South: Signing Day Superlatives
Rashaan Evans
Rashaan Evans
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Feb 6, 2014
Chad Simmons


We look back on signing day 2014 and talk about the storylines of the day in the south...

Like every other year, there was plenty of drama in the south on signing day.

We take a look back at signing day 2014.

Surprise of the Day

This wasn't a shocker and Alabama was the school Rashaan Evans wanted to go to, but many felt there was just too many things going for Auburn. Kirby Smart was the lead recruiter and he did an excellent job as did Lance Thompson, Nick Saban, and other Alabama staffers convincing Evans that Tuscaloosa was the best place for him. UCLA hung around, but Auburn was thought to be the leader by many due to his location, AU being the school his parents attended, and his relationship with the coaches and players there - Alabama won out in the end for the top prospect in Alabama and the No. 9 prospect in the country.

Biggest Flip

This has to be Treon Harris. A longtime Florida State commit flipped to Florida on signing day and he actually flipped behind the scenes during his visit weeks ago.

UF is looking to change up their offensive scheme to more of a spread and system and Harris could be dangerous at quarterback. He ran the system in high school, he won two state titles, and he is going to fun to watch with the ball in his hands.

Tee Shepard flipped to Ole Miss from Mississippi State and that was big as well as Ja'Von Harrison flipping to Florida State from Virginia Tech.

Best Close

It has to go to FSU over LSU. Les Miles and the Tigers closed very strong on February 5, but Jimbo Fisher and his Seminoles get the nod.

FSU started off by keeping soft commitment Lorenzo Featherston away from Miami and then it flipped Ja'Von Harrison from Virginia Tech.

The biggest signing day name was Ermon Lane, a five-star receiver that all expected to ink with FSU. Roderick Johnson, one of the top uncommitted offensive lineman in the country chose the Noles, and Derrick Kelly, a hometown offensive tackle with so much upside signed with Florida State over Florida and LSU.

Derrick Nnadi, a four-star defensive tackle out of Virginia inked with the Noles over Virginia Tech.

FSU closed strong to finish with the No. 3 class in the country.

Top Recruiter

This one was close with Alabama assistants Billy Napier and Kirby Smart shining again, but Georgia's Bryan McClendon gets the nod.

UGA finished 12 in the rankings and McClendon had a lot to do with the Bulldogs' success in 2014.

He was the lead recruiter for five stars Lorenzo Carter and Sony Michel, four stars Nick Chubb, Isaiah Wynn, Keyon Brown, Kendall Baker, and three stars Gilbert Johnson, Isaiah McKenzie, and Shattle Fenteng.

He has been talked about for a few years and one of the top up and coming recruiters, this year he showed that talk is true.

Best Class

This is one that is not debatable. It is Alabama, again.

The Crimson Tide entered the day at the top and it finished the day in the same spot. It signed a total of 26 in 2014 including seven five-star prospects and 13 four stars.

The class is led by Cameron Robinson, the top offensive lineman in the country, outside linebacker Rashaan Evans, and five-star corners Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey.

LSU finished second, but it wasn't close. Alabama finished with 5,222 points and LSU had 4,411.

Biggest Signing Day Steal

This is something that is always debatable, but many are talking about Isaiah McKenzie to Georgia.

That is the one we go with here because of the impact he could have and just how of this went down. Scout ranks McKenzie as a three-star while other networks see him as a four.

He is dynamic in the return game and he will make a significant impact there immediately. He has never even stepped foot in Athens, Ga., but playing with his close friend/teammate Sony Michel led him to select UGA over Florida, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech.

Loo for Georgia to use McKenzie on special teams first, then to find ways to get him the ball at slot receiver and possibly out of the backfield.

Surprise Class

It has to be Tennessee. The Vols finished with a top five class, No. 4 to be exact, and it signed 32 prospects.

Butch Jones put together his first full class as the UT head coach and it was a very good one. No five stars, but seventeen four stars - that is huge.

What impressed the most is how he kept the best at home. Josh Malone, Jalen Hurd, Todd Kelly Jr. and others inside the state of Tennessee had national offers, but Jones kept them in Knoxville.

He also went into states like California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and North Carolina to get talent.

Kentucky and North Carolina State need to be mentioned here too. Kentucky started around No. 16 on Wednesday, but finished at No. 21. That is a great class for Mark Stoops. N.C. State was winless in the ACC last season, but recruited well and finished No. 26 in the country.

Best Start for 2015

This has nothing to do with the 2014 class, but on signing day 2014, Mitch Hyatt, one of the premiere prospects in America announced he is a Clemson Tiger.

This has to be talked about because it is a national headline. It happened on signing day 2014 and it will have a big impact on Clemson's 2015 class. It is off to a great start with seven commitments already.

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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