It's getting to be like a broken record, but USC once again is our national recruiting champion after closing with a flurry last night on National Signing Day. In total, the Trojans signed 10 players from the SchoolSports.com Top 100.
Along with USC, here's a closer look at this year's top recruiting classes:
Top 100 recruits: 10
With running backs Reggie Bush and LenDale White leaving early for the NFL, Pete Carroll had to reload in the backfield during Signing Day. And he did just that, signing running backs such as Top 100 recruits C.J. Gable of Sylmar (Calif.), Stafon Johnson of Dorsey (Calif.) and Emmanuel Moody of Coppell (Texas). Add in Kenny Ashley of Venice (Calif.) and Stanley Havili of Cottonwood (Utah) and the Trojans did more than okay in terms of running back signings. Other Top 100 recruits included safety Taylor Mays of O'Dea (Wash.), linebacker Allen Bradford of Colton (Calif.), linebacker Joshua Tatum of McClymonds (Calif.), safety Antwine Perez of Woodrow Wilson (N.J.), offensive/defensive lineman Butch Lewis of Regis Jesuit (Colo.), wide receiver Jamere Holland of Taft (Calif.) and wide receiver David Ausberry of Lemoore (Calif.). A sleeper in this class could be Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (Calif.) quarterback Garrett Green. Another Top 100 recruit could join the fold soon, as Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) wide receiver Vidal Hazelton was considering the Trojans, as was his teammate at Hargrave, running back Keiland Williams.
Top 100 recruits: 7
Gator fans have to be pleased with the job head coach Urban Meyer has done on the recruiting front. Yesterday, Meyer signed seven Top 100 recruits, including Top 20 recruits such as Landstown (Va.) wide receiver Percy Harvin, Nease (Fla.) quarterback Tim Tebow and Sandalwood (Fla.) wide receiver/defensive back Jamar Hornsby. Look for Harvin to make an early impact and Tebow is the heir apparent to quarterback Chris Leak.
Top 100 recruits: 7
The national champs hauled in seven Top 100 recruits, yet another great National Signing Day for head coach Mack Brown and Co. Linebacker Sergio Kindle of Woodrow Wilson (Texas) is a flat-out stud and has the potential to be like former Longhorns star ‘backer Derrick Johnson. Kilgore (Texas) defensive end Eddie Jones is the nation's top pass rusher. Two guys to keep an eye on are Top 100 recruits Jevan Snead and Kenneth "Deon" Beasley. Snead, a quarterback from Stephenville (Texas), has a chance to snag the starting job as a freshman. Of course, if he does, he'll have the unenviable task of filling the shoes of superstar Vince Young, who left early for the NFL. Beasley, a wide receiver/defensive back out of West Orange-Stark (Texas), could be used in a variety of ways. He showed tremendous hands at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
4. Notre Dame
Top 100 recruits: 8
Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis did a terrific job in his first full year on the recruiting scene. Weis picked up some studs on the offensive line, including high school teammates and Top 100 recruits Sam Young and Dan Wenger out of St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.). Notre Dame's secondary was a big problem last year, so the Irish signed two defensive backs rated in the Top 100, Raeshon McNeil of Davie County (N.C.) and Darrin Walls of Woodland Hills (Pa.). The other Top 100 signings are: tight end Konrad Reuland of Mission Viejo (Calif.); running back James Aldridge of Merrillville (Ind.); offensive lineman Matt Carufel of Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.); and quarterback Zach Frazer of Mechanicsburg (Pa.). Quarterback Demetrius Jones of Morgan Park (Ill.) is another player to watch.
5. Penn State
Top 100 recruits: 6
Penn State surprised many last year by signing wide receiver Derrick Williams, who was the nation's top recruit. This year, Joe Pa picked up where he left off, signing six Top 100 recruits. Sure, some other schools may have signed more Top 100 players, but the depth of this class gives Penn State the edge at No. 5. Headlining this class is Downingtown East (Pa.) quarterback Pat Devlin, who had originally committed to Miami. Forestville (Md.) offensive lineman Antonio Logan-El is a beast, while Christ the King (N.Y.) defensive lineman Maurice Evans is a pass-rushing terror. Granby (Va.) wide receiver Chris Bell, Lebanon (Pa.) defensive/offensive lineman Jared Odrick and McDonough (Md.) defensive back A.J. Wallace round out the Top 100 recruits. Other top recruits include Westfield (Va.) running back Evan Royster, Uniondale (N.Y.) tight end/defensive lineman Andrew Quarless, Lackey (Md.) offensive lineman J.B. Walton, Gwynn Park (Md.) defensive lineman Phillip Taylor and Suitland (Md.) linebacker Navorro Bowman. Keep an eye on the situation of Hargrave Military wide receiver Vidal Hazelton, who's a Top 100 recruit and was considering USC and Penn State.
Sudden Impact Recruits
Here's a look at five recruits that could make an impact right away at the next level:
The Hun School (N.J.)
Defensive back, 6-3, 215
Signed with Florida State
Rolle, who's rated the nation's No. 1 overall recruit by SchoolSports.com, has so much talent that he could start at safety for the Seminoles this fall. He has the size of a linebacker and the speed of a cornerback, making him a matchup nightmare. He has the potential to be a faster version of current Dallas Cowboys star Roy Williams — and that's saying something.
Running back, 6-2, 228
Signed with Ohio State
You knew that once Wells committed to the Buckeyes that the Eddie George comparisons would start coming. But that comparison fits Wells' game nicely. Wells, who's rated the nation's No. 1 running back and No. 2 overall recruit by SchoolSports.com, has a lethal combination of power and speed. He showed that when he was named MVP of this year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl after rushing for 67 yards and three touchdowns. While Reggie Bush and LenDale White made up "Thunder and Lighting" for USC, the Buckeyes could have their own version in Wells and current Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman.
Wide receiver, 6-1, 180
Signed with Florida
Star wide receiver Chad Jackson left early for the NFL, but fret not Gator fans because Percy Harvin is on the way. Harvin, who compares with former Florida State star Peter Warrick, makes plays every time he touches the ball. This past fall, Harvin had the following totals: 75 receptions for 1,313 yards and 14 touchdowns; 504 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 50 attempts; three interceptions returned for touchdowns; two kickoff returns for touchdowns, one punt return for a touchdown; and 1,817 total offensive yards. Harvin is rated the nation's No. 1 wide receiver and No. 4 overall recruit by SchoolSports.com.
Highland Park (Texas)
Quarterback, 6-2, 212
Signed with Georgia
With the graduation of D.J. Shockley, Stafford has a change to take over the reins as Georgia's starting quarterback. This past fall, Stafford threw for 4,000 yards and 37 touchdowns and led Highland Park to its first state title since 1957. Stafford, who's a big-game quarterback in the mold of Tom Brady, is rated the nation's No. 1 quarterback and No. 5 overall recruit by SchoolSports.com.
Other Recruits to Watch
Mitch Mustain, QB, Springdale (Ark.), signed with Arkansas
Taylor Mays, DB, O'Dea (Wash.), signed with USC
Jevan Snead, QB, Stephenville (Texas), signed with Texas
C.J. Gable, RB/DB, Sylmar (Calif.), signed with USC
Stafon Johnson, RB, Dorsey (Calif.), signed with USC
Emmanuel Moody, RB, Coppell (Texas), signed with USC
Michael Goodson, RB, Klein Collins (Texas), signed with Texas A&M
C.J. Spiller, RB, Union County (Fla.), signed with Clemson
Andre Smith, OL, Huffman (Ala.), signed with Alabama
Micah Johnson, LB/RB, Fort Campbell (Ky.), signed with Kentucky
Gerald McCoy, DL, Southeast (Okla.), signed with Oklahoma
Vidal Hazelton, WR, Hargrave Military Academy (Va.), undecided
News and Notes
Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) wide receiver Vidal Hazelton and Carvers Bay (Hemingway, S.C.) offensive/defensive lineman Clifton Geathers were the only Top 100 recruits who didn't sign on National Signing Day. … Running back LeSean McCoy, who was rated the nation's No. 19 overall recruit in the Class of 2006 by SchoolSports.com, transferred to Milford Academy (N.Y.) and will spend the fall there, making him part of the Class of 2007. McCoy still did make a college decision by committing to Miami yesterday over Penn State. … While USC had the nation's top recruiting class, the Trojans still lost out on two Top 10 recruits, Andre Smith from Huffman (Ala.), who's SchoolSports.com's top overall offensive lineman, and Gerald McCoy from Southeast (Okla.), who's rated the nation's top defensive lineman by SchoolSports.com. Both decided to remain in their home states as Smith signed with Alabama and McCoy signed with Oklahoma.