National Signing Day 2013 Primer

A look at some of the top questions that will have answers come Signing Day on Wednesday.

Which team will be No. 1?

On the field, Ohio State got the last laugh on Michigan back in November.  On the recruiting charts, the Buckeyes are hoping for much the same, but they'll need to close strong to catch the Wolverines.

Currently, Michigan sits at the top of the team recruiting rankings, just ahead of the Buckeyes.  Notre Dame is sitting there at No. 3, but they could close with a couple of big fish themselves, most notably the No. 9 overall prospect, Eddie Vanderdoes.  It may not be enough to catch either Ohio State or Michigan, but they'd gladly take Vanderdoes over the top spot.

Alabama is sitting there at No. 8, but a typical Signing Day flurry is expected for the Tide, including potential signings of Vanderdoes, A'Shawn Robinson and Vonn Bell (who Ohio State is also hoping for).  The Tide already have five five-star prospects, and could see that number grow even more.

UCLA probably won't be making it to the top, but the Bruins' are poised for a strong close themselves that could legitimately put them in the top three.

And a couple more Signing Day grabs, like Robert Nkemdiche, could put Ole Miss higher than they've ever been.

Where does Nkemdiche go?

The general consensus is that the No. 1 player in the country, Robert Nkemdiche, will end up at Ole Miss. 

Robert Nkemdiche's decision will be the headliner of National Signing Day.

His older brother Denzel is a linebacker with the Rebels, and it has been felt for a while that Robert would follow his big brother.

He'll not waste any time on Signing Day, announcing at 7:45 a.m. ET.

What will Foster do?

Reuben Foster committed to Alabama once, when he was living in Georgia. Then he moved to the city of Auburn in Alabama and committed to the Tigers, complete with a tattoo.

On Monday night on FOX Sports South, the No. 2 overall prospect committed again to the Tide.

But where will he sign on Wednesday?  All signs point to the Tide holding on to him for the 36 hours they need following his announcement.  But this is one that no one can feel comfortable about until a fax is sitting in an office somewhere.

Which way for Chris Jones?

Thankfully, this will be answered on Signing Day.

The under-the-radar Jones committed to Mississippi State in the fall. At the time, he was a relative unknown, and the Bulldogs were content to keep it that way.

Then he blew up at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and again at the Under Armour All-America Game.

Now, Ole Miss is trying to stick it to their rivals and take Jones, the No. 2 defensive end in's rankings, while the Bulldogs are doing what they can to hold on to their one-time diamond in the rough.

It has been a "Did He or Didn't He" recruitment on whether he was visiting each school.

As if there isn't bad enough blood between the two Magnolia State rivals, this recruitment can only add to it.

West Coast or national for Vanderdoes?


Check out our entire series of top recruit profiles as we count down to Signing Day:

Jan. 24: No. 12 Thomas Tyner
Jan. 25: No. 11 Montravius Adams
Jan. 26: No. 10 Ricky Seals-Jones
Jan. 27: No. 9 Eddie Vanderdoes
Jan. 28: No. 8 Max Browne
Jan. 29: No. 7 Laremy Tunsil
Jan. 30: No. 6 Derrick Green
Jan. 31: No. 5 A'Shawn Robinson
Feb. 1: No. 4 Su'a Cravens
Feb. 2: No. 3 Jaylon Smith
Feb. 3: No. 2 Reuben Foster
Feb. 4: No. 1 Robert Nkemdiche

The most intriguing recruiting battle out West is that of Eddie Vanderdoes, the five-star defensive tackle from Northern California.

Vanderdoes committed to USC in July, but then opened things up in December.

He visited UCLA in November and Washington in December, before a three-week blitz of trips to USC, Notre Dame and Alabama to wind down the recruiting cycle.

Vanderdoes will make his decision public on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, choosing between the five schools, but it's thought to be down to Alabama, Notre Dame and UCLA, with the latter two being the most commonly expected to get him.

If he picks UCLA, he's the crown jewel in Jim Mora's first full class.  If he chooses Notre Dame, he joins Jaylon Smith as another top 10 overall prospect headed to South Bend.  If it's Alabama? Well, he becomes yet another of those elite defensive prospects that Nick Saban seems to snag every year.

Any Signing Day drama?

In years past, you've had Cyrus Kouandjio -- 2011's No. 2 overall prospect -- announce for Auburn on Signing Day, only to not fax in his letter-of-intent and choose Alabama a couple days later.  

You've had DeAnthony Thomas -- 2011's No. 3 overall prospect -- be a USC commit for a long, long time, only to take an 11th-hour trip to Oregon that was almost completely off his recruiting radar, then emerge late on Signing Day night in all Oregon gear to announce he would be signing with the Ducks. 

You've had longtime Notre Dame commit Deontay Greenberry -- a 2012 five-star recruit -- out of the blue send his letter-of-intent to Houston (Houston!?), one of the biggest five-star surprises ever.

Or Jordan Payton -- a four-star wide receiver in 2012 -- signing with UCLA the day after he committed to Washington on television, three weeks after he committed to Cal during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.  And that was a year and a half after he committed to USC.

Then there was Isaiah Crowell -- 2011's No. 5 overall prospect -- using a live bulldog to announce his decision to attend Georgia. 

Suffice to say, if there is one thing that you can expect on Signing Day, it's drama.

Brandon is in his eighth year with, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the network since 2003.
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