Alabama took the drama out of National Signing Day with a landslide victory in Scout.com’s National Team Recruiting Rankings.
The Crimson Tide already had the No. 1 class heading into National Signing Day and only stretched their lead with what some might call a surprise signature from the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala).
Evans joined the two best offensive linemen in the nation in the Crimson Tide’s 2014 class in the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country and No. 2 prospect overall in Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La.) and the nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect in Dominick Jackson (San Mateo, Calif.).
Going from size to speed, the defensive back class for the Tide is something special. Tony Brown (Ozen, Texas) has some Deion Sanders-like coverage ability to his game with closing speed reminiscent of Prime Time, and Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala.) is another track star who also stars on the football field.
Alabama lands another jumbo back Bo Scarbrough (6’2/230), most recently of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Scarbrough started his high school career in Alabama before moving to Florida, and the Crimson Tide held on to his commitment after Scarbrough flirted with some other schools right up until today.
No team has recruited as well as Alabama for the last seven years, and no team has been as successful as the Crimson Tide on the field. While Alabama hasn’t been out of the Top 10 the last seven years, and only out of the Top 5 once (2011), this is Alabama’s first No. 1 finish on Scout since 2008, a class that included the likes of Julio Jones, Courtney Upshaw, Marcel Dareus, Don’t’a Hightower and Mark Ingram among others.
That 2008 class set a high standard for the Crimson Tide, but the Class of 2014 will insure that it stays high tide in Tuscaloosa. Alabama finished with record six of the nation’s top 30 prospects.
The LSU Tigers roared on national signing day and really made some noise with a great close, finishing with the No. 2 class. It was a special year in the state of Louisiana for talent, and there was some teeth gnashing as five-stars Cameron Robinson, Devante Noil (Texas A&M), and Gerald Willis (Florida) all left the state. But the Tigers reeled in the biggest Tiger of them all in the nation’s No. 1 prospect regardless of position, Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine). The Tigers also got a signing day announcement from the nation’s No. 2 receiver in five-star Malachi Dupree (Ridge, La./John Curtis) and the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle, Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic).
Outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, no team has recruited better than the national champion Florida State Seminoles. They signed a trio of five-star prospects from the Sunshine State at three different positions. In the year of the running back, the Seminoles grabbed the explosive Dalvin Cook (Miami Central) right now their bitter rival Florida.. Florida State had a double dagger for the Gators as they signed five-star receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla.), who had also been committed to the Gators.. Linebacker Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./ Sandalwood) was a Seminole from day one.
Florida State is bringing in a huge class (28 players) that is loaded with talent that should be the foundation for another championship run in the near future.
From 1980 through 2009 Tennessee had the ninth highest winning percentage among D1 programs. In today’s 140 character twitter news cycle, people forget how powerful a program Tennessee has been, so they may be surprised to see the Volunteers in the Top 5, finishing at No. 4.
Sure Tennessee signed 34 players, but only 25 of those players count towards the team rankings. Tennessee’s 17 players rated four stars or better. That puts the Vols with the second most in the nation behind Alabama and tied with LSU and Ohio State.
The Vols signed a four-star prospect at every position except quarterback, and their running back haul of Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech) and Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C.) is the envy of most teams across the country.
All Urban Meyer has done since getting to Ohio State is sign three consecutive top 5 recruiting classes, including the No. 1 class in 2013. The deepest part of the Buckeyes’ class is at linebacker, as Ohio State brought in four players ranked in the top 5 at their position, including three of the top five outside linebackers. Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) is a 6-foot-5 safety in high school that projects as an outside linebacker. He is a former Lacrosse commitment to Notre Dame to give an example of his athleticism.
There is some decent diversity in the top 5 this year, with a members from three different conferences, but it was still the SEC’s day. Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M signed nine of 14 No. 1 players ranked at their respective positions.
Out west, it was USC who made a run with three five-star prospects in defensive back prospects Adoree Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and Juju Smith (Long Beach, Calif./ Poly) along with offensive lineman Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) to crack the top 10 and finish as the top class in the Pac-12.
2014 Top 25 National Team Recruiting Rankings