|Losses on field don't keep Notre Dame, Alabama and Miami from winning on Signing Day|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2008 13:36|
Same goes for Miami.
And while Alabama's first season under Nick Saban was so-so, the first Crimson Tide recruiting class the $4 million-per-year coach can truly call his own turned out top notch.
Notre Dame, Miami and Alabama were among the schools - along with national champion LSU, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia - vying to be No. 1 in recruiting Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period for high school football players.
But not the last day, as Terrelle Pryor reminded everyone. The ballyhooed quarterback from Western Pennsylvania, who has been compared to Vince Young, decided not to decide where he would go to college. Pryor's delay left Ohio State and Michigan waiting while he takes a better look at Oregon and Penn State.
better than most game days in 2007.
Notre Dame is coming off a 3-9 season that ranks as the worst in the history of college football's most storied program. But Weis, who won 19 games in his first two seasons before Notre Dame bottomed out last year, was able to lure some of the best high school talent in the country to South Bend, Ind.
``It's still Notre Dame,'' said Bobby Burton of Rivals.com. ``At the same time when a team is 3-9, highly ranked kids see an opportunity to play right away.''
The Fighting Irish's class of 23 recruits includes a five-star prospect at quarterback (Dayne Crist from Sherman Oaks, Calif.), wide receiver (Michael Floyd from St.Paul, Minn.) and tight end (Kyle Rudolph from Cincinnati).
``I think our program needed this boost,'' Weis told reporters. ``I think this is a significant boost - the right type of players, the right type of kids and the right type of day. This is the type of day where everyone has to feel good, saying, 'What a good day.'''
This makes it three straight seasons Weis has cleaned up on the recruiting trail, so the Fighting Irish might not be down for long.
Coach Randy Shannon took over at Miami after the 2006 season and his first year on the job was a wash out. The Hurricanes went 5-7 under their former defensive coordinator and, like Notre Dame, suffered several embarrassingly lopsided losses.
be hopeful. Miami came away with quite a haul, much of it from the fertile south Florida area that has provided the 'Canes with so many players from their past championship teams.
``Randy Shannon has been a dynamic recrutiter as a head coach,'' Burton said.
The Hurricanes were expecting signed letters of intent from seven players alone from Northwestern High School in Miami, a team that went 30-0 the last two seasons.
Offensive linemen Ben Jones and Brandon Washington and wide receivers Tommy Streeter and Kendal Thompkins, all from Northwestern High, were among the first players to make their verbal commitments to Miami official on Wednesday. All rank among the top players in the country at their positions.
Saban went 7-6 in his first season at Alabama and the Crimson Tide's losing streak to archrival Auburn reached six games. Tide fans are hoping this year's recruiting class, ranked No. 1 by Rivals and made up mostly of in-state players, is a sign Saban is starting to reclaim the state from coach Tommy Tuberville and the Tigers.
``You look at just how much they dominated the state in a year the state was loaded,'' Burton said.
Alabama's class appeared strong heading into signing day and then got even better when Julio Jones, a wide receiver considered one of the best players in the nation, decided to stay close to home and join the Crimson Tide.
Jones, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Foley, Ala., chose Alabama over Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
National champion LSU has been a fixture at the top of the recruiting rankings since Saban was leading the Tigers, and coach Les Miles has picked up where Saban left off. Five-star defensive back Patrick Johnson from Pompano Beach, Fla., heads the latest stellar class for LSU.
LSU will need to reload fast just to stay on top of the Southeastern Conference. Aside from Alabama, Florida and Georgia again added highly touted recruiting classes to their already well-stocked rosters.
As usual, Oklahoma mined talent-rich Texas to put together another top recruiting class. The Sooners' three highest rated players - defensive end R.J. Washington, running back Jermie Calhoun and offensive lineman Stephen Good - all played high school football in Texas.
Southern California coach Pete Carroll has been the king of recruiting since he took over the Trojans in 2001. USC has consistently landed classes ranked in the top two or three nationally under Carroll, but this season crosstown rival UCLA appears to have gained some ground .
Early Wednesday, the Bruins (No. 9) were ranked ahead of the Trojans (No. 13) by Scout.com.
Even without Pryor, Ohio State and Michigan's classes were ranked in the top 10 by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
AP Sports Writers Tom Coyne in South Bend, Ind., and Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.