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February 2, 2012
Rivals.com analyst Chris Nee's reviews some of the National Signing Day headlines.
Michigan takes the first headline
National Signing Day always delivers surprises and Michigan pulled an early stunner this year by grabbing Rivals250 four-star running back Dennis Norfleet. The Detroit (Mich.) King prospect had not been on Michigan's board until Tuesday night.
Rutgers gets rolling early
Alabama adds final pieces to championship class
In somewhat of a surprise to kick off National Signing Day, Rivals250 four-star defensive lineman Korren Kirven of Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville signed with Alabama over Maryland, Virginia Tech and Tennessee. Alabama also landed McDonough (Ga.) Henry County four-star defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson on the day. The Crimson Tide finished with the top class in the nation.
Hokies land in-state studs
Virginia Tech won two major in-state battles when they secured the signatures of Midlothian (Va.) Clover Hill four-star athlete Joel Caleb and Clifton (Va.) Centreville four-star linebacker Ken Ekanem on Wednesday.
Kentucky lands Signing Day surprise
Oregon flips Texas duo
The Texas duo of Missouri City (Texas) Elkins three-star wide receiver Chance Allen and Missouri City (Texas) Hightower four-star wide receiver Bralon Addison both changed their commitments, switch to Oregon.
Dante Fowler flips to Florida
Florida had an up-and-down National Signing Day but secured a major victory early in the day when it flipped St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood five-star defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. from Florida State. Fowler Jr. had been committed to the Seminoles for over a year.
Florida State has a big day
While Florida State lost Fowler, the Seminoles had more good news than bad on Wednesday. The Seminoles added three Rivals250 prospects in San Antonio (Texas) Brandeis four-star cornerback Colin Blake, Oxon Hill (Md.) Potomac four-star cornerback Ronald Darby, and Washington (D.C.) five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman. Florida State also turned Miami commitment, four-star linebacker Reggie Northrup from Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast.
Miami keeps Florida's top talent home
Miami landed perhaps the biggest recruit of Al Golden's tenure with the signature of Miramar (Fla.) five-star cornerback Tracy Howard on Wednesday. Howard, the top prospect in Florida and top cornerback, announced he will attend Miami after trimming his list to Alabama, Florida, Florida State, USC and West Virginia.
Nation's top player heading to Missouri
Five-star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who had kept his school decision quiet for most of the process, signed with Missouri on Wednesday morning. Green-Beckham, from Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest, was long believed to be leaning toward Arkansas, but an official visit with the Tigers in the final weekend of recruiting may have swayed him.
Pitt lands standout linebacker
Pittsburgh continued to build its defense Wednesday with a signature from McKees Rocks (Pa.) Sto-Rox linebacker Deaysean Rippy. The four-star prospect is the ninth-ranked prospect in Pennsylvania. Rippy narrowed his list to Pitt, West Virginia and Arizona before settling on the Panthers. Pitt also received a signing day decision from three-star safety Bam Bradley.
Nebraska lands out-of-state four star
Winnfield (La.) Senior four-star athlete Alonzo Moore ended his public silence on his college choice by selecting Nebraska on Wednesday. Moore told Nebraska coaches weeks ago of his decision, but he did not announce publicly until Wednesday.
Teammates become future foes
Oxford (Ala.) teammates Kwon Alexander, a four-star linebacker, and Trae Elston, a three-star safety, will now compete against each other in the SEC. Alexander signed with LSU while Elston is taking his services to Ole Miss.
The Houston Shocker
Rivals100 four-star wide receiver Deontay Greenberry may have clinched the biggest shocker for 2012's signing day and perhaps a few signing days to come. Greenberry, a onetime Notre Dame commitment, signed with Houston and first-year coach Tony Levine. Greenberry was the top receiver in Notre Dame's class.
USC taps Florida pipeline
Lane Kiffin and Southern Cal have always had success in Florida, but Wednesday will rank as one of their best jobs in the Sunshine State. The Trojans landed the services of Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep five-star wide receiver Nelson Agholor and Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland four-star defensive end Leonard Williams. USC also was able to land a top in-state prospect, when four-star cornerback Devian Shelton from Inglewood (Calif.) accepted a late offer.
Washington finished strong
Starting with the hire of defensive line coach and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi from California, Washington has been one of the hottest recruiting teams in the country. That continued on signing day with the signature of Rivals250 four-star defensive end Pio Vatuvei, a former USC commit. Washington also added Compton (Calif.) Dominguez four-star cornerback Brandon Beaver. In addition, the Huskies retained Denver (Colo.) Mullen four-star quarterback Cyler Miles, who drew heavy attention from USC down the stretch.
Texas switches a commitment
National Signing Day is usually a quiet event in Austin, Texas. Not in 2012. The Longhorns made headlines when they got four-star linebacker Torshiro Davis of Shreveport (La.) Woodlawn to flip from LSU to Texas.
Fedora adds another big piece
When North Carolina hired Larry Fedora, the pass-happy, offensive-minded coach immediately began to look for offensive weapons. It took until the final day of the recruiting process but he landed another piece to the offensive puzzle when Gaffney (S.C.) four-star wide receiver Quinshad Davis committed.
Meyer doesn't stay quiet
Urban Meyer continues to make it known he is back in the college coaching ranks, a place where he has always thrived as a recruiter. On signing day, he flexed those recruiting muscles again when he got Cleveland (Ohio) Cleveland Heights four-star offensive tackle Kyle Dodson to spurn Wisconsin for the Buckeyes.
Payton keeps them guessing
To whom was Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star wide receiver Jordan Payton committed? Depends on the day. Until the ink was dry it was a question that had to be regularly asked. Payton flipped from Cal to Washington just prior to signing day, but when it came time to sign, he ended up at UCLA. This all for a player that began the process as a commitment to USC.
Five-star studded day for Stanford
Not one. Not two. Three. That is how many five-star prospects decided they wanted to be a part of the Cardinal football team. It began with Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol offensive tackle Andrus Peat. He was then joined by San Clemente (Calif.) offensive tackle Kyle Murphy. The Stanford trifecta of five stars was completed by Atwater (Calif.) Buhach defensive end Aziz Shittu.
Collins keeps his word
Geismar (La.) Dutchtown five-star safety Landon Collins committed to Alabama at the Under Armour All-America Game despite it being against his mother's wishes. With it no secret that his mother preferred him at LSU, the question remained if a change would happen. Collins, in a relative calm ceremony, ended all speculation and made it official that he is part of the Crimson Tide.
Rays of sunshine for Auburn
Auburn was looking for a big finish. That fizzled in some ways but it wasn't all bad news for the SEC program. Auburn finished its class on Wednesday by landing a pair of talented prospects from the Sunshine State in Miami Beach four-star wide receiver Ricardo Louis and Palm Beach Gardens four-star offensive tackle Avery Young.