There were no surprises who the biggest winner was of National Signing Day – Alabama. But the two schools who made bigger noises than Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide was Auburn and Tennessee.

Auburn managed to get the nation’s top-ranked DE Byron Cowart from under Florida’s noses,  as well as four-star LB/RB Jeff Holland, who was also chased by the Gators. And while we’re at it, four-star Javarius Davis decided to sign for Auburn rather than go to Gainseville too…

Tennessee picked up 5-star OT Drew Richmond, from Memphis TN. in the face of a strong battle from Ole Miss. The Vols also got 5-star DT Kahlil McKenzie. McKenzie’s signing was probably a lot more predictable bearing in mind Reggie McKenzie, his father, was a Vol great back in the day.

Florida managed to lick its wounds and still pick up the commitment of in-state No.2 overall player offensive tackle Martez Ivey, which was a huge get for the Gators, bearing in mind the problems they’d had earlier in the day. He’ll help to shore up the Gators after back-to-back seasons of awful offense. But thanks to late big signings, the Gators jumped 45 places on the 24-7sports charts with 21 total recruits.

Missouri signed DT Terry Beckner, from East St Louis, IL, which is a huge defensive get for the Tigers. Auburn, Ohio State and Florida State were all in the frame for Beckner, which probably makes Missouri’s ‘get’ the biggest of the class in terms of its unexpectedness.

Georgiawho stunningly lost a DB commitment (Deontai Williams from FL) to Ohio University (yes, you read that right!) – managed not to lose the No.1 player in the nation in Trent Thompson, although losing WR Roquan Smith to UCLA was a big loss (although suddenly he’s saying he’s now undecided between the Bruins and Dawgs, thanks to UCLA’s DC leaving the school for the Atlanta Falcons). Georgia also signed safety Rico McGraw, but they don’t have a linebacker. Yeowch.  Terry Godwin confirmed at the end of the day that he was 100% committed to Georgia, which was fantastic for UGA fans who were worried that Auburn and Alabama might take Godwin away from them.

– As for Alabama, all was right. They got all the players they were meant to get – including five-star offensive linesman (and local guy) Lester Cotton, as well as four-star WR Daylon Charlot, who decided to take his talents to Tuscaloosa instead of LSU or Miami. The Crimson Tide pulled in five five-star recruits on Signing Day, adding to QB Blake Barnett who was already an early enrolee. Nick Saban’s had 14 four-star recruits come to Tuscaloosa in this year’s class, too.

-LSU quietly put together a fantastic class, although some critics – like Georgia’s critics – are annoyed that there are no linebackers in the 2015 class. The biggest signing was five-star WR Tyron Johnson, and four-star RB Derrick Dillon, who was taken from under Florida’s nose.

Elsewhere in a SEC land not so far, far away…..

– Ole Miss licked their wounds after their morning losses by picking up DaMarkus Lodge, who had been predicted to end up at Texas A&M. This will be another addition to Hugh Freeze’s fantastic offenses. They later added Van Jefferson, a Georgia decommit. They also added offensive guard Javon Patterson, who was the top player in the state. Their day was highlighted by the headline “Rebels get solid class but miss on big names”, but fans shouldn’t start screaming for Freeze’s head.

Texas A&M confirmed the signing of QB Kyler Murray, the much-talked about quarterback from Allen, TX. He was also in the sights of Major League Baseball teams. They are hoping he’s got the talent of Johnny Manziel without the bad behaviour. The Aggies also got defensive linesman Daylon Mack, although it was widely expected.

Mississippi State beat Ole Miss to the nation’s best linebacker, Leo Lewis. In-state, MSU had four out of the top five players in the state, and their best-named commit, offensive tackle Tommy Champion, is currently in Junior College.

Arkansas landed 4-star wide receiver Dominique Reed. Someone tweeted about Reed: “The kid has NFL potential”. He picked the Razorbacks over Texas. The Razorbacks also did some home cooking, taking eight of the top 11 players in the state – including four out of the first five  – and bringing them to Fayetteville.

South Carolina signed some strong defensive talent, which included DE Quandeski Whitlow and Rashad Fenton, who signed over Louisville and Florida. Head coach Steve Spurrier came up with zinger of the day: “Hopefully we can get more than 14 sacks this year.”

Vanderbilt signed four-star linebacker Josh Smith, keeping him away from Oklahoma, as well as QB Kyle Shurmur, a four-star recruit.

– Kentucky added homespun four-star linebacker Eli Brown, who was rated the second-best player in the state.


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