This will be a regular column with thoughts on various happenings throughout the SSG College Football world. As we are approaching signing day, which for the 2019 SSG season is February 22nd, it makes sense to focus on recruiting in this installment.
1- The first thought is all about SSG Ohio State and in recognition for what will likely be considered the number one recruiting class in the nation. The Buckeyes might have missed out on their highest ranked target as FS Richard Hinkle from Winder, Georgia has given a verbal commitment to Florida despite being heavily pursued by the Buckeyes. Don’t feel bad for Ohio State as it appears they did land verbal commitments from 11 of the top 33 recruits in the nation. Included in that group are 4, yes 4! quarterbacks. They included the top two QBs in the nation in Detroit native Benton Poole, who is ranked 5th overall, and Terry Williams, the number 7 overall recruit out of Hope Mills, North Carolina. No idea where Ohio State is going to find room for all four of these guys with 6 quarterbacks, including four 5-star guys, already on their roster. Perhaps we may see the Buckeyes rescind a scholarship or two.
2- As in second place for SSG Baylor. You have to give the Bears credit as they were in the running for a lot of top twenty recruits but fell short on landing most of them. However, Baylor head coach Russell Bates did get verbals from a pair of top ten players including Mark Wood, the number one wide receiver in the nation who passed on staying in his home state of Florida to join the Bears.
3- SSG Oklahoma landed the number one recruit in the nation in Glen Rose, Texas native Timothy Wall. The offensive tackle selected the Sooners over Baylor, LSU and Texas. Perhaps taking a page out of Ohio State’s book, the Sooners also loaded up on QB’s with 4 of the top 11 QB recruits committing to Oklahoma including #4,5 and 6 overall. With four year starter Everett McReynolds lost to graduation, there will certainly be a qb battle in Norman this spring.
4- It looks like a rough recruiting year for SSG Georgia although the Dawgs did manage to convince highly touted QB Christopher Brock to stay in state. The Evans, Georgia native was heavily courted by both Clemson and Ohio State but the #11 overall recruit has given Georgia a verbal commitment.
5- Not just Georgia but the entire SEC seemed to have a down year on the recruiting trail as many top players from the southeast decided to head out of conference. The top recruit landed by an SEC school was WR Stephen Cuevas, who actually hails from the football hotbed of Fairbanks, Alaska. At #4 in the nation he has to be the best recruit ever produced by the state.
6- While they did not land a top ten recruit, SSG Clemson still looks to have had a pretty good haul as the Tigers landed 4 recruits ranked in the top forty led by #15 Timothy Hamlin, a cornerback out of Kenmore, Washington.
7- The SSG Pac 12 will be licking it’s wounds come signing day as only a single 5-star recruit committed to a school in the conference. That player is William Valdez, a QB ranked #28 overall from Glendale, Arizona who has given a verbal to Oregon.
8- Looking for a surprise team that recruited well. How about SSG Cincinnati? Despite going just 6-7 a year ago the Bearcats landed six 4-star recruits including #86 overall in WR Christopher Burke from Columbus, Ohio who received interest from Georgia, Alabama and LSU but surprisingly, very little from Ohio State.
9- While all of the top high school recruits have given verbal commitments there still could be plenty of drama on signing day as there are a number of very good transfer players available.
10- Perhaps the class of the transfers is QB William Clark. He had committed to SSG UCF last season as the #77 ranked recruit in his class but did not play as a freshman for the Knights and is back on the market.