National Signing Day produced winners, disappoints and surprises

Feb. 4 -- Winners, disappointments, surprises under-the-radar successes for the class of 2016 National Signing Day...



The Crimson Tide finished the day as the No. 1 team in the rankings and as the signing day national champ, so it makes sense to have Alabama in this category. From the flip of Florida commit Aaron Robinson to landing linebackers Ben Davis and Lyndell Wilson, and also pulling in cornerbacks Shyheim Carter and Jared Mayden, defensive ends Terrell Hall and Jamar King as well as tight end Irvin Smith, and it was a banner day for 'Bama.

Florida State

It figured to be a big day for the Seminoles given the talent on the board and it ended nicely. The Seminoles moved up to No. 3 in the nation and it was led by the commitment of five-star defensive end Brian Burns and the unexpected flip of defensive tackle Shavar Manuel, who was committed to Florida. Add in cornerback Carlos Becker, inside linebacker Dontavious Jackson, offensive guard Landon Dickerson and offensive tackle Jauan Williams, and the Semionles make the list despite losing safety Jamel Cook to USC.


The Bruins are used to closing strong, and they did it again to move to No. 7 in the rankings. There were a number of big gets, but perhaps none bigger than No. 1 ouside linebacker Mique Juarez, a five-star prospect. Landing northern California defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa was also huge, and put a nice bow on a day that also included landing a surprise junior college defensive end in Chigozie Nnoruka, offenisve lineman Francisco Perez, receiver Adewale Omotosho and running back Brandon Stephens.


Coach Charlie Strong postioned the Longhorns for a big finish and he and his staff did not disappoint. Texas moved from No. 19 to No .8 in the ranks with a flurry of commits, including flipping LSU defensive end commit Erick Fowler, and signing defensive tackle Marcel Southall, safety Chris Brown, defensive tackle Chris Daniels, defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, outside linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch and safety Brandon Jones. The Longhorns needed a big finish, and got it.


It wasn't a one-team town in Los Angeles on signing day. Yes, UCLA had a big day, but so did the Trojans, highlighted by landing No. 1 athlete Jack Jones.USC also showed its national prowess by flipping Florida State safety commit Jamel Cook and pulling offensive lineman E.J. Price out of Georgia.Getting defensive end Connor Murphy and flipping Oregon runnnig back commit Vavae Malepeai made coach Clay Helton's first signing day memorable.



Just beacuse the Gators finished with a Top 10 class doesn't mean it was all roses on signing day. Yes, the Gators landed receiver Tyrie Cleveland and safety Jeawon Taylor, but the Gators lost a pair of commitments to rivals as Shavar Manual flipped to Florida State and Aaron Robinson flipped to Alabama. Add in missing out on five-star defensive end Brian Burns as well as cornerback Kristian Fulton and offensive lineman John Simpson, and it was not a favorable day for the Gators.

Michigan State

The Spartans make the list because of expectations, and the inability to land anyone on the day. It may be coach Mark Dantonio's best class with the Spartans, but coming off a playoff appearance, they were a non-factor on the day. Cornerback LaVert Hill, defensive end Karamo Dioubate and defensive end Prince Sammons were all on the table and none would up choosing Michigan State.


Not a great day for the Cougars, who thought they could flip receiver Simi Fehoko, but he stayed with Stanford. BYU also thought Mique Juarez was obtainable, and he went with UCLA. Add to that the loss of defensive ends Bradlee Anae and Keaton Bills to Utah, an in-state rival, and it was a tough day for the Cougars.


Remember when the excitement was about which inredible athlete would pick the Ducks? Well, this was the opposite. Outside linebacker Caleb Kelly, a prime target went to Oklahoma, but the real pain came when Oregon lost running back Vavae Malepeai opted for USC rather than the Ducks.

Surprise Of The Day

Shavar Manuel was a Florida commit and it looked like a ho-hum day in which he would sign his letter of intent and look to his career in Gainesville, Fla. Instead, he pulled a signing day shocker and switched to Florida State, a school he cheered for when he was a youngster. So not only did Florida State get a great player, it took from Florida. Double whammy!

Best Under-The-Radar Class

This was an ACC pick all the way, and Pittsburgh is the choice. Doing in the style learned at Michigan State of getting good player and building a solid class, coach Pat Narduzzi also delivered a few haymakers to some neighboring schools. The Panthers landed four-star cornerback Damar Hamlin, beating Ohio State and Penn State, but he flipped Penn State commit Aaron Mathews the day before signing day, took one of Rutgers' top commits in Phil Campbell earlier in the cycle and landed four-star defensive tackle Keyshon Camp and defensive end Rashad Weaver

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