Signing Day Observations


Feb. 7, 2007

By Trev Alberts

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Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and
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The biggest thing that stood out to me from Signing Day was the difference compared to 1989, my recruiting year. It's stunning to me that these coaches know all about these kids, that there's no diamonds in the rough. And it's amazing that these kids are as grounded as they are.


I learned today that it's clearly evident why the great teams continue to be great. There's a lot of talent in California and the one dominant player is USC. They just continue to get all those kids. There's a lot of talent in the state of Texas and Mack Brown said that there will be 350 kids in the state of Texas that will get a Division I scholarship. That's ridiculous. That's why Texas is always where they are, because they get the cream of the crop in Texas. They can win a national championship recruiting in their backyard.


I also learned that Greg Schiano has turned the corner at Rutgers because they're getting the highest caliber kids. They just brought in the top-rated offensive lineman, Anthony Davis, in the state of New Jersey, who turned down Ohio State, Florida State and Miami--all the big time schools. Not only has Schiano turned the corner on the field, but he's turned the corner in recruiting and the big time kids are staying there.


I learned the SEC will continue to be the dominant conference in the nation. 32 of Tom Lemming's Top 100 players committed to a SEC school. The SEC only accounts for less than 10 percent of the schools in the Bowl Subdivision and they have 32 percent of the best players of this class playing in their conference.


I've learned that kids continue to be kids and kids change their minds. Kids need reinforcing. Even Matt Simms, who comes from one of the most grounded families there is, with his father Phil and his brother Chris, yet kind of wavered in his decision to go to Louisville. It's tough when you're asking these kids to predict and see into the future where they're going to be comfortable, where they're going to fit in. These kids are dealing with a tremendous amount of pressure. I don't think I'd want to be a player being recruited right now.


I've learned that the NCAA needs to show some leadership. They need to get a handle on this recruiting thing before it gets too out of hand. They need to pass some legislation about text messaging. I think they might want to consider an early signing period.


All of these programs will tout their classes. Even a school that had a disappointing class will tout it. But it's pretty difficult to predict what will come out of today. You hope to get as many five-star recruits as you can get and hope that half of them turn out. If you get two five-star recruits and one of them turns out, that's not bad. But if you're USC and you get 10 five-star recruits and five of them turn out, that's why they're better.


Signing Day Winners



It's pretty natural. Not only is Urban Meyer a great recruiter and coach, but when your team is the "it" team, things tend to fall in your favor.



I think the most stunning thing is how Pete Carroll continues to recruit the way he does. They have eight five-star running back recruits right now. There are probably 80 percent of the teams in the country that don't have a five start recruit. Kids want to play and how Carroll continues to get these kids to come there even when they're loaded.


North Carolina

Butch Davis has a pretty good track record, let's be honest. He recruited some really fantastic, phenomenal players down at Miami. They have the facilities and a beautiful campus. You can tell why North Carolina would have the opportunity to recruit well.



How Ron Zook can continue to recruit and bring in the players that he has is a testament to his work ethic. He's selling a $150 million renovation to the stadium and he's selling playing time. He really felt like he was a year away from becoming great at Florida so I think he feels like it was time.


Signing Day Losers


Florida State

Historically, that program on Signing Day would get five undecideds. They all would choose Florida State. Now it's getting difficult. Bobby Bowden's age is being used against him. The big offensive turnover is also being used against them. That program really lost out today.


Somewhere In Between


Notre Dame

Notre Dame benefited from so many skill people that left. Charlie Weis could tell recruits there were holes to fill. They got the No. 1 recruit in the nation in Jimmy Clausen. He got some speed and he wanted to recruit straight speed. Three guys backed out last minute, but I think they have a quality class. I wouldn't say they had a disappointing class. I think it's a good class, but I would be disappointed if I was Charlie Weis because you build it up and anything you take it away from it is a disappointment.



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