National Signing Day: 6 Bold Predictions for Top Recruits
For college football programs, tomorrow might as well be December 25th.
National signing day marks the hour that things become official for the best talent in the 2012 recruiting class. While some bear the mantle of being 5-star, ESPNU-150 athletes, many have had tread a long, grinding path to earn a Division 1-A scholarship.
Some recruits have had their plans set in stone for some time now, but there are a handful of the nation's best who are waiting for zero hour to unveil where they plan to spend their college careers.
Here are six bold predictions for what we can expect from the 2012 national signing day.
Gunner Kiel Will Stand Firm with Notre Dame
Some of you might not think this too bold of a prediction, but if you look at the path that Kiel has leap-frogged across the country, then you realize that nothing is certain until a commitment is written in ink.
That goes doubly for Gunner Kiel.
The Rivals.com 5-star recruit and arguably best quarterback of this year's class has been a headline tornado by committing first to his home state Hoosiers, then rethinking and committing to Les Miles and the LSU Tigers and finally deciding that South Bend was home after all.
Phew, that's a lot of second guessing.
Kiel is a big, pro-style quarterback who lives up to his namesake by having a rocket for an arm. Notre Dame seems like an ideal situation for him, seeing as how the quarterback in South Bend is not so great at the moment. Early playing time could be very likely in Kiel's case depending on what happens over the course of summer workouts.
Kiel should have worked out all of his indecision by this point and be able to sign off on his commitment to Notre Dame.
Dorial Green-Beckham Will Stay Home
Green-Beckham is a freak and is arguably the greatest prospect to ever come out of the state of Missouri.
At 6'6" and 220 pounds, DGB (as he is called) is said to be a hybrid of Julio Jones and Calvin "Megatron" Johnson. He is deceptively fast with quick-twitch ability and fluid movements. Oh, and there isn't a peep of character concerns.
All good news for the Missouri Tigers.
While Green-Beckham has preferred to keep relatively quiet about his recruitment, there has been a lot of talk that Missouri, Texas and Arkansas are in the final running for the Springfield, MO native.
There's a big argument that Arkansas needs Green-Beckham the most, as he would help Arkansas take that next step in competitiveness. While this is true, Missouri needs him just as much, as they are getting ready to compete in the SEC themselves.
Missouri would do well to keep the state's greatest ever football product inside its lines, and I think Green-Beckham will feel the love when he lines up in front of the press tomorrow.
Vanberbilt's Class Will Put the Commodores on the Map
When people think of dominant football teams, especially from the SEC, Vanderbilt just does not come to mind.
In a big pond filled with monstrous fish, Vanderbilt has struggled to make even the smallest ripple. Luckily, the tide seems like it might shift slightly in Vanderbilt's favor in 2012.
As of now, Vanderbilt is the only team in the SEC East whose commitments are all at least 3-star rated or above. Think about who they have in their division and let that sink in for a second. This is Vanderbilt we're talking about here.
Currently, they rank ahead of teams like Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Nebraska.
While Vanderbilt isn't expected to flip the switch on sudden success, this class has every chance of panning out, and with new bloods Missouri and Texas A&M in the SEC, Vanderbilt has the opportunity to grab a little new-found respect in college football's toughest conference.
West Virginia Will Beat out Virginia Tech for Joel Caleb
Joel Caleb, an athlete out of Midlothian, VA, is one of the top-ranked athletes in the country who has yet to lay claim to a future home.
As of now, West Virginia and Virginia Tech are in a battle to try and sway the 6'2", 200-pound athlete.
While Virginia Tech certainly has an advantage in being the flagship program for the Commonwealth, West Virginia has shown the nation what it can do when the right players are plugged into Dana Holgorsen's air-raid system.
There was talk earlier on of Ohio State being in the mix, but unless Urban Meyer can find space for Caleb in an already crowded class, it's hard to see the Buckeyes getting him to bring his talents to Columbus.
Tech is a media darling year in and year out, but West Virginia has come on strong of late, and with big things expected of the Mountaineers in 2012, don't be surprised to see Caleb don blue and gold tomorrow when he signs.
With a new 3-4 defensive scheme in Morgantown and on offensive system that John Gruden himself wants to attend seminars for, Caleb will have the option of looking to play in various spots on either side of the ball and being an impact player for the Mountaineers.
Roll Tide, Roll Eddie Goldman
Eddie Goldman is arguably the best defensive tackle of the 2012 class, and it's not hard to see why.
At 6'4", 310 pounds, this man-mountain has incredible strength and technique playing on the line, and coming in as a freshman, he has the potential to make an immediate impact at the tackle position.
Right now, Auburn, Alabama and Florida State are all in contention for the Washington, DC native's services. So, why do I think he'll reach for the crimson tomorrow?
If you look back over the last decade or so, the national champions have usually fielded large, talented defensive lines to aid in their titles runs. Goldman is the type of player who could plug into an SEC defensive front and absolutely rule it.
With the Crimson Tide looking to pull in yet another No. 1 overall recruiting class this year, Goldman would be right at home and find himself anchoring the nation's top run-stop unit within a year.
Nowhere is hotter right now than Tuscaloosa, what with their collecting a 14th crystal ball and all. Eddie Goldman knows this, and I think that's the difference when it comes to putting pen to paper.
Ohio State Will Win Big with This Year's Class
Urban Meyer is human lightning rod, and it's good energy he attracts, folks. The negative kind can just keep away.
Only a year removed from Jim Tressell's ousting and the NCAA sanctions that essentially put the program on ice, Urban Meyer has come in and saved what could have been a recruiting class doomed to be forgotten.
Ohio State is now looking at signing more than a dozen 4-star prospects and a handful of 5-stars, chief among these commitments being Harrisburg, PA DE Noah Spence, who is a consensus 5-star recruit.
No, it's not as if we expected Ohio State to only field a recruiting class of seven. They're still Ohio State. But Urban Meyer's arrival has been a figurative defibrillator as it has almost immediately recharged the heart of this program. What many expected to be a dark year for Ohio State recruiting has instead picked right back up where it left off.
Alabama, Florida State and Texas will no doubt dominate the recruiting rankings this year, but Ohio State has worked a little magic in zero hour by bringing a large amount of talent to Columbus. It is such a come-from-behind victory by Urban Meyer that we may well look back a year from now and realize that it was Ohio State that won the battle very late in the game.