As many of you know, tomorrow is national signing day – the first day on which high school seniors can sign their letters of intent for their chosen football schools. It is always a tense, exciting day for college fans everywhere as they hope to keep their best recruits on board and hopefully steal one or two from other places. As a Michigan fan I am particularly nervous about tomorrow. We only have a borderline acceptable class coming in and we have a boatload of needs, so there isn’t room for any problems, and we could really use a miracle or two.
Here’s a look at 10 stories to follow throughout signing day:
1. Seantrel Henderson – This O-lineman from Minnesota is the top ranked at his position in the country, and top 10 at all positions. He’s likely to stay in the Midwest, and Ohio State is the likely destination, but Miami is very much in the race, and USC has been pushing hard in recent days. He’s the biggest remaining undeclared player.
2. Auburn – Despite their struggles, Auburn has assembled a top-5 class. It’s a bit of a miracle that it has happened, and it is quite possible that it will take some hits down the stretch. These are nervous times for Auburn fans. They already had one hit when stud running back Marcus Lattimore chose South Carolina over Auburn on Tuesday night.
3. Demar Dorsey – This Florida defensive back, a top 12 national player, made news last week when he de-committed from Florida. Florida State now leads the way for his services and are the likely winners, but Michigan and USC are both charging very hard down the stretch. This would be one of those miracles I was talking about.
4. Owamagbe Odighizuwa – Ndamukong Suh is a defensive lineman from Portland with a difficult-to-pronounce name who went to Nebraska and became a star. Odighizuwa is another D-lineman from Portland who is leaning towards Nebraska and could be a star. Oregon and UCLA are working hard to make sure that he doesn’t.
5. USC – The move from Pete Carroll to Lane Kiffin is a massive shift downwards. The Trojans have a pretty solid class in place. So far, Kiffin has mostly managed to keep the class intact, but we won’t know for sure until they start getting signatures.
6. Florida – Only Urban Meyer knows what he is up to, and even he doesn’t seem to have it figured out. Despite that uncertainty the Gators have gathered a very impressive class. There are a few cracks recently – like Dorsey. It remains to be seen if the cracks turn into canyons tomorrow, or if they stay atop the heap.
7. Notre Dame – Brian Kelly has a monster job ahead of him at Notre Dame. He’s also a world class recruiter. They have some good names on board already, and are active in some more, but until we see what they can actually sign we have no real idea of what Kelly will have to work with and how quickly he can turn things around.
8. Tennessee – When Kiffin left he created a mess in several ways. Among them, he destroyed the recruiting class. There have been several defections since he left, and the new regime has yet to make up for the loss. This is a crucial class for them, and if they don’t find some late strength it could really be ugly.
9. Christian Jones – The Florida linebacker is a chance for a major coup by Florida State. They are in serious competition with the Gators, and they seem to be in the lead. With a change in coaching this year there is some uncertainty with the Seminoles, so beating out there in-state rivals here would be a nice crowning achievement on signing day.
10. Markeith Ambles – This receiver from Georgia is one of the top receiving prospects in the country. He was a Tennessee recruit, but bolted when Kiffin did. Kiffin is now working hard to get him to follow him to USC, but North Carolina is trying very hard to land him and is showing some progress, and Tennessee even seems to be back n the picture.