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For coaches, there are no bad recruiting classes on Signing Day

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider

Charlotte's Brad Lambert talks about his first signing class for a program set to play in 2013. (Getty Images)  
Charlotte's Brad Lambert talks about his first signing class for a program set to play in 2013. (Getty Images)  

Wednesday was the greatest day in the history of college football. Ever! There's never been one this good before.

At least that's what college football coaches are claiming. Because every college coach in America -- every single one -- is very, very, very excited about signing a top-notch recruiting class that featured student-athletes with great character, blinding speed and off-the-charts potential. There are no losers on National Signing Day. Heck, if the Washington Generals ever had a signing day, they could finally win something.

"I think every coach is gonna get up here and tell you, 'Boy, we feel good about the class,' " Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said Wednesday, before later saying he felt good about his class.

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And coaches certainly don't pay attention to those recruiting rankings. Well, unless, their class is ranked in the top 25, then it's featured prominently on the school's website or they're touting it at their Wednesday press conference.

"One of those survey guys, 'CBS dot something or another' had us [ranked] No. 10," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier boasted about this website, also known as CBSSports.com.

But if a school is not highly ranked, then the coach dismisses the so-called experts by mentioning how it's impossible to judge a recruiting class for three or four years. And then there's UCF coach George O'Leary's philosophy that it's actually better not to sign higher-rated recruits.

"If you go back and look at the history on [the highest rated recruits], all these four and five-star guys [end up] working somewhere at McDonalds," O'Leary said.

Purdue's Danny Hope and Colorado's Jon Embree became my two favorite coaches by having the audacity Wednesday to suggest that maybe, just maybe, every recruiting class might not be as good as advertised.

"I've never heard a coach get up and say he had a bad recruiting class on signing day," Embree said. "You've got to take it all with a grain of salt."

Added Hope: "There's an old saying that recruiting is a lot like babies. No one ever says you have an ugly baby, but there's a lot of ugly people in the world. No one ever says they have a bad recruiting class, but there's a lot of bad football teams."

Still, National Signing Day has turned into an Easter Egg hunt -- everyone's a winner. Don't believe me? Just take a look at what the 68 BCS coaches had to say about their recruiting classes on Wednesday. These are actual quotes from their Signing Day news conferences.

First I'll begin with a large contingent of coaches who addressed, met and/or filled their needs.

Arizona's Rich Rodriguez: "We addressed our needs with this group and it's a solid class."

Indiana's Kevin Wilson: "We addressed our needs in a very positive manner."

Iowa State's Paul Rhoads: "We addressed needs where we thought we had them."

Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze: "All in all, I think we addressed some needs."

Oregon's Chip Kelly: "We addressed a lot of needs in our program."

Baylor's Art Briles: "This year's class certainly fills needs."

Cincinnati's Butch Jones: "The class lends itself to filling many needs within our program."

Kansas' Charlie Weis: "I think we filled several of our declared needs."

TCU's Gary Patterson: "We always have to fill needs."

Ohio State's Urban Meyer: "We filled some needs with some quality players."

Washington's Steve Sarkisian: "It fills a lot of our needs."

Louisville's Charlie Strong: "Our staff did an excellent job in going out and fulfilling our needs."

LSU's Les Miles: "I think this class meets our needs."

Missouri's Gary Pinkel: "We feel like this is a really well-rounded class that meets our needs everywhere."

Florida State's Jimbo Fisher: "We got a lot of guys we really wanted and met our needs."

Oklahoma's Bob Stoops: "I think more than anything we answered all of our needs."

Notre Dame's Brian Kelly: "We have a class that represents the needs that we had in our football program."

Utah's Kyle Whittingham: "We took care of our needs."

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson: "I think we covered a lot of our needs."

However, some coaches were very pleased or really pleased, while others were excited, really excited, tremendously excited or very excited.

Alabama's Nick Saban: "We are very pleased with the group of players that we were able to attract."

Cal's Jeff Tedford: "We are very pleased about the class."

Florida's Will Muschamp: "Real pleased with how recruiting went."

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz: "Really pleased with the class overall."

USC's Lane Kiffin: "Exciting class we were able to sign."

UConn's Paul Pasqualoni: "I'm excited about the players we are bringing in."

Illinois' Tim Beckman: "I'm excited about this recruiting class."

Syracuse's Doug Marrone: "We're excited about this class."

Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald: "Obviously, we're excited about this recruiting class."

Maryland's Randy Edsall: "I'm excited about the depth and quality of this class."

Stanford's David Shaw: "We are excited to welcome one of the best recruiting classes in school history."

Michigan's Brady Hoke: "This class we're very excited about."

Colorado's Jon Embree: "We're very excited about it."

Arizona State's Todd Graham: "We're very, very excited about this class."

Boston College's Frank Spaziani: "We are very excited about the 16 that we've signed."

North Carolina's Larry Fedora: "This is obviously a very exciting day here at the University of North Carolina."

N.C. State's Tom O'Brien: "Our staff is very excited about the signing class of 2012."

Rutgers' Kyle Flood: "We are very excited to announce the 2012 class of signees."

Texas' Mack Brown: "We are very excited about our signing class."

Virginia's Mike London: "I'm very excited about this particular class."

Oregon State's Mike Riley: "I am really excited about this group."

Pittsburgh's Paul Chryst: "I'm really excited about this group."

Washington State's Mike Leach: "We are real excited about this class."

Purdue's Danny Hope: "A lot of things about this recruiting class are very exciting to me."

Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer: "I am tremendously excited about this recruiting class."

Auburn's Gene Chizik: "We're extremely excited about today's signing class."

Other coaches were quite proud of their talented classes.

UCLA's Jim Mora: "We think this is a talented group of young men."

Clemson's Dabo Swinney: "They're talented. They are the right kind of guys."

Miami's Al Golden: "I'm real proud of this class."

Duke's David Cutcliffe. "I'm very proud and happy for those young men and their families."

West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen: "Overall, I am happy with what we got."

Georgia's Mark Richt: "The guys that we've got are highly sought-after and guys we think can really help us."

Kansas State's Bill Snyder: "If you look at it position by position, we have guys at every position across the board."

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio: "You look for things and people that are going to improve your football team."

Arkansas' Bobby Petrino: "I thought we did a good job of evaluating and finishing strong."

Minnesota's Jerry Kill: "I feel very good about the kids that we have recruited."

Tennessee's Derek Dooley: "It's hard to feel better than I do today."

South Florida's Skip Holtz: "Every one of these guys we've signed I feel really good about."

Nebraska's Bo Pelini: "We feel real good about the class we brought in."

Mississippi State's Dan Mullen: "This is a very balanced class."

Kentucky's Joker Phillips: "This is a strong recruiting class."

Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy: "We were able to come up with a great class."

Penn State's Bill O'Brien: "I think it went really well."

Vanderbilt's James Franklin: "It's gone extremely well."

Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin: "It's a very successful day."

Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville: "It's a great day for Texas Tech."

Wisconsin's Bret Bielema: "I thought it was a good group."

Wake Forest's Jim Grobe: ""I think class-wise, this is a great group of guys."

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier: "We think it's an excellent group."

There you have it, the greatest single day in the history of college football. And no one summed it up better than Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson.

"I know all across America right now, in every college press conference being held, everybody is talking about having the greatest class they have ever had," Johnson said. "We're all excited."

Excited? You bet. But next year's National Signing Day can't get here soon enough. I have a feeling it will be even better. There are needs to be filled.


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