Five coaches to watch on National Signing Day
National Signing Day is Wednesday and many top prospects will be closely watched as they make their commitments. So will some top coaches. Here is a list of five coaches who could have big days as many top targets make their decisions.
Let’s start at the top. Alabama is looking for its eighth Rivals.com team recruiting rankings title in the last 10 years and the Crimson Tide are currently No. 1 heading into Signing Day. Saban still wants to close strong with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon and four-star defensive ends LaBryan Ray and Jarez Parks as three top targets. Four-star receivers Devonta Smith and Henry Ruggs are also high on Alabama’s list as the SEC powerhouse looks to run roughshod again on Signing Day.
Signing Day is an especially huge deal to Orgeron, who has staked his claim as one of the nation’s best recruiters and now he has to back it up as a head coach. To keep pace with Alabama and others in the SEC, the Tigers need to keep recruiting well and it all starts with five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, the No. 2 prospect in the 2017 class. LSU has been one of his favorites for a while and he could be the next big-time defensive tackle in Baton Rouge. Keeping local talent home will also be a focus on Signing Day with Smith, four-star defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis and four-star defensive back Todd Harris among others.
Harbaugh has two 10-win seasons during his time in Ann Arbor, but he’s yet to beat Ohio State, he’s split with Michigan State and the Wolverines haven’t finished better than third in the Big Ten East. This recruiting class – currently ranked fourth nationally, just where the Wolverines finished with their 2016 class – could be a huge boon to get Michigan over the hump and to the top of the Big Ten. Five-stars Donovan Peoples-Jones and Jordan Anthony are already committed. Michigan just landed four-star receiver Oliver Martin and is still going after Solomon, four-star receiver Nico Collins and four-star offensive lineman Mekhi Becton among others to round things out.
Other than Alabama, which has dominated with seven of the last nine Rivals.com team recruiting titles, Florida State has had the best recruiting run during that stretch. It could continue Wednesday if the Seminoles hit the jackpot down the stretch. Wilson, the five-star defensive tackle, is priority No. 1, but so is Parks, the four-star defensive end considering Alabama, Florida State and Florida. Ruggs is also a top priority, along with four-star linebacker Levi Jones, who said his recent Florida State trip “exceeded expectations.”
Signing Day could be really busy for Helton and the USC coaching staff with many top targets remaining on the board. Four-stars Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson from nearby Los Angeles Hawkins are two on top of the board, along with standout four-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele, who’s also looking at Utah and others. Plenty of others could round out this class as well including four-star offensive tackle Austin Jackson, the top-rated prospect in the state of Arizona, four-star tight end Josh Falo and four-star cornerback Elijah Blades, who is also heavily considering Nebraska. It could be a really busy day for the Trojans.