David Letterman has been doing his top 10 lists for years and with signing day behind us for the Class of 2004, Rivals100.com editor Jeremy Crabtree thought he would run down a few top 10 lists of his own, but with a college football recruiting twist.
As you’ll see, Letterman doesn’t have anything on Rivals100’s top 10 lists.
Top 10 Surprise classes
1) Texas A&M – The Aggies struggled on the field this season and with Oklahoma and Texas posting top 10 recruiting classes, many might have thought it would be hard for A&M to finish at No. 13.
2) Alabama – The Tide rolled through the state of Alabama with many big time commitments, plus they went outside their own backyard to hold their own in the states of Georgia and Florida.
3) Michigan State – Make no mistake, John L. Smith has the Spartans on the right track and this class is solid.
4) Washington – With all the bad stuff that has been going on at Washington this past year, it’s good to see the Huskies finish with a top 20 class.
5) Washington State – The Cougars never have a highly-regarded recruiting class – until this year.
6) Oregon State – See Washington State.
7) Nebraska – The NU class was up in the air until coach Bill Callahan came in and saved the day.
8) South Florida – The Bulls went toe-to-toe with many top programs and ended up winning more battles than they lost.
9) Arizona – The Wildcats were shambles until Mike Stoops got in there and righted the ship.
10) San Diego State – Another West Coast team that was able to recruit the amazing California talent.
Top 10 impact recruits
1) Adrian Peterson – Oklahoma – The Sooners couldn’t run the ball for most of the season and adding All Day to the mix certainly helps.
2) Ted Ginn Jr. – Ohio State - Should be a star at Ohio State from day one.
3) Matt Tuiasosopo – Washington – The UDub quarterback spot is up in the air and Tui has a shot to come in and be the man.
4) Robert Johnson – Texas Tech – Imagine Mike Leach’s offense with a guy that can run it just as well as he can throw it.
5) Albert Toeaina – Tennessee – Coach Phillip Fulmer has to be excited about this stud junior college O-lineman.
6) Domata Peko – Michigan State – The Spartans needed beef up front on defense and Peko gives it to them right now.
7) Jesse Mahelona – Tennessee – Fulmer struck it rich again on the juco front with Mahelona being an impact DT that the Vols need.
8) All of Texas A&M’s junior college linebackers – The Aggies struck it rich with Aaron Brown and Lee Foliaki.
9) Tony Temple – Missouri – Can Temple be the perfect compliment to quarterback Brad Smith?
10) Claude Wroten – LSU – Re-loading the defensive front was key for LSU, so the Tigers went out and landed the nation’s No. 2 juco defensive tackle.
Top 10 de-commitments
1) Anthony Morelli – Penn State – Going from Pittsburgh to Penn State on signing day, combined with it being the nation’s No. 2 quarterback makes for big drama.
2) J.R. Bryant – Florida State – Was one of Miami’s early commitments and did a flip-flop when he ended up picking Florida State. Rare that you see Miami allowing one to get away – especially to in-state rival.
3) Andrew Johnson – Miami – Another signing day shocker by going from Pittsburgh to Miami. The news was kind of overshadowed by Morelli’s move but still was big news.
4) Jesse Mahelona - Tennessee – Was committed to Oklahoma and flipped to Tennessee. A big hit for the Sooners and a big gain for the Vols.
5) Michael Brown – Florida – Was committed to Georgia but that didn’t stop Ron Zook from getting the four-star defensive tackle to switch. Big time recruiting victory over a bitter rival makes this an even more compelling story.
6) Pierre Brown – Texas A&M – Was a long-time Oklahoma commitment, but flipped to Texas A&M on signing day and was a big boost for the Aggie class. What’s amazing about it is that he didn’t tell a soul about his decision – not even his coach or mother.
7) Mike McIntosh – Florida – Losing him as part of the Clemson class certainly stung the Tigers, and getting him as a Gator was sweet for Zook.
8) Isaiah Cook – Oregon State – He was originally committed to Kansas State, then to Oregon State and then he went back and forth for almost a full week before eventually picking the Beavers.
9) Lance Leggett – Miami – With all of the success that Zook had at stealing commits away, he lost out on this one when the five-star receiver flipped to Miami.
10) Josh Johnson – Georgia – Does anybody get the feeling that Johnson was playing everybody all along when he committed to Miami but then switched to Georgia? Have to wonder if he knew what he was doing the whole time.
Top 10 surprise decisions
1) Cameron Colvin – Oregon – Almost everybody assumed it was a USC and Michigan battle. Wrong, he’s a Duck.
2) Fred Davis – USC – After all the talk back and forth about him being an Ohio State or Miami lean, Davis gets on a plane and heads to Southern California.
3) Zach Miller – Arizona State – A surprise because he’s probably going to end up taking snaps away from his brother now that he’s there at ASU.
4) Lydon Murtha – Nebraska – A surprise because he was committed to Minnesota and his family was spotted in San Antonio at the U.S. Army All-America game decked out in Gopher gear.
5) Marque Hall – South Carolina – Most assumed that it was an in-state battle but credit Dave Roberts at USC to pull this recruiting coup off.
6) Dannell Ellerbe – Georgia – Complained for weeks about UGA’s depth at linebacker but then ended up signing with the Dawgs.
7) Glen Davis – Basketball – Davis is heading to play basketball for LSU, but the big man’s best future might have been on the football field.
8) Rhyan Anderson – Miami – For weeks was telling everybody that he was an Oklahoma or Ohio State lean – then goes and signs with Miami.
9) Marcus Randle El – Wisconsin – Turned down the school that made big brother famous by picking the Badgers.
10) Bryan Payton – Oregon State – Was originally committed to UCLA and then most assumed he would end up at Arizona State, the school that his twin brother was pledged to. Wrong again.