NSD 2015: Winners & Losers
National signing day is in the books, and like every other year, there were plenty of twists and turns as letters were signed, but sometimes faxed in to schools that surprised fan bases. So, where were the biggest winners and biggest losers? Scout takes a look at five on each side.
War Eagle! Auburn had a huge day, and it went well beyond landing five-star defensive end Byron Cowart of Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. Four-star outside linebacker Jeff Holland of Jacksonville Trinity Christian, four-star receiver Ryan Davis of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood, four-star cornerback Javaris Davis of Jacksonville Ed White, Miami Norland safety Carlton Davis, who flipped from Ohio State, and Atlanta Lakeside offensive guard Mike Horton, who was a Florida commit, each signed with the Tigers. Because of it, Auburn moved from No. 10 to No. 3 in the rankings.
It was not as much about who the Buckeyes added on signing day, but whom they held onto and how it happened. Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber, a one-time Michigan commit who was expected to flip back to the Wolverines, instead went with Ohio State. And quarterback Torrance Gibson of Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage stayed true and signed with Ohio State. Add in Ohio State pulled in North Little Rock (Ark.) High four-star receiver K.J. Hill, who was committed to Arkansas for a long time, and Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt four-star offensive tackle, and it was a big day for the Buckeyes.
The Bruins made a huge surge in the rankings by landing the No. 1 running back – Plano (Texas) West’s Sotonye Jamabo – and the No. 1 tight end – Avon (Conn.) Old Farms’ Chris Clark – but the signing day excitement went well beyond that. Four-star receiver Cordell Broadus of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, four-star offensive guard Josh Wariboko of Oklahoma City (Okl.) Cassady and safety Nathan Meadors of San Bernadino (Calif.) San Gorgonio each signed with the Bruins. It could be even better as Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County four-star middle linebacker Roquan Smith, the No. 1 player at his position, committed but still has not sent in his letter of intent.
One thing USC mastered is the signing day surge, and this time it vaulted the Trojans to No. 1. Five-stars Iman Marshall, a cornerback from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, and defensive end Rasheem Green of Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra, the No. 7 and No. 22 players, respectively, signed with the Trojans. Also, four-star Junipero Serra linebacker John Houston, the No. 54 prospect, receiver Deontay Burnett of Junipero Serra and defensive tackle Kevin Scott of Los Angeles Bishop Salesian signed with USC.
San Diego State
It was a really nice finish for the Aztecs as the non-Power 5 program pulled in a pair of four-star players in Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany receiver Desean Holmes and Bishop Mora Salesian outside linebacker Kyahva Tezino, who is the No. 258 player in the class. It helped San Diego State to finish second in the Mountain West.
Colorado was already struggling with its 2015 class, and it had two big prospects on its signing day board and got neither. The Buffaloes finished 75th nationally, last in the Pac-12, after Bishop Mora Salesian receiver Jeremy Kelly opted for San Jose State and four-star outside linebacker JayJay Wilson of Valencia (Calif.) High opted for fro Arizona State.
The Terps make the list after finishing 47th in the rankings because of the promise it had going into signing day, and then landing a player. Maryland was the long-time leader for Trinity Pawling (N.Y.) School defensive end Austrian Robinson, but on signing day he chose Ole Miss. Maryland was also heavily involved with Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt four-star offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, but Ohio State swooped in late and landed Prince, who lives a few miles from the Maryland campus.
The Hurricanes continue to get beat in South Florida, and it was not pretty for a program struggling to keep talent home. Not only did Miami lose Gibson, but it could not get running back Jordan Scarlett of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas back, nor could it land Miami Booker T. Washington receiver Antonio Callaway, who signed with Florida.
The Rebels finished 16th, so it speaks to their recent history they are on this side of the list despite a nice ranking. Ole Miss was unable to land four-star middle linebacker and former Ole Miss commit Leo Lewis, Memphis University four-star offensive tackle Drew Richmond, who recruited hard for Ole Miss while he was committed there, and Glen Saint Mary (Fla.) Baker County five-star defensive CeCe Jefferson, who publicly had Ole Miss as his leader for a while, but wound up at Florida.
It was not a good day on the Palouse. Pasadena (Calif.) Muir’s Taeon Mason flipped to San Jose State, which was not a good thing. Then, four-star offensive tackle Clayton Johnston of Ahaheim (Calif.) Servite and Deontay Burnett decided to go with USC as blue shirts. Not a good way to become relevant in the Pac-12 again.
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