The Big Winners
Marcus Sims
Marcus Sims

Posted Feb 1, 2006
Miller Safrit, ACC Recruiting Analyst

With the first day of the signing period coming to a close, it is time to take a look at the winners and losers of the days events.

As usual, the winners list must include Bobby Bowden and Florida State. Taking two commitments from Florida, the Seminoles wrapped up the day moving up eleven spots in the team rankings over the course of the day.

"It is never a surprise to see Florida State pick up surprises on National Signing Day," said Miller Safrit, a recruiting analyst for "Last year they picked up five star prospects in Callahan Bright, Antone Smith, and Fred Rouse. This year it was four-star prospects Damon McDaniel, Marcus Sims, Patrick Robinson, and Daron Rose headlining the list."

Close on the tail of the Seminoles are the Trojans of USC, which continues to rack up major surprises at the last minute.

"Even though they didn't close with a bang, how can you ignore the Trojans," asked Chris Fetters, West recruiting analyst for "Still a top-five class by any measure, littered with National Hot 100 prospects. Any class that has Stafon Johnson, Allen Bradford, David Ausberry, Josh Tatum, Anthony McCoy, Antwine Perez, Taylor Mays and C.J. Gable is OK by me."

In the Midwest, the biggest winner was Notre Dame. The Irish parlayed a great year on the field to a successful season on the recruiting trail.

"Charlie Weis hit the recruiting trail hard from the first day that he was hired and it has paid off," said Midwest recruiting analyst Chris Pool. "The past few years, the Irish weren’t able to recruit nationally and that changed when Notre Dame hired Weis. The cornerstone of this Notre Dame recruiting class is Sam Young, a 6-foot-7, 298-pound, offensive lineman, from St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Young is the No. 2 rated offensive lineman in the nation according to"

In addition to Texas in the Southwest, Arizona and Texas Tech both finished as big winners. The Wildcats of Arizona came away with a huge win when they picked up Perrish Cox, a four-star cornerback from Waco, Texas previously committed to LSU.

"Oklahoma also finished with a major push today grabbing the top two players from the Sooner state," Safrit said. "Gerald McCoy, a five-star prospect from Oklahoma City rated the number one defensive tackle in the nation, and Jermaine Grisham, a four-star tight end from Ardmore rated as the number four prospect in the nation at his position, simply solidified a top-ten class."

"Pittsburgh and Penn State were the most dominant teams in the Northeast. Pittsburgh coming of of a 5-6 season under first year head coach dave Wannsedt just missed the top ten. Pittsburgh signed five of the nation's top 100 recruits while Penn State signed a top ten class and managed to fill most of their needs.

"They also managed to sign seven of the top ten players in the state of Maryland," said Bob Lichtenfels, East recruiting analyst for "Today, Pittsburgh blstered their class by add four-star defensive end McKenzie Mathews from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y."

The state of Alabama had the two biggest gains of the day in the SEC with Auburn and Alabama both gaining big names. The Crimson Tide landed late commitments from Milton Talbert, a three-star defensive end from Hattiesburg, Miss., and Andre Smith of Birmingham, Ala., the top offensive line prospect in the nation.

Not to be outdone, the Tigers picked up commitments from Michael Goggans of Alexander City, Ala., a three-star tight end originally committed to Tennessee, and Bryant Miller of Miami, Fla., a four-star defensive end. Byron Isom, a three-star defensive tackle who committed to the Tigers late last night, arrived at school today ready to sign with South Carolina. However, with some late moment dramatics between Isom and his family, he did resume his commitment to Auburn and faxed in his letter-of-intent.

All in a day's work.

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