National Signing Day roundup: Alabama lands another No. 1 recruiting class
Published 9:02 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Clemson knocked Alabama off its perch on the field, but the Crimson Tide kept their place there off it Wednesday.
Alabama again signed the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. The Crimson Tide’s class was the unanimous No. 1, also earning the top spot from ESPN, Rivals and Scout.
The Crimson Tide, who signed a nation-best six five-star prospects, have finished No. 1 in the 247Sports composite rankings seven consecutive years. Alabama signed four of the nation’s top 21 prospects, including Antioch (California) running back Najee Harris, the nation’s No. 3 overall player as ranked in the 247Sports composite.
Alabama was one of nine Southeastern Conference teams to finish with a top-25 class in the 247Sports composite with No. 3 Georgia, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Auburn and No. 10 Florida all finishing in the top 10. Texas A&M finished at No. 12, Tennessee came in at No. 17, South Carolina was No. 21 and Mississippi State was No. 24.
Clemson’s class ranked 16th nationally.
Marking their territory
Keeping the state’s best talent away from other SEC teams hasn’t always been the easiest thing for Georgia to do, but the Bulldogs kept most of their top players home to surge in the rankings.
Under second-year coach Kirby Smart, Georgia signed 18 players from the state, including 11 of the top 16 prospects as ranked in the 247Sports composite. The Bulldogs’ class is headlined by a pair of five-star signees in offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson and receiver Richard LeCounte III.
It’s the fourth consecutive top-10 class for Georgia.
Texas has had a similar problem getting homegrown talent amid its recent on-field struggles, but unlike Georgia, the Longhorns did nothing to rectify the problem this year.
Texas went 0-for on the state’s top 10 prospects as ranked in the 247Sports composite, a shocking reality of where the Longhorns are as a program. Texas’ class also finished 26th nationally in the 247Sports composite, its worst ranking since 247Sports began keeping recruiting rankings.
Texas fired Charlie Strong after three straight losing seasons and replaced him with Houston’s Tom Herman, who’s got his work cut out for him.
No hard feelings
Michigan fell out of favor a bit with five-star prospect Aubrey Solomon over the summer, but it all worked out in the end.
Solomon, who played his high school ball at Lee County High in Leesburg, Georgia, signed with Michigan after decommitting from the Wolverines in August. The change of heart reportedly came after Solomon’s mother received a card in the mail thanking them for attending a function on campus that they didn’t actually attend. Their names were also spelled wrong.
Six months removed from the gaffe, the 6-foot-3, 288-pound Solomon rejoined a class that finished fifth nationally in the 247Sports composite. Solomon is ranked as the nation’s 25th-best prospect in the 247Sports composite.
Memphis rises up
Memphis’ class was the best of the rest.
Under second-year coach Mike Norvell, Memphis signed the nation’s 58th-ranked class in the 247Sports composite, the highest-ranked class of any non-Power Five school. The ranking is better than seven Power Five programs, including Vanderbilt, Kansas State and California.
The headliner is four-star offensive tackle Obinna Eze, who’s ranked in the 247Sports composite as the nation’s 211th-best player. Memphis also signed South Panola defensive tackle O’Bryan Goodson, who backed off his verbal pledge to the Tigers in October.