Signing Day Winners and Losers
With signing day now behind us it is just a couple of weeks until the teams hit the field and the 2019 SSG College Football season gets underway. Training camp and red-shirting decisions stand in the way but for now the SSG DDSCF Athletic Director’s have time to either gloat about their success on the recruiting trail or wonder what went wrong. Let’s take a look at some of the schools who either received plenty of wonderful news or came away very disappointed on signing day. According to the league news wire the top recruiting classes belong to SSG Ohio State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas and LSU. No huge surprises there but in the next five we have Michigan, Clemson, Cincinnati, Miami(FL) and Missouri. That’s where the surprises start with none bigger than seeing the Bearcats crack the top ten. Despite coming off a 6-7 season last year, SSG Cincinnati finished well above their weight class with the 8th best class in the nation. It is not unusual in recent years to see an American Athletic Conference team recruit well, but that is usually only because of the exploits of two-time National Champion SSG Central Florida. UCF still had a good recruiting year, landing the 12th best class, but the Knights are not used to taking a back seat to anyone in their conference. While the Bearcats did not land any 5-star recruits they did add six 4-star players led by #86 overall Christopher Burke, a wide receiver out of Columbus, Georgia with very good numbers in the 3-key areas for receivers: speed, agility and hands. A 100 or so miles up the I-71 from Cincinnati is where the top recruiting class landed, to the surprise of no one. SSG Ohio State Head Coach Margarito McLendon has done a fantastic job the past 5 seasons with the Buckeyes program, winning 2 National Titles and boasting a roster that this season will contain 33 five-star recruits including 10 five-star freshman added this week. There is a lot of redundancy in that group of 5-stars, including 3 freshman QB’s who all decided to commit to the Buckeyes so you can expect at least one of them to be a prime transfer candidate in the next year or two. The other big surprise is SSG Missouri landing the 10th best class, with only LSU having a better haul out of SEC schools. The Tigers only won 6 games each of the past two seasons and had the 52nd ranked recruiting class a year ago so this is indeed a big coup for Missouri Head Coach David Cano. Topping Missouri’s class is Matt Musser, a 4-star running back out of Minto, North Dakota who might red-shirt this year but looks to have a very bright future. Two SEC teams that are licking their wounds after taking a signing day beating are SSG Florida and SSG Georgia. The Gators class is ranked 89th, after being in the top 10 each of the past three seasons while Georgia took a similar tumble as the Bulldogs class is 91st after finishing 11th,8th and 10th over the past three seasons. It might not hurt the two schools this season, the Gators are #2 and Georgia 23rd in the preseason rankings, but you have to expect it will have an impact down the road. It was also a bad day for Sparty, as SSG Michigan State went from celebrating a Rose Bowl victory a few short months ago to finishing with the 111th ranked class on signing day. The Spartans have Big 10 company in the bad recruiting department as SSG Iowa, after a 9-3 season and 5 years of recruiting classes ranked no worse than 33rd, finished with the 125th ranked class this time around. It was pretty much bad news all around for the Pacific 12 Conference, Only SSG UCLA, with the 14th best class, and SSG Arizona State, which landed the 20th ranked class after bottoming out at 123 a year ago, have reason to celebrate. SSG Clemson landed four 5-star recruits including 3 DB’s in corners Robert Goins and Timothy Hamlin along with strong safety Antoine Graves but finishing with the 7th ranked class has to be a bit of a disappointment for the Tigers, who had not finished worse than 4th in recruiting over the past five seasons, and failed to land a top-ten recruit this time around. Finally, it was quite a year on the recruiting trail for the top dogs in the Big 12. SSG Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas finished 2-3-4 in recruiting and the Sooners landed the nation’s top recruit right out from under the Longhorns in signing Texas native Timothy Wall, a tackle who grew up just a short distance from Austin in Glen Rose, Texas.