Published February 3, 2012 - 8:00am
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The SEC had a massive haul of some of the top prospects in the country just two days ago. One more is on the board still for Auburn and Florida in Stefon Diggs, who will decide on February 10th.
Let’s take a gander at a few of the signing day superlatives:
Best Class: Alabama
Need I say more? If Alabama had needs, they certainly filled them. 75 percent of the defensive backfield left, and Nick Saban signed the best safety and two top JUCO corners to take their place. The Tide lost Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower, and they gained four linebackers, headlined by Reggie Ragland. Trent Richardson left early for the NFL, and Alabama signed top running back TJ Yeldon. These guys are big, fast and physical. It’s business as usual for Alabama.
Worst Closer: Florida
Overall, the Gators had a very good class. But they did not close particularly well. The Gators had Tracy Howard, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Avery Young, Leonard Williams and Nelson Agholor on the board signing day. While the Gators did pull Dante Folwer, who was previously committed to FSU, it was a rough day if you’re a Gator fan. But you cannot win them all, and overall, Florida had a very strong class…just not a good day in closing out those top recruits.
Biggest Surprise: Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri
Everyone had DGB tabbed as going to Arkansas, including myself. I thought the lure of playing in an offense that throws the football all around the field would entice him to make the call for the Hogs. I was wrong. DGB signed with the in-state Missouri Tigers, and this had to be the biggest story in the SEC on National Signing Day. Missouri’s got some momentum, and other top prospects will want to play with DGB and for the Tigers.
Most Underrated Recruit: Shaq Roland, South Carolina
I love Shaq Roland. He was Mr. Football in South Carolina his senior year, and he should have a chance to play early for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks. The 6’1, 175lb wide receiver is a complete stud, and he caught 24 touchdowns this past season as a high school senior. I love this kid.
Rollercoaster Recruit: Mike Davis, South Carolina
Mike Davis will be a very good running back, but he had a hard time making up his mind during this recruiting process. He was a borderline drama queen, but he finally made it official signing with the Gamecocks. Early on he was committed to Florida for a long time, and his feelings were hurt when Florida recruited Keith Marshall. Davis then decommitted and later committed to South Carolina. Even though he was an SC commit, he flirted with Clemson, largely in part because his brother, James, played there. I think he’s going to be good, but he was a rollercoaster of a commit this cycle.
Best Offensive Player: Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri
You know my thoughts on DGB. He’s an instant-impact type player. If he can stay healthy, he will be a first-rounder in three years for the NFL. He has all the tools – size, athleticism, hands and speed. He can create separation and go up top to get the football. I cannot wait to watch this kid play in the SEC.
Best Defensive Player: Landon Collins, Alabama
There wasn’t much drama associated with Collins, but rather, there was with his mama. Mom wanted LSU; Landon wanted Alabama. Either way, this kid is going to be unreal in Saban’s defense. He’s big, physical and fast. I love watching kids like Collins play because he hits like a truck and has exception ball skills. Collins is a stud!
Best Recruiter: DJ Durkin, Florida
Florida special teams and linebackers coach DJ Durkin had a massive pull this year from the great state of North Carolina. Durkin went into NC and pulled DJ Humphries, Jonathan Bullard and several other top prospects. Humphries and Bullard are the two top prospects in North Carolina this year, and they are going to Florida. Durkin worked his tail off all year. He is a great recruiter.