ESPNU’s National Signing Day Special provided the day’s most comprehensive coverage with 10-hours of programming that included 15 ESPNU150 player interviews, 11 recruits making their exclusive commitment on air, reporters at 13 college campuses and more than 35 interviews with head coaches.
Throughout the day hosts Rece Davis and Dari Nowkhah were joined by an assembled team of experts in scouting, recruiting, playing and coaching college football. Senior national recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill and recruiting analyst Craig Haubert discussed major recruits and programs alongside former head coaches Mike Bellotti, Randy Shannon and Butch Davis; college football analysts Rod Gilmore and David Pollack; regional recruiting coordinators Corey Long, Jamie Newberg; and ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach.
ESPNU 150 Players Quotes and Commitments…
No. 17 Josh Harvey-Clemons, committed to Georgia
- “I didn’t get any sleep. I went to sleep at three-something in the morning…just thinking about it,” on making his decision.
- “Nobody that’s a great player should leave your state” said Luginbill on Clemons’ decision to stay in Georgia.
No. 18 Tracy Howard, committed to Miami
- “I looked at the overall picture of it from an academic standpoint to an opportunity standpoint. I’ve got a great rapport with the coaches…why not do it here, in my hometown, in my city.”
- “People just don’t understand how much pressure there is on top 30 players to stay in the state. In Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county, those kids have such an allegiance. It’s very hard for those kids in South Florida to leave,” said Butch Davis on Tracy’s decision to play at Miami.
No. 10 Eddie Goldman, committed to FSU
- “I’m going to be surrounded by a lot of talent. I’m just going to do my best to contribute…Go Noles!”
- “The last few days we started feeling better. He was a very unique recruit. He really listened, he really paid attention, a lot of eye contact during the visits…We don’t ever promise to play, we promise an opportunity,” said Jimbo Fisher later in the day on ESPNU.
No. 3 Dorial Green-Beckham, committed to Missouri
- “The whole atmosphere has been outstanding for me to fulfill my dreams at the University of Missouri…it’s a big opportunity to be you, to have all my friends and family, mom and dad, to follow me no matter where I go.”
- “To have this caliber player stay home…it’s going to pay dividends for future recruiting classes,” said Butch Davis on Beckham’s decision to play at Missouri.
No. 9 Andrus Peat, committed to Stanford
- “I was really impressed by the coaching staff and I felt really comfortable on campus and I think it’s just a great opportunity for me to reach my full potential athletically and academically…It’s an offensive man’s dream. Just the way they play football.”
- Luginbill on Stanford’s national recruiting success, “What Stanford has been able to do. They have won. They have been to BCS bowl games…now what I want to see is how good of a football team is Stanford going to be without Andrew Luck.”
No. 29 Kwon Alexander, committed to LSU
- “I woke up this morning with a smile on my face, knowing what team I was going to go to,” on his decision.
- LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson explained watching Kwon’s announcement to Holly Rowe “We were nervous, it (his suspenders) looked a little red, a little blue, it looked like it might be auburn colors, but then we were really excited, once we knew (it was LSU).”
Trea Elston, committed to Ole Miss
- “It’s been a hard decision. I just prayed and my family prayed for me and I made my decision last night…I chose Ole Miss because I felt like family there.”
- “From Oxford to Oxford,” commented Nowkhah on Elston’s hometown to college town.
No. 33 Thomas Johnson, committed to Texas A&M
- “It’s a great school, great academics, I think they are going to give me the greatest opportunity to produce…( I knew) as soon as I set foot on campus.”
- “There may not be a better receiver in this class at getting off the line of scrimmage than Thomas Johnson” said Luginbill on what he will bring at the next level.
No. 47 Nelson Agholor, committed to USC
- “My coach told me to ‘go with your feeling, go with your heart’…I am excited to catch passes from a Heisman candidate, Matt Barkley.”
- “These guys are ready to play. They are made for instant success…All the guys on the roster have to be ready to play football next year,” said Bellotti on the USC team.
No. 61 Avery Young, committed to Auburn
- “That’s the question…I think I am going War Eagle baby, all the way!” on where he was going to school.
- “I think Avery Young has a huge ceiling for potential,” said Luginbill.
Coach interview highlights…
- Dabo Swinney on the Clemson team’s future, “Our players are our greatest ambassadors. We won this conference for the first time in 20 years, and first time in 20-plus years we have had back-to-back top 10 classes. Hopefully that is a real sign of what is to come for us.”
- Urban Meyer on impact of NCAA sanctions on Ohio State, “It was all damage control and probably for two or three weeks. That was something we didn’t expect, something we didn’t have control over, but what we had to do was go out and talk to them, be proactive and hit it on the front end, not the back end.”
- Meyer on Ohio State’s class, “Very very solid. I don’t like to use the word ‘great’, but at the end of the day I think we are going to be ranked high…I love our defensive line. That’s the strength of this team.”
- Lane Kiffin on the USC recruiting class. “The guys we signed today were not concerned about depth charts or playing time. They were excited to be playing with the best.”
- Steve Spurrier on his 2012 South Carolina class, “Good solid class. A lot of good players at a lot of different positions.”
- UCLA coach Jim Mora on recruit Ellis McCarthy, “He’s a kid who has size, strength and speed and plays with tenacity. It seems he really loves the game and we are just excited he’s going to be playing defense for us.”
- Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, “Best size that we’ve gotten, being our fourth year. We probably addressed our needs better than we have before.”
- Newly named Rutgers coach Kyle Flood on his first week, “Someday I’m going to write a book. It’s going to be called, The Four Days that Changed My Life.”
- Tennessee coach Derek Dooley on positions filled today, “It’s a rare deal where we don’t sign an offensive lineman. I don’t think it will ever happen again, but over the last 20 months we’ve brought 11 offensive lineman…We felt like we need to put our emphasis on offensive skill and defensive football players.”
- Les Miles on how he would describe his LSU recruiting class, “What we needed. We needed to answer some questions and we did that.”
- Florida coach Will Muschamp on surprise commitments, “On signing day you never know what’s going to happen.”
- Brian Kelly on recruits choosing Notre Dame, “It’s a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision.”
- James Franklin on Vanderbilt’s class within the SEC, “We’re in the SEC. It’s a completely different animal. Being in this conference, seeing what we are up against, I think it’s a positive for us.”
- Baylor’s Art Briles on the next Robert Griffin III, “I don’t think there is another one, but we were so fortunate to have him for the last few years.”
- Mac Brown on Texas, “We are a better football team tonight, than we were this morning.”
- Al Golden on the type of players he wants at Miami “It’s easy to go to a school on top and it takes a little more courage to be someone that fashions themselves as someone who can build it.”
ESPNU Recruiting Quotes…
- Luginbill on the Alabama recruiting class: “The Crimson Tide: the rich keep getting richer.”
- Butch Davis on recruits concerns about a team’s depth chart, “Absolutely one of the biggest turnoffs. When kids are worried about the competition – how many guys are playing at a certain position? It really bothers you because they don’t have enough confidence that they are going to come in and be that guy. I love the guy who looks at the roster and says ‘I don’t care who’s on the roster, I’m going to beat them all.”
- Longhorn Network host Lowell Galindo on the day at Texas, “For the first time, in a long time, its positive pandemonium in Texas.”
- Pedro Gomez reporting from Penn State, “New coach Bill O’Brien said he couldn’t care less about the rankings. He just wants players who are interested in being at Penn State.”
- Haubert on players like Torshio Davis decommitting, “They (LSU) rarely lose in-state players and for Texas to be able to get a player off the edge who can be a real speed rushing threat, I think that was a bit of a shock coming in to today.”
- Shannon on Florida recruiting, “You go in, you sell your program and what you are trying to accomplish… Everyone will tell you it’s a battle between the three (Florida) schools. It’s not. It’s everybody.”
- “Everybody is going to celebrate tonight. Every coach thinks they have a great class,” said Butch Davis on what’s ahead for the coaching staffs after National Signing Day.
- Luginbill’s biggest surprises of the day, “Texas Tech, I think Tommy Tuberville did a great job adding play makers… And most notable, Rutgers. Rutgers came in to today with an already strong class…It’s one thing to keep the good guys in the fold, it’s another thing to go out and secure the best guy in your state.”
- Pollack’s biggest surprises, “How about Stanford, improving their power and getting a few of the best offensive lineman in the country, and then Harvey-Clemons – What is he going to do? Poor kid, it’s a tough spot.”
More information on ESPN RecruitingNation’s Final Top 25 Rankings here.
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