NOTE: Gator head coach Will Muschamp will hold a National Signing Day press conference today and ESPN Radio 850/900 will have live coverage starting at 3 p.m.
Following the back-and-forth decision process for months of some top notch high school football players comes to an end (for the most part) with National Signing Day on Wednesday. Most recruits will make their verbal commitments official by signing with their school of choice, and many players will make their official decisions on Wednesday.
ESPNs National Director of Recruiting Tom Luginbill explained how recruiting is a lengthy process.
One team that has taken this approach to heart is the Florida Gators. A big day is expected for UF, as they come in with the top recruiting class in the nation according to both ESPN and Rivals. Luginbill believes it’s a result of head coach Will Muschamp and his consistent attention to the game of recruiting.
Florida’s top recruiting class is headlined by five-star corner back Vernon Hargreaves III, the No. 3 recruit in the nation according to ESPN. The MVP of the Under Armour game comes preloaded with all the tools you could want from a CB, and he looks to have an immediate impact in the Gator secondary. Joining him in the secondary will be four-star safeties Keanu Neal and Marcell Harris, but this Gator class has strength in the front seven as well as four-star linebackers Daniel McMillian and Matt Rolin put the capstone on a strong defensive class for Florida.
On the offensive side of the ball, Florida is lead by the No. 1 running back in the nation Kelvin Taylor. The son of Gator great Fred Taylor, Kelvin is the all-time leading rusher in the state of Florida, and should fit right in with Florida’s pro style. As for wide receiver, a position of need for the Gators, 6-foot-2, 200 pound DeMarcus Robinson looks to work his way into Florida’s receiving corps.
Unlike last year when Florida lost some verbal commitments on Signing Day, the Gators have already gained new class members. Defensive lineman Jaynard Bostwick chose Florida this morning as did defensive lineman Jarran Reed. Florida now has 28 commitments in the 2013 class.
As for the rest of the SEC, America’s top football conference serves as recruiting powerhouse as well. Traditional powers like South Carolina certainly benefited from the constant replays of DE Jadeveon Clowney crushing Michigan’s Vincent Smith.
The Auburn Tigers certainly have some history behind their program as well. Its class is led by the No. 4 player in the country in defensive end Carl Lawson. The Tigers also felt the sting of de-commitment when the nation’s top inside linebacker Reuben Foster shifted his pledge to in-state foe Alabama. It shows that unlike the Auburn tattoo Foster got on his forearm, commitments are not permanent. A big part of the change at Auburn is the coaching shift from Gene Chizik to Gus Malzahn, and it shows in the recruiting class.
Sitting at No. 9 in the recruiting class rankings are the Georgia Bulldogs, who are going for one of the largest classes in school history with 30 players committed. Luginbill said that Georgia is seeing a recruiting bump from their recent success, and that looks to continue into the future.
Out of all the traditional powers making up the top recruiting classes, one Top 15 class is a bit of a shock – the Ole Miss Rebels. Head coach Hugh Freeze has flexed his recruiting muscles to the tune of the nation’s top wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and top five defensive end Elijah Daniel. It got even better for Ole Miss as they landed the top recruit in America in defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche and Lake City Columbia offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. Luginbill said that the Rebels have done a nice job on the recruiting trail.
Overall, seven SEC schools are in the Top 15 recruiting classes, though that could all change by the end of National Signing Day. It’s all part of the fun.