So National Signing Day 2015 has come and gone and there were some amazing story lines and recruiting battles that ended yesterday. USC closed remarkably strong, Michigan built their class, and Alabama continued to dominate. However, the ACC put together a good recruiting cycle and I expect the gap between the SEC and other conferences to continue to vanish as recruits now believe you have a shot to win the National Championship from any conference. After the jump, check out some of the interesting things that happened yesterday and who pulled in the best classes in each Power conference. All of the rankings we use are according to Rivals.
- USC Lands 4 Five Star Commits on one day – I caught myself watching ESPN at one point yesterday and got to witness USC pull off the greatest NSD in the history of this bonanza. The run started late Tuesday night when five star linebacker Porter Gustin committed to USC. He is the #1 inside linebacker in the country and committed to USC over Ohio State. Then, on Signing Day itself, they landed three more five star commits. The #1 Cornerback in the country and #3 player overall, Iman Marshall, stayed home and committed to USC over Florida State and Michigan. Then John Houston, the number 2 Outside Linebacker and #30 player overall committed over Alabama and UCLA. And they ended the day when five star defensive end Rasheem Green committed as well. This was a simply remarkable run and this class should launch USC back to the elite, National level it was at in the mid 2000s.
- Michigan closes out a small class with some good commits. Michigan came into NSD with only 12 commits. However, the staff managed to land four commits in the last 24 hours, including four star tight end Tyrone Wheatley. However, they lost out on one of their top targets, Chris Clark, who committed to UCLA. This class has some decent players but I believe the lack of depth in this class will hurt Michigan in three or so years.
- The ACC takes two of the top four spots. The “awful ACC” according to many managed to pull in the #3 and #4 classes in the country this year. Florida State landed the #3 class with a remarkable 5 five star commits while Clemson came in at #4 with a very deep and talented class. Florida State brought in five incredible defensive backs, with two five star prospects and 3 four star prospects. They also brought in a five star running back and wide receiver, although they did not bring in a ton of depth or elite talent on either the offensive or defensive lines. For Clemson, they build the class through the trenches. They brought in six defensive line commits, including five star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and four star defensive end Clelin Ferrell. On the offensive line, they brought in four commits, including 2 four star prospects. And finally, they supplemented the trenches with 2 five star skill position players who could make an early impact.
- Rutgers – Rutgers class is ranked outside the top 50 at #52 but having personally seen some of their players, they are getting a ton of special players. Tight end Nakia Griffin is rated a three star prospect but his combination of athleticism and strength will make him an early impactor. Running Back Charles Snorweah is also only a three star prospect but ran for over 3,000 yards in a very competitive league in Pennsylvania. Finally, defensive tackle Kamaal Seymour is a freak athlete and is already 6’5″ and 290 pounds. He will be a future first team all Big-Ten player. Rutgers beat out schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State for some of their commits in this class and scored a key class that will continue to help them on their rise in the Big Ten.
- Maryland – Maryland’s class is ranked #54 but I believe they brought in plenty of depth and talent at key positions. They brought in three four star prospects and key positions of need and brought in four, Big Ten sized, offensive linemen. Another player I really like in their class is defensive back Darnell Savage who is a great athlete with impressive length and will make an impact early on.
- Arizona – Rivals rates there class as the 41st best class in the country but I think it is much better than that. To start, they brought in two Seahawk type corners that are 6’2 or 6’3″ and very rangy. These two guys can come in and help improve their dreadful defense from day one. Second, they brought in two very impressive offensive linemen and brought in a bunch of players that fit the Rich Rodriguez scheme very well.