Blog Entry

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 1:44 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the SEC:


No surprise that Nick Saban's crew put together yet another huge Signing Day, with the No. 1 spot in the Maxpreps team rankings wrapped up after adding No. 1 offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to what had already been a massive haul. The Tide pulled in a perfect 3-4 defensive end in Jeoffrey Pagan (pictured) and flipped supremely athletic outside linebacker Brent Calloway back from Auburn (after he'd committed to the Tigers at the U.S. Army All-American game), two major missions accomplished. Top those off with the rest of the Tide's commitments -- including five-star teammates RB Dee Hart and S Hasean Clinton-Dix -- staying securely in the fold, and missing out on Isaiah Crowell (and likely No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney ) barely even stings.

Video: Jeoffrey Pagan highlights

Georgia: Linebacker Kent Turene was an awfully nice pickup. But landing Crowell was a seismic development, the one member of the much-ballyhooed "Dream Team" the tailback-starved Bulldogs absolutely had to have. He alone was enough to push Mark Richt into the winner's column, but add in Turene and the successful fending off of challenges for commits like defensive back Corey Moore, and even missing out on Pagan won't be enough to wipe the smile off of the faces of Bulldog fans.

Video: Todd Grantham talks Signing Day  

Auburn: Losing Calloway to the hated Tide stung, and the euphoria of watching Kouandjio announce for the Tigers dissipated quickly as he elected not to sign his LOI on Signing Day, eventually joining Calloway and his older brother in Tuscaloosa. But Chizik got a ton of help for his occasionally-porous defense anyway, inking one of the nation's best safeties in Erique Florence and a rock-solid defensive tackle prospect in Crowell teammate Gabe Wright. The Tigers also wasted no time replacing cornerback decommitment Marcus Roberson with coveted Mississippi athlete Jermaine Whitehead, a Mississippi State commitment. Even without Kouandjio, the Tigers landed a top-10 class that proved their program-changing 2010 haul was no fluke. Still, Tiger fans have to wonder: if they weren't coming to Auburn, couldn't Calloway and Koundjio have gone somewhere other than Alabama?

Video: Gene Chizik talks Signing Day at CBS College Sports , Kiehl Frazier commits , Coaches react to Erique Florence decision

Ole Miss: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen enjoys pointing out the raw numbers of his team's players and recruits come from the state they share with the Rebels, but it was Houston Nutt who ran away with nearly all of the state's top-ranked talent. Having already secured the signatures of former Bulldog commitment five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson and highly-regarded receiver Tobias Singleton, the Rebels added to their in-state haul by keeping top-100 wideout Nickolas Brassell out of the clutches of the Tide. The battle between Nutt and Mullen on the recruiting trail was more-or-less a draw in 2010, but there's little question who had the upper hand this season.

LSU: The day was unusually quiet by the usually madcap Bayou Bengals' Signing Day standards, but that happens when you have your state on virtual lockdown and that state provides enough talent for one of the nation's best classes all on its own. Simply making sure their commitments (most notably offensive tackle La'El Collins and defensive counterpart Anthony Johnson) made it across the dotted line would have guaranteed Les Miles a successful Signing Day. But keeping Shreveport's Jermauria Rasco (pictured) -- one of the nation's most highly sought-after defensive ends -- at home (and away from Texas) more than made up for missing out on Florida defensive tackle Tim Jernigan.

The Commodores won't finish anywhere near the top of the league's recruiting rankings, of course. But given the limited time James Franklin had to work with, the results were quite impressive. Franklin flipped Virginia Tech quarterback commitment Lafonte Thourogood first thing Signing Day morning and brought in several other candidates for immediate playing time, like Ohio tight end Dorien Bryant.


The Gators, as always, can still boast one of the nation's best classes, and no one anywhere signed a better QB-RB combo than Jeff Driskel and the underrated Mike Blakely. Roberson's arrival was a nice Signing Day surprise, and Will Muschamp and Co. turned away a serious Ohio State challenge for receiver JaJuan Story. But particularly looking at the way their rivals at Georgia and Florida State finished, Gator fans won't be happy about being unable to make up any ground with prospects like Jernigan, Curtis Grant, or Stephone Anthony. Roberson wound up the only new addition on Signing Day, and even he somewhat fell into the Gators' laps after his wild commitments and decommitments to Texas Tech and Auburn. Muschamp will be cut plenty of slack this season after his late arrival in Gainesville, but another class that so completely cedes the limelight to the Dawgs and 'Noles won't be as easily forgiven.

Mississippi State:
How thin was the Bulldogs' final class after seeing the likes of Johnson, Singleton and -- most painfully -- Whitehead decommit? Not one of their 23 commitments ranked among the top 25 at their position, according to Tom Lemming. The Bulldogs struggled going head-to-head with Ole Miss within Mississippi, and came up empty when going abroad for players like Washington D.C.-based Kevin McReynolds, who signed with UCLA. Players like receiver Joe Morrow and defensive tackle P.J. Jones are unquestionably SEC-grade talents, but after such a productive, promising year on the field, the lack of recruiting punch is puzzling.

Arkansas: There's nothing particularly disappointing about the Razorbacks' 2011 class (though watching tight end commitment Chris Barnett sign with Michigan wasn't fun), and keeping home-grown talent like quarterback Brandon Allen and tackle Brey Cook in Arkansas was a bright spot. But when you share a division with Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, "nothing particularly disappointing" may not be good enough to stay in the mix for a division title.


Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2011 2:41 am

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

In terms of how well a player does and stars:

You need to understand the number of years the player will be at the school.   A 3 star who sticks around for 5 years will be a good player.  That is how teams like Boise St are able to make decent runs, they have alot of 4 and 5 year seniors.

But the 5 star guys are the kind who play as a TF and then leaves their Junior year for the NFL.    This is also why the teams that get the 5 star players are usually pretty good every year, while others seem to be so-so, and then really good for a year, and then so-so(Auburn for example, look at how many players they have to replace).   When you get a 5 star, you get someone who can contribute right away.  3 star takes a little while to develop.

Really the stars just say where the player is right now, not where they can be.

That is assuming the stars are actually right.   Many times they aren't, but the above is the difference between recruiting 5 star players and 3 star players.  

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:22 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

I don't think most understand how recruiting works. A 3 star and a 4 star recruit can differ by a few tenths of a point.
Let's look at two Arkansas HS Qbs. Kheil Frazier a 5 star who went to Auburn. Brandon Allen a 3 star who went to Arkansas.
Kheil Frazier plays recruiting game and visits many schools, while Brandon Allen is basically commited to Arkansas since 9th grade and didn't make visits like Frazier.
A evaluater said the difference between Frazier and Allen is minimal in reality. But star wise, one gets 5 and one gets 3?
Who cares?
Arkansas' best receiver, and one of the best receivers in the SEC is Greg Childs... a 3 star recruit.
Again, look at a lot of Arkansas' 3 star recruits and then look at who else recruited them. Something tells me if big time schools like Bama, Florida, Georgia, etc... wanted them too, they aren't too bad for a 3 star.

Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:10 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Yep.  Standard party line.  Keep doubting Arkansas.

There's a reason Wal-Mart is where it is.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:09 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Arkansas hasn't beaten Bama since 2006? True. Some Bama wins were dominant, but some (like last year) wouldn't be a win I'd call domination from Bama.
In reality, the recruiting game is a guess. Arkansas has a few 3 star recruits that were also recruited by Bama, Florida, Georgia, etc...
I'll take those "3 stars" any day.

Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:02 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Extremely disappointing class for Mississippi State.  No doubt losing our DC to Texas really hurt us on that side of the ball and losing Hudspeth (new head coach at ULL) hurt too.  Most of the guys we lost were being recruited by coaches who left.  Getting our clocks cleaned in-state by a lousy OLe Miss team who will likely be looking for a new head coach after next season is hard to fathom.  When you lose a kid like Johnson who had been a commitment for over a year in the last week before signing day to Ole Miss you have to wonder if something fishy is going on.

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:20 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 1, 2010
Posted on: February 2, 2011 8:56 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

As far as this being a disappointing recruiting year for Arkansas, let me point out this is one of Ark best recruiting classes and we always have to compete against the likes of Bama, Auburn, LSU with "lesser talent" yet we still compete those teams and are successful. Recruiting rankings are fun but in the end, don't mean a thing! We usually prove the so called experts wrong.

Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2011 8:23 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Awesome for the SEC.  The question is not how good the talent is, it is how much they are paid.  And that is not a rip.  These kids need to be paid.  They generate millions of dollars for the school and billions of dollars for the NCAA.  Oh, by the way if we are talking about recruiting classes,  Clay Matthews was not recruited, nor was Aaron Rodgers, nor was Ben Rothieslburger, nor a couple other pro bowl guys in the SB up for high awards.

Since: Mar 24, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2011 7:42 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Please type "Black Bears" again - that is still super funny.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2011 6:45 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

 Hope the Ole Miss commits will still be on board with the black bears when Nutt is run out of town after next year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or