Can anyone catch Ohio State?
The Buckeyes have held the No. 1 spot in the team rankings since they debuted in July. Ohio State has a nearly 900-point lead heading into the final days before Signing Day. Considering a five-star player is worth approximately 300 points and a four-star player is worth approximately 200 points, Ohio State's lead is large, but not completely insurmountable.
USC is lurking at the No. 5 spot with only 18 commitments. The Trojans might not have enough scholarships this year to push for the No. 1 overall spot.
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More drama at No. 1?
While Wednesday is known nationwide as National Signing Day, it's actually just the first day of the signing period for college football. After months and sometimes years of recruiting, nearly all prospects will put pen to paper on Wednesday. Last year's No. 1 overall prospect, Terrelle Pryor, waited until March 19 before signing his letter of intent.
This year's No. 1 overall, Bryce Brown, appears to be following a similar path. Despite being "committed" to Miami for almost a full year, the Brown entourage hasn't yet decided when and with whom they will sign scholarship papers.
Is *insert name here* worth the hype?
Lost in the hoopla of recruiting, is that most of these players are still 17 and 18 year old kids who will be mentally, physically and emotionally immature compared to their teammates when they arrive on campus. The vast majority of these players will arrive on campus and find themselves surrounded by last year's must-have all-americans.
Expectations heaped on these players are so outsized that a sophomore quarterback that threw for over 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns last season is being labeled as a bust by anyone rooting against Notre Dame.
How did the new coaches in the SEC make out?
|Gene Chizik has hit the recruiting trail hard as Auburn's new leader. (Getty Images)|
While most recruiting headlines are made by what player teams get a commitment from, new Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin made early headlines by turning away five-star quarterback Tajh Boyd, who ended up committing to Clemson last week. While that move raised some eyebrows around the country, there's no denying the star power in the Vols' class. At 3.59 stars per recruit, the Tennessee class ranks eighth in the country.
Auburn's hire of Gene Chizik from Iowa State was met with mixed reactions, but a solid round of assistant coach hiring has helped calm the storm on the Plains and ignite the recruiting talk. Bolstered by two five-star junior college players and a highly ranked quarterback, Auburn's class has climbed as high as No. 15 in January and could still move up. Auburn and Tennessee seem to be in a fight for running back David Oku, who is currently committed to the Vols.
While the season didn't turn out the way he had hoped, Croom had done a good job of recruiting in-state at Mississippi State. Dan Mullen found a solid foundation when he arrived, and the excitement of the spread attack coming to Starkville helped the Bulldogs secure a commitment from four-star wide receiver Chad Bumpis.
Does the slipper still fit Cinderella?
|Five-star linebacker Shayne Skov is a big catch for Stanford. (Scout.com)|
Butch Davis and the Tar Heels have done a terrific job of securing commitments from the state's top players, including Scout's No. 1 defensive end Donte Moss. With 29 commitments and counting, North Carolina could have a freshman class impact similar to what the Miami Hurricanes saw in 2008.
Stanford has consistently stayed in the top 15 of the team rankings all year. The Cardinal's highest rated player, five-star linebacker Shayne Skov, was also its first commitment of the year. Stanford has remained highly ranked by continuing to add top recruits later in the process like four-star fullback Tyler Gafney who committed to Stanford last week.
Are there cracks in USC's armor?
USC hasn't so much "recruited" the last several years as they've "selected" players. It's hard to say that the No. 5 team in the country averaging a leading four-stars per player is showing signs of vulnerability, but teams have been able to chip away at USC this year.
It was inevitable that USC would face stronger local competition from Rick Neuheisel and UCLA, and that premise was evident when the Bruins plucked the nation's No. 1 tight end, Morrell Presley, off of the Trojan commitment list.
It's a testament to the level of USC's successful recruiting in the past that in
the same column I could mention the Trojans as a possible No. 1 ranking -- and the
Trojans showing signs of vulnerability.