National Signing Day is Over, so Who Won?

Jimbo Fisher

The question of the winner on National Signing Day is usually revealed a year, two or even three after it happens. But for now, it’s all about the number of good players you’ve signed. Florida State seem to have had the most impressive of recruiting classes, followed by Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Ohio State and Michigan, at least according to the ESPN rankings. Each site has a different set of rankings and parameters, but we’ll stick with what ESPN gave these players and teams.

In terms of amount of players, Iowa State had 30 players signed, but they’re just 54th on the rankings, without a single ESPN 300 player among them, as the Cyclones head into a new era, with a new head coach. The Seminoles who have done incredibly well since Jimbo Fisher took over for Bobby Bowden, landed 16 ESPN 300 players, including five-star and No. 1-ranked cornerback Levonta Taylor and No. 2-ranked dual-threat quarterback Malik Henry.

Alabama, who came in second, put in another excellent recruiting class that seems to be the norm under Nick Saban. It including 16 ESPN 300 players and no five-star guys, but 20 four-star players. They signed the number Inside Linebacker in Ben Davis, the number one running back of this class in B.J. Simmons and the #3 offensive tackle coming out of high school in Jonah Williams in what promises to be another huge offensive line for the Crimson Tide.

Image: Source
Image: Source

LSU dropped two spots on the final day but overall came away with an impressive haul of 19 ESPN 300 guys and 19 four-star players. Willie Allen coming through on the offensive line seems like a big addition, and the same can be said about Kristian Fulton out of Metairie in Louisiana, the number three cornerback in this class.

Ole Miss keep the SEC West dominance in this recruiting class while showing Hugh Freeze isn’t just a one-class kind of guy, and that the Rebels have really turned a page in their ability to attract big names out of high school. They landed two five-star recruits in Gregory Little out of Allen, Texas to help the offensive line, and Mississippi’s own Benito Jones, the number 4 ranked defensive tackle in this class. Quarterback Shea Patterson out of the IMG Academy is the #1 ranked dual-threat quarterback in this class.

Ohio State lead the Big Ten, although they fell three spots in the final day. Beating Michigan seems to be their biggest concern. They signed one five-star player, Nick Bosa, the best defensive end in this class, the brother of Joey Bosa, who is the likely number one draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft. They finished with 16 four-star players, including the number two running back Demario McCall out of North Ridgeville in Ohio and Keandre Jones coming from Olney in Maryland, the #3 outside linebacker in this class.

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Image: Source

Michigan, coming off a very good season under Jim Harbaugh, did very well on the recruiting trail as well after coming in 40th last season. Jim Harbaugh landed a five-star in defensive tackle Rashan Gary out of Paramus, New Jersey, the number one defensive tackle in this class. Michigan also landed 17 four-star recruits with guys like Devin Asiasi from Concord, California (#3 Tight End-Y) and Ben Bredeson out of Hartland, Wisconsin, the #4 offensive tackle in this class.

The top 10 is completed by Georgia, Clemson, Auburn and Texas, hoping to finally turn this program around. The best recruiting job for a team outside the power 5 conferences is Houston, ranking 30th, ahead of a team like Oregon, Mississippi State and Wisconsin. Notre Dame ranked 16th with nine four-star players, Oklahoma came in 23rd with 10 four-star recruits including Austin Kendall as one of the best pocket-passing quarterbacks in the nation. USC were #11, bringing 15 four-star recruits, including #3 dual threat quarterback Matt Fink and #3 safety Jamel Cook.

Top Image: Source / Based on the ESPN 300 Rankings