Tag:National Signing Day
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:54 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Stanford's continued success to begin up front



Posted by Tom Fornelli


After Jim Harbaugh left Stanford for the San Francisco 49ers following the 2010 season, there were plenty of people openly wondering about how successful the program would be, even with Andrew Luck returning for another season. The Cardinal responded to any doubters by returning to the program's second consecutive BCS bowl.

Now that Andrew Luck will be taking his talents to the NFL, there are even more doubters about what Stanford will be on the football field in the future. While we won't know for sure for another seven months, if National Signing Day is any indication, the Cardinal are going to be just fine.

Stanford put the finishing touches on one of the best recruiting classes in the country on Wednesday, a class that is currently ranked #11 in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. 

Throughout the day big name recruits like Andrus Peat (pictured above in black), Aziz Shittu, Alex Carter, Kyle Murphy, Noor Davis, and Barry Sanders sent their signatures through a fax machine on their way to Palo Alto. The signatures of football players who should go on to prove that Stanford football is much more than just Andrew Luck or Jim Harbaugh.

The biggest reason this signing class will have such a positive impact on the program is because of the biggest players -- literally -- that were a part of it. The Cardinal signed six of the top offensive lineman in the country in Peat, Murphy, Joshua Garnett, Graham Shuler, Nick Davidson and Brandon Fanaika.

Stanford head coach David Shaw said his offensive line class "could be one of the best in modern football history," and I'm inclined to agree with him.

Matt Hinton of Yahoo's Dr. Saturday blog joked on Twitter Wednesday that Stanford's haul of offensive lineman was so impressive that whoever ends up playing quarterback behind it will have enough time to finish their homework while standing in the pocket. While that may be true, Stanford's identity the last few seasons, the one that has led them to BCS bowl games, has not been that of a passing team. 

No, this is a squad that likes to line up their big men against yours and ram the ball down your throat with a power running game.

A tradition that should continue thanks to this newest class of offensive lineman, plus the running back skills of Barry Sanders. Yes, this Barry Sanders happens to be the son of the running back of the same name who dazzled football fans at both Oklahoma State and in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. So we know of the talent that flows in his blood.

Of course, the Cardinal didn't just pay attention to needs on offense, as it added players like defensive lineman Aziz Shittu, linebacker Noor Davis and defensive back Alex Carter. Three premiere recruits at each level of the defense. The type of defensive playmakers that are needed in a Pac-12 conference that seems ready to explore the very edges of what college offenses are capable of.

So if you were one of the people that were ready for Stanford to fall back to the 2-10 seasons of old and fade from national relevance, it looks like you're going to be waiting a bit longer. 

Photo of Andrus Peat by Marc Estrada

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's National Signing Day Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:27 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:26 pm
 

Florida State wins big on National Signing Day



Posted by Chip Patterson


Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher injected new life into the Seminoles' football program a year ago, grabbing top recruits at nearly every position on the field and finishing with a top three class. After a few 2012 verbal commits decided to look elsewhere, it appeared as though Fisher and his staff might not be able to recreate the top ranking of 2011 National Signing Day. Even worse, the Seminoles might fall behind Miami in the ACC.

Note to self: never doubt Jimbo Fisher and his staff on the recruiting trail.

Florida State arguably was the biggest winner in the ACC on National Signing Day, securing commitments from six players in Tom Lemming's Top 100 and moving above Miami to No. 6 in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. Only Alabama and Ohio State have as many top players in their 2012 recruiting class as the Seminoles.

The day began at 9 a.m. when Florida State's staff got to watch defensive end Mario Edwards (No. 4 overall prospect) physically sign his letter-of-intent on national television. Edwards, along with defensive end Chris Casher, were going to be the backbone of a strong group of defensive prospects. With just Casher and Edwards on board to join star quarterback Jameis Winston, the Seminoles already had a Top 10 class.

Then things began to start falling Florida State's way when defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (No. 17 overall prospect) announced his decision to join the Seminoles, giving the camera a big smile and tomahawk chop. Around the same time, Miami verbal commit Reggie Northrup, the No. 14 inside linebacker in the class of 2012, flipped his commitment to Florida State. For the second year in a row, National Signing Day surprises were favoring Florida State.

Then with the bases loaded, Florida State hit a grand slam with the commitment of Notre Dame decommit Ronald Darby. The two-sport athlete from Potomac, M.D. gave credit to the Florida state coaching staff for making Tallahassee feel like home. Darby will have the opportunity to run track at Florida State, where he said he hoped to improve "as an athlete and an as a person."

With Goldman, Northrup, and Darby all joining an already highly ranked class - and only losing defensive end Dante Fowler - Florida State avoided a let down from the memorable 2011 National Signing Day. Once again, Jimbo Fisher and his staff were able to put in the work to secure the big names at the last minute. All that is left for the good folks in Tallahassee to do is receive that letter from Jameis Winston. Winston told ESPN, "I'm a 'Nole," and said he planned to send his letter in when he returned home.  The quarterback also said he had worked hard to recruit Ronald Darby to join him at Florida State.

After watching Darby's announcement later in the day, Florida State fans already feel like the pieces are in place for something special in 2012.

For more on Florida State check out Seminoles RapidReports. Keep up with all the latest announcements around the nation throughout the day at Signing Day Central.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:10 pm
 

Dorial Green-Beckham already has a billboard



Posted by Tom Fornelli


You think they're excited about Dorial Green-Beckham commiting to Missouri in Columbia?

The nation's top recruit made the news official only a few hours ago and there are already billboards up congratulating him for his decision. Which means that the state of Missouri has some of the fastest billboard artists in the world, or there was an inkling where Green-Beckham would end up before that letter of intent came in on Wednesday morning.

Or maybe Dorial put it up himself. He's just that good.

Photo courtesy of Gabe DeArmond

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's National Signing Day Central. 
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:07 pm
 

CB Ronald Darby commits to Florida State

Posted by Chip Patterson

Ronald Darby, the No. 27 overall prospect in the 2012 class, quickly became one of the hottest prospects in the nation after decommitting from Notre Dame in early January. On National Signing Day, Darby added himself to an already elite group as he threw up a tomahawk chop and donned a Florida State hat on national television.  

Darby mentioned defensive coordinator Mark Stoops and defensive line coach Odell Haggins as reasons for feeling at home with the Seminoles.  

Tom Lemming calls Darby "the fastest football player in the nation" and ranks the Maryland native as the No. 3 athlete in the 2012 class. Earlier in the day, top quarterback recruit Jameis Winston told ESPN he had been working on recruiting Darby to join him at Florida State.  Like Winston with baseball, Darby plans to be a two-sport athlete and compete on the Florida State track team.

Darby joins a class that was already ranked No. 8 in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. Get the latest on Florida State by following the Seminoles RapidReports.

Keep up with all the latest announcements around the nation throughout the day at Signing Day Central.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:05 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 3:05 pm
 

OL Alex Kozan a no-show at signing ceremony

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Iowa, Michigan and Auburn are the three schools waiting on a decision from offensive lineman Alex Kozan, and it's starting to look like they'll all have to wait a bit longer.

Kozan, who had verbally committed to Iowa, was reportedly a no-show at the signing day ceremony being held at his high school, Valor Christian Academy, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Kozan played both offensive and defensive line in high school, but is projected as an offensive lineman on the college level. He measures at 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds.

Given that he did not show up to the ceremony or send in a letter of intent, you'd have to think this is a bad sign for Iowa, but this is National Signing Day. So nothing is official until that letter of intent comes in with a signature.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's National Signing Day Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 2:29 pm
 

DT Vincent Valentine signs with Nebraska

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Nebraska added a good player and an even better name to its defensive line on Wednesday when defensive tackle Vincent Valentine signed his letter of intent to play with the Cornhuskers.

Valentine is out of Edwardsville, Illinois and is ranked #18 amongst all defensive tackles in the 2012 class by MaxPreps.

At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, the three-star Valentine should prove to be an anchor on the Nebraska line and a run-stuffer. Though he's also agile enough that he'll be able to get after the quarterback from time to time.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's National Signing Day Central.

 
Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:48 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 1:48 pm
 

Stanford lands top ten tackle Andrus Peat

Posted by Tom Fornelli

David Shaw and Stanford picked up a big commit on Wednesday, literally and figuratively, when offensive tackle Andrus Peat announced he'd be attending Stanford.

Peat is ranked as the #8 overall player by MaxPreps in the 2012 class, and is ranked second amongst offensive tackles, trailing only Georgia's John Theus.

The Arizona product stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs 310 pounds. He's the younger brother of Todd Peat Jr., who committed to play at Nebraska last season and just finished his freshman season with the Cornhuskers. Nebraska had been in the running for Andrus, as was USC, but it seems the appeal of attending school at Stanford was too great to reunite the brothers once again.

Tom Lemming says Peat is "as nimble-footed as they come" and could be "a college All-American and future All-Pro."

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's National Signing Day Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:11 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 1:18 pm
 

WR Quinshad Davis picks UNC over Tennessee, WFU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Wide receiver Quinshad Davis raised the status of Larry Fedora's first North Carolina class on National Signing Day, choosing the Tar Heels over Tennessee and Wake Forest.

"The coaching staff, the players - I felt the most comfortable there," Davis said in a press conference from his high school on Wednesday. "They showed me film and they run basically the same thing we run."

The 6-foot-4, 190 pound wideout helped Gaffney (S.C) High School to the Class AAAA Division I title game with 2,009 yards receiving and 25 touchdowns in his senior season. Davis is listed by Tom Lemming as one of the top wide receivers in the 2012 class.

"Has soft hands, good speed, can get in and out of his cuts quickly, and is consistently able to get separation from man to man coverage," Lemming said of Davis. "He does a good job of selling a fake in his route and can beat the DB with a double move."

Larry Fedora brought offensive coordinator Blake Anderson with him from Southern Miss, and the pair has been tirelessly hitting the recruiting trail to pull prospects that fit their up-tempo offensive scheme. Davis joins quarterback James Summers as notable late additions to the Tar Heels' 2012 class.

Follow North Carolina RapidReports for more on the Tar Heels' class. Keep up with all the latest announcements around the nation throughout the day at Signing Day Central.

Photo: Jamie Dahl, MaxPreps

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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