National Signing Day recap: Part one

Recruits from around the country are signing Letters of Intent. Dave Miller

Print This February 01, 2012, 01:30 PM EST

Urban renewal

Midwest recruiting has not been this hot in awhile, with Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Michigan’s Brady Hoke and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly fighting for the best available talent. The Buckeyes’ haul on the defensive line is most impressive, led by perhaps the top defensive end in the nation in Noah Spence, who had three sacks and two forced fumbles in the Under Armour All-American Game. It’s an SEC-type defensive line across the board, including end Se’Von Pittman and tackle Tommy Schutt. Meyer may not have focused on the offensive side of the ball, but he has some nice pieces to work with coming back this spring on that side of the ball. And he just may land Davonte Neal when all is said and done.

Is Brewer the answer for Texas?

Mack BrownICONIf Mack Brown can find a QB, the Longhorns will be back in the Top 10.

The Longhorns went out of state for their Class of 2012 star quarterback by bringing in Connor Brewer. Brewer is an early enrollee (Chapparal; Scottsdale, Ariz.) who is a smart guy but who doesn’t have the biggest arm. However, a cannon of an arm is not needed for this Bryan Harsin offense. But can he eventually wrest the job away from David Ash and Case McCoy either this fall or in 2013? Mack Brown tried to land junior-college signal-caller Bo Wallace late in the process, but the QB elected to go to Ole Miss. Dual-threat Jalen Overstreet (Tatum; Tatum, Texas) is also in this class. We’ve seen the Longhorns improve their offensive line and their running game, and Manny Diaz will always have that defense ready. But quarterback play remains the biggest issue standing in the way of a Big 12 crown.

Team recruiting risers and sliders

These could easily change by the end of the day, but as of 1:30 p.m. ET here are my risers and sliders.

Risers: Miami, Washington, Missouri and Va. Tech
Sliders: Cal and Texas A&M

Other news and notes

Good news for Dooley. Tennessee was able to sign the nation’s top junior-college prospect, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. It’s a huge “get” for the Volunteers. It perhaps helped the Vols’ cause that Patterson once played with Justin Worley at Rock Hill Northwestern. The 6-4, 205-pounder from Hutchinson Community College had offers from big programs such as LSU, Georgia and Auburn. He caught 61 passes for 924 yards with 15 touchdowns in 2011 and should give the Vols an impact right away to go along with fellow receivers Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter.

Kentucky pulls a coup? Joker Phillips pulled a very nice surprise for the Wildcats, signing Atlanta running back Justin Taylor. The 5-10, 200-pound former Alabama commitment was a huge surprise for Kentucky fans, but he was asked by Alabama to grayshirt and delay his enrollment until January — not something that many recruits want to do. Taylor is the third running back from the Atlanta area that Kentucky has signed in its last two recruiting classes. Josh Clemons played this past season as a true freshman and Marcus Caffey redshirted this past year.

Defensive tackle Korren Kirven spurned Virginia Tech and signed with Alabama. The rich get richer. And it’s a tough loss for the Hokies, as the 6-4, 280-pounder was a Virginia native.

No Kevin Sumlin, no problem for Houston. The Cougars were able to shockingly land star receiver Deontay Greenberry, who had said all along he was committed to Notre Dame. His cousin, Tee Shepard, a defensive back who graduated early, is currently enrolled in South Bend. The commitment is a big one for Houston because Greenberry is a national name, and the program is coming off of an offseason in which it lost its star head coach.

We'll see where their class stands at the end of the day, but Jim L. Mora, Adrian Klemm and Co. have done one hell of a job at UCLA. As of yesterday, only nine players who committed to Rick Neuheisel remained so, yet the Bruins have greatly ascended up the national team rankings.

Email or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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