National Signing Day: The Farrell Awards
The second signing day for the class of 2020 is in the books so it’s time for the Farrell Awards from the first Wednesday in February.
RAGS TO RICHES
From sitting without a Power Five offer seven months ago to selecting among Missouri, Alabama and Texas, Rakestraw experienced a tremendous recruiting journey over the last couple of months. Piling up the offers after an impressive senior season, Rakestraw also pulled off one of the bigger surprises of the day by signing with the Tigers, after both the Tide and Longhorns were both considered leaders at different times earlier this week.
We return to Rakestraw, as this was a huge recruiting win for new coach Eli Drinkwitz at Missouri. Going toe-to-toe with both Alabama and Texas in a recruiting battle was not expected to come out favorably for the Tigers. However, Drinkwitz pulled off the unexpected and proved that he can swim with the recruiting sharks, which means a great deal for everyone in Columbia. You can also tell by his somewhat viral video reaction just how much this victory meant to him. It was awesome to watch.
There wasn’t a great deal of doubt surrounding it, but Georgia’s ability to keep and sign both Jones, the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle, and Van Pran, the nation’s No. 1 center, really topped off an amazing class for the Bulldogs while solidifying the future of their offensive line. Sam Pittman or Matt Luke, Kirby Smart can bring them in.
SURPRISE OF THE DAY
Manny Diaz was able to pull it off by getting Williams signed. Considered a heavy Florida lean, Williams’ cited his long-time fandom of the Hurricanes as his reason for signing with Miami. With his cousin, Lorenzo Lingard, recently transferring from Miami to Florida, that seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for the Canes, but Williams had other plans in mind.
SURPRISE OF THE DAY, PT. II
Umanmielen was supposed to choose between Texas and Baylor but the four-star defensive end shocked the world when he chose the Florida Gators. This was an important stunner for Dan Mullen to rebound from the shocking loss of Williams.
NOT SO FAST
Britt was initially planning to decide between Florida and Ole Miss on Signing Day. However, the Gators’ commit then announced that his signing will take place on Feb. 20. Now with more than two weeks remaining until his signing date it will be interesting to see if other programs re-enter the picture or if it remains down to Florida and Ole Miss. And will the Gators, who have been lukewarm on Britt, turn up the heat with the loss of Williams.
There weren’t a ton of flips, but the biggest one went to Wideman at least in my humble opinion. Wideman spurned Florida State and signed with Tennessee over the ‘Noles and Ole Miss. The four-star gives the Vols a 6-foot-5, 190-pound receiver whose raw tools that have the potential to make him a star in the SEC. Oh and he’s an amazing basketball player as well.
ALMOST ENDLESS DRAMA
After dealing with unnecessary drama during the Early Signing Period, most assume that today would bring about a quick resolution for Burch and South Carolina. While LSU made a serious push for him, he once again did commit to the Gamecocks, but then he refused to do any interviews and wouldn’t even answer a question regarding if he signed his National Letter of Intent. Then he left the room. So instead of a painless resolution, South Carolina fans were once again left waiting and wondering.
Or at least it seems so when it comes to Evans. The five-star has been rumored to be a lean to Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU and others at different times, and may or may not have signed a letter to UGA that is now useless. Ole Miss and Tennessee seem to be the programs with the most remaining interest but will this ever end? This is Bryce Brown 2.0.
What do you do when you’re a talented lineman committed to a program that wants to play you on the offensive line but you love defense? You head to another program and that’s exactly what Jones did as he chose Oregon after being committed to Alabama for months. The Crimson Tide wanted him as an offensive lineman but Mario Cristobal and company covet him on defense and that’s where he will play — he’s an Oregon Duck.
While he said he knew where he was going for over a year, Jackson had a lot of people guessing about his destination up until his decision. He chose Texas A&M in the end over Alabama while LSU and Ole Miss were at one time considered leaders as well. While Jordan Burch was supposed to be the toughest to call on the day, McKinley was a tough one as well.