One of college football’s biggest holidays has come and gone. National Signing Day has been split into two days, but the last day has always added some surprises to the offseason. With this day, we have our winners and losers.
Although some major programs had new coaches, these coaches showed the ability to make magic happen. With only weeks to prepare, these coaches like Miami’s Mario Cristobal were able to land top-15 recruiting classes. So, let’s look at how the cards fell for the winners and losers of the day.
Texas A&M: The Aggies came into today with the #1 ranked recruiting class in the country. They were able to lock in 29 recruits with 7 of them being rated 5-star prospects. The job Jimbo Fisher has done at A&M since leaving FSU has been tremendous to say the least. Today he was able to add No.1 DE in the state of Florida Shemar Stewart. Stewart was being pursued by Miami heavily this last month. The class is strong from top to bottom and should be able to bring the Aggies their first national championship since 1939.
Texas: After a 5-7 season, it would be hard to imagine any team locking in a top-5 recruiting class. But, here at the end of National Signing Day, the Texas Longhorns have actually done it. Steve Sarkisian was able to address a pressing need on the offensive line with 7 additions. With the move to the SEC looming, Sarkisian has to get the foundation of this program in place. The SEC is built from the trenches and we can see that with what Sark is doing with his first true recruiting class.
Miami: Mario Cristobal returned to Miami after leading the Oregon Ducks for the past 4 years. Miami only had 3 commits when he arrived, but on early signing day Miami signed 7 commits. Coming into National Signing Day, Miami was in the mix for Shemar Stewart who ended up committed to Texas A&M. A loss, but an eye opener to what Mario Cristobal will bring on the recruiting trail given more time to connect with recruits. Miami closed today with a huge flip. Former LSU commit Trevonte Citizen, 4-star running back out of Louisiana chose Miami over LSU and Florida. Miami finished with a Top-15 recruiting class; higher than Florida and FSU.
Florida State: The Seminoles were on the opposite side of history when No.1 overall recruit Travis Hunter flipped to Jackson State on early signing day. The irony is that it was the greatest player to ever come from FSU who pulled the 5-star recruit from the Noles. FSU did not recover at all during National Signing Day. Besides Hunter, there were a few other commits that flipped to other schools as well. Before December, FSU was looking at a top-10 recruiting class but instead finished just inside top-20.
Florida: Another member of the sunshine state’s Big 3 ended in the losers bracket. Florida lost out on a few players they were in on. Miami beat them out for Trevonte Citizen, LSU was able to sign 5-star linebacker Herald Perkins, and Caden Story decided to go elsewhere. Billy Napier wasn’t expected to do much in recruiting when he was hired back in December. We can expect Napier to show what he really can do after he gets a full year at Florida. The Gators finished just ahead of FSU inside of the top-20.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils are the definition of National Signing Day losers. The Sun Devils are being investigated by the NCAA for improper visits during the Covid-19 restrictions. Herm Edwards staff lost a few assistants because of the investigation. They’re currently ranked 105th in recruiting which is below teams like Campbell.