Thursday, February 08, 2007

Recapping Signing Day [J. Mark English]

We go around the sports writer circle for a wrap up of yesterdays signing day in NCAA Football:

  • John Talman, - Green sticks with the Trojans. It was a huge pickup for USC to land running back Joe McKnight, the nation's No. 2 overall player. However, it was the decision of Broderick Green that surprised everyone across the country. Green had been committed to the Trojans since April, but official visits to Penn State and Ohio State had many thinking Green was going to head to the Big Ten. In the end, Green reaffirmed his decision to sign with the Trojans after wavering for several months.
  • From Sports Illustrated about quarterback Jimmy Clausen - Called a "10-year prospect" by many who cover California high school football, Clausen has put up gaudy statistics and won a state championship as a senior. What gets lost with all the talk of leading Notre Dame to the promised land and 60-plus touchdowns in a season is that Clausen has serious football tools to back up the hype. He has a strong arm, an extremely quick release and razor sharp accuracy. He's got excellent size and a good frame for a college or pro quarterback. His presence in the pocket and the feel he has for the game are very advanced for a high school player. You combine that with his physical tools and it's obvious that he's special.
  • From ESPN's Scout Inc. -

    South Carolina: Met needs and upgraded overall ability level across the board. Quarterback, wide receiver and defensive line were all addressed with top-tier players.

    Illinois: Expect five true freshmen in this class to see the field in 2007, headlined by DE Martez Wilson (Chicago/Simeon) and WR Arrelious Benn (Washington, D.C./Dunbar).

    North Carolina: Closed like Seabiscuit with seven ESPN 150 signees by the end the day. DT Tydreke Powell (Ahoskie, N.C./Hertford County) and DT Marvin Austin (Washington, D.C./Ballou) improve the defensive front, and WR Greg Little (Durham, N.C./Hillside) de-committing from Notre Dame to stay in state with the Tar Heels is huge.

    Arkansas: Recruiting effort did not match on-field success in 2006, and off-field distractions from the Class of '06 Springdale High School signees may have played a role.

    Notre Dame: Keeping everything in perspective, it was still an excellent class, but you have to question whether the defensive help it received is going to be enough. Two signing-day defections, from Greg Little and OT Chris Little (Jeffersonville, Ga./Twiggs County) certainly didn't help.

    Ohio State: This class is still strong, but like Arkansas, it didn't match the team's on-field performance. Of the four national championship competitors from last season -- Florida, Ohio State, USC and Michigan -- Ohio State brought up the rear.

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