College football's 2011 National Signing Day has come and gone, with traditional powers in the SEC and ACC feeling invigorated about their seasons six months away. Let's take a look at the ACC's and SEC's biggest winners and losers yesterday.
Alabama - The Tide absolutely loaded up on both sides of the ball. Snatching 5 star DB Hasean Clinton-Dix, RB Demetrius Hart and DE Xzavier Dixson had Nick Saban smiling. LB Brent Calloway can absolutely fly and LB Trey Depriest is an All-SEC type contributor. I'm not as high as others are on QB Philip Ely and wonder if he's not a guy that opens a 2012 commit from Plant HS. Alabama signed a total of 21 prospects yesterday and took home the No. 1 slot from Rivals.com.
Georgia - Tremendous day that culminated with 5 star RB Isaiah Crowell putting a Georgia hat and grabbing a baby Bulldog, holding it for all to see (I give it to the kid for his originality). The size and speed added was absolutely a priority, and Georgia did that with DE Ray Drew, DE Sterling Bailey and could even snatch NG John Jenkins, who plans to announce Saturday. Georgia signed a total of 25 prospects yesterday and are currently rankedNo. 5 at Rivals.com.
Florida - While Gator enthusiasts will point to change in coaching staff and a No. 14 ranking according to Rivals.com, they have to be disappointed in the Gators' 18 commits. UF was routed by conference foes Georgia, Alabama and Auburn and state rival Florida State. QB Jeff Driskel is a bit overrated, and Coach Muschamp has said that every position is up for grabs, meaning Driskel may have a shot to start right away. RB Mike Blakely is a good get, but with only two OL commits, he may not have a solid line to run behind.
Arkansas - The Razorbacks signed 30 players on NSD, and there are very few impact players here. QB Brandon Allen will be groomed as the future, but Coach Petrino had to upgrade his defensive line and linebackers, and I don't believe he did. OL Brey Cook could be a very good LT when all is said and done, but a head scratching day for the Hogs.
Florida State - Yep. Jimbo Fisher had a reason to puff out his chest. He brought home the aggregate No. 1 recruiting class (Rivals.com No. 2). The 'Noles signed the No. 2 and No. 10 RB in James Wilder, Jr. and Devonta Freeman, plus the No. 1 TE Prospect in Nick O'Leary, No. 2 Safety in Karlos Williams, and had previously enrolled the top JUCO OL and DL in Jacob Frahrenkrug and Tank Carradine. This class will have an immediate impact and this could absolutely vault Florida State back into the BCS Title discussion by 2012.
Clemson - Give credit to Dabo Swinney for one thing. He and his staff can absolutely close. Extracting LB Tony Steward from Florida was the cherry on the sundae as the Tigers absolutely loaded up. RB Mike Bellamy is being touted as CJ Spiller 2.0 and LB Stephone Anthony will likely contribute immediately in Death Valley. Clemson took a total of 29 prospects and Rivals.com rated them as the No. 8 class overall.
Georgia Tech - After being spurned by DT Stephon Tuitt and only landing one 4-star recruit in LB Jabari Hunt-Days, Yellow Jacket fans cannot believe this class or cast of returning players will reach the ACC Championship again anytime soon. QB Vad Lee could compete for the keys to Paul Johnson's attack this Fall but I cannot imagine many more immediate contributors in this class.
Virginia Tech - They have a history of coaching players up and focusing on the Tidewater area. I get that. This class did very little to fill the gaps of a Virginia Tech offense that rode Tyrod Taylor's arm to an Orange Bowl. Defensively, the Hokies filled big needs along the defensive line with DT Kris Harley and DE Corey Marshall. This class does not look ACC Championship quality, and they got whipped by rival Virginia in 2011.