LA.

    Farmer’s skill set will be best utilized in the special teams game as a returner and in the passing game as a deep threat.

Cyrus Kouandjio

3 of 12

    Courtesy of

    Commit:  Alabama.

    Cyrus Kouandjio has the size and speed to start right away wherever he decides to go..

    He will step onto the field in Tuscaloosa standing 6’7” and weighing 325 pounds, with the ability to run the forty time in five seconds.

    He decided to join his brother, Arie Kouandjio, and play for Nick Saban.

    Update:  Despite announcing on national television that he was going to play for the Auburn Tigers next season, it has become known that he never sent his letter of intent to Auburn.  He instead decided to sign with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

De’Anthony Thomas

4 of 12

    Commit:  Oregon

    Thomas is rated as the number one athlete in the country.

    Despite being undersized, he should be able to add 15-20 pounds during his career at Oregon.

    In terms of making an impact next season, he has the speed to be dangerous, especially in the open field.

    He also has the ability to play running back, slot receiver, punt and kick returner, and defensive back.

    Looks like Chip Kelly is getting himself another undersized speed demon.  Thomas should fit right in playing for the Ducks.

    Although Thomas gave his verbal commitment to Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans, when it came to signing his letter of intent, De'Anthony wanted to play for the Ducks.

Ray Drew

5 of 12

    Commit:  Georgia

    Another prospect that despite having the potential to gain weight, also has the speed and athleticism to make an impact during his freshman season.

    According to Rivals, Drew reminds them of current NFL star John Abraham.

    Until Jadaveon Clowney commits, Drew is the best defensive end prospect that has committed.

Aaron Green

6 of 12

    Commit:  Nebraska

    The eighth best rated prep running back is going to be suiting up for Big Red during its first season as a member of the Big Ten.

    Although he is not the top rated running back, the graduation of Roy Helu Jr. opens up the running back position and Aaron Green has the tools to step up and fill that void right away.

Tony Steward & Stephone Anthony

7 of 12

    Courtesy of

    Commit:  Clemson

    The Clemson Tigers hauled in two five star linebackers that are both playmakers with the ability to defend both the run and the pass.

    With the play at linebacker being one of the weaknesses over the Clemson defense last season, the overall skill set of Steward and Anthony will allow them to make an immediate impact for the Tigers.

Stephon Tuitt & Ishaq Williams

8 of 12

    Courtesy of

    Commit:  Notre Dame

    Both defensive end recruits made big news when they both committed to the Fighting Irish.

    Brian Kelly will be able to use these two athletic freaks to wreak havoc on the defensive of the ball.

    Looking to improve upon a moderately successful inaugural season at the controls of the Fighting Irish, Coach Kelly should see immediate production from these two five star recruits and help him on his mission to return Notre Dame to glory.

La’El Collins

9 of 12

    Courtesy of

    Commit:  LSU

    La’El Collins is the second best offensive line prospect in the 2011 class.

    He will arrive in Baton Rouge and give Les Miles the versatile and athletic offensive lineman he is looking for.

    Despite returning a very talented roster, the Tigers are losing one offensive lineman from last season.

    Collins will be able to challenge for the starting spot left by Joseph Barksdale.  Even if he doesn’t get the starting job, Collins will add depth and be able to contribute when called upon.

Curtis Grant

10 of 12

    Courtesy of

    Commit:  Ohio State

    Jim Tressel’s 2011 recruiting class received a big boost earlier today when Curtis Grant signed on the dotted lines for the Buckeyes.

    I can guarantee that there is a big smile on Jimmy’s face with Grant’s announcement.  When Rivals compares a high school linebacker to Ray Lewis, you know that you are getting a special player.

    Grant is the second rated prospect in the class.  He’ll arrive in Columbus with an intimidating frame that stands 6’3” and 222 pounds with the ability to run a 4.5 forty time.

    Ohio State has had its fair share of great linebackers and Curtis Grant has shown the potential to have his name mentioned amongst the greats.

Jadeveon Clowney

11 of 12

    Courtesy of

    Commit:  ?

    Supposedly Clowney will be making his decision on his birthday, February 14th.  The way high school recruiting has been going these days who knows when he will commit.

    The nation’s top recruit has yet to choose which university he will be taking his talents to, but one thing is for sure, wherever he chooses to play, he will show why he was the number one recruit coming out of high school.

    This kid is an absolute monster.  He recorded 306 tackles and 52.5 sacks during his junior and senior seasons of high school.

    Throw in his size (6’6”), weight (247 pounds), 4.6 forty time and his comparison to Mario Williams and it is obvious that he is a freak.

    Clowney is rumored to have his hometown Gamecocks as his number one choice, but with schools like Alabama also keeping tabs on Jadaveon, we will just have to wait to see where he will amaze football fans next season.

And The Countdown To 2011 Begins...

12 of 12

    Courtesy of

    While not all members of the class of 2011 have made their decisions known yet.

    The one thing that is known is that all of the athletes mentioned, whether they have committed or not, will be making an impact for their new schools next season.

    National Signing Day is here and has officially kicked off the 2011 college football season.