What To Watch For During National Signing Day
After just enough time to recover from the hangover of Ohio State coming out of nowhere to win the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship, it's now time for one of college football fans' favorite "holidays" so to speak. National Signing Day is just a day away, and with it will bring joy, heartbreak, and all the emotions in between. Here are a couple things to watch for during this year's event.
Where Will the Top Remaining Recruits Land?
Coming down to the wire, many of the nation's top recruits have yet to announce where they will play. Twelve of 247Sports' top 50 recruits are among the group that remains uncommitted, and that includes three of the top four. The nation's 2-4 recruits (Martez Ivey, Byron Cowart, and Iman Marshall) are all five-star prospects that have many teams pining for their services. Ivey has narrowed his decision down to Auburn and Florida, as has Cowart. If the Gators were to land both of these guys it would completely turn around an otherwise unimpressive class. Marshall, on the other hand, has a bevy of schools that he is choosing from. Other top recruits who announce their commitments on February 4th include DE Cece Jefferson, DT Terry Beckner Jr., DT Daylon Mack, and RB/Ath Soso Jamabo.
Which Program Will Land the Top Class?
As it stands, Alabama sits at the top of the 2015 recruiting mountain. Having already signed six five-star prospects, it's hard to see anyone dethroning the Crimson Tide this year. Florida State is right behind Nick Saban's crew, and Auburn could certainly make things interesting if they could land both Ivey and Cowart. Make sure to keep an eye out for Tennessee (I know that's a little bit shocking to say) as the Volunteers are sitting at number four in the rankings and are still looking to get some late additions. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Ohio State make a late push and capitalize off of its national championship. Notre Dame and Penn State are each sitting right outside the top-10 and could find themselves inside that range by the time Wednesday is over.
Schools with a Great Chance of Turning Their Recruiting Classes Around
Losing a head coach can hurt a team in multiple ways, and one of the most painful outcomes of a change of this magnitude comes in the form of losing out on recruits. Whether the team's lack of success doesn't appeal to a recruit or a lack of familiarity with the new coach taking over, it's always hard to get a good recruiting class when that happens. However, the two major schools that have gone through coaching changes this offseason - Florida and Michigan - have a great chance to finish strong and add some really talented players in this recruiting cycle.
For Florida, there's a chance that the program could finish with its dream scenario. That dream would include signing three of the six remaining five-star recruits (Ivey, Cowart, and Jefferson). Landing all three of these beastly athletes would almost certainly guarantee the Gators a top-20 finish in the national rankings. Not to mention, head coach Jim McElwain is still in on some of the nation's top four-star recruits including receiver Ryan Davis, Ath Jordan Cronkrite, and RB Jordan Scarlett (who recently renounced his commitment from Miami). Currently the Gators are ranked 64th in the country and have 13 commits. However, the school still has 14 scholarships to fill and is without a doubt trying to fill them all.
Up in Ann Arbor, Jim Harbaugh is working to rebuild a Michigan team that has fallen off the map in the last few years. There's a chance Harbaugh can get a couple four-star recruits -- Michael Weber from Ohio State and Van Jefferson from Ole Miss -- to flip from their previous commitments, and by doing so would greatly improve what the Wolverines have done thus far. At 74th in the nation, Michigan sits behind an in-state MAC school in Western Michigan. There's no question that Harbaugh has his work cut out for him this next season, but if he can land a couple more recruits it would most definitely help.