That special day when creepy old men get creepier is here. A 12-month process of salivating over the football ability of teenage boys culminates today, the first official day that these boys can sign a National Letter of Intent. How did your school do?
The Georgia Bulldogs are feeling pretty good right about now, as big-time running back Isaiah Crowell (Carver-Columbus) chose to stay at home. Crowell is the crowned jewel in a 25-member class that Dawg fans and coaches have dubbed the “Dream Team.” Georgia also picked up a big get when it landed Jay Rome of Valdosta. Rome is one of the nation’s top tight end recruits. Here’s a complete list of Georgia’s signees.
Minus the Dream Team moniker, the LSU Tigers have quietly brought in arguably the best class in the program’s history. Three of the biggest gets are already enrolled, including former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger and Patterson, La. running back Kenny Hilliard.
Mettenberger was kicked off the team by Mark Richt two years ago, and signed with the Tigers out of junior college. A big kid with a bigger arm, expect him to compete for the starting quarterback job this spring and fall. With a new coordinator, Steve Kragthrope, in place, it wouldn’t shock anyone to see Mett wrest the offense away from incumbent Jordan Jefferson.
Hilliard is the nephew of former LSU and Saints running back Dalton Hilliard. At 5’11 225, he gives LSU yet another bruising tailback for the power rushing attack Les Miles loves.
Among the other standouts in this class are defensive end Anthony “Freak” Johnson, offensive tackle La’el Collins and wide receiver Jarvis Landry, each listed as 5-star players according to Rivals. Georgia may be claiming to have a Dream Team today, but in a couple years, LSU may look back at this group and call it the Ring Team.
Elsewhere in the recruiting world …
- The Auburn Tigers brought in a second-straight top-5 class, presumably with the freed up salary cap space from Cam Newton’s expiring contract. ESPN and Rivals list the Tigers at #2, while Scout has them at the top. The thing that stands out when looking at Auburn’s list of free agent signings is the impressive collection of beef up front. There are a handful of impressive offensive linemen who signed with Auburn today, including big-time tackles Christian Westerman (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton HS) and Cyrus Kouandjio (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha). Update – Kouandjio was thought to have signed earlier today, but is apparently still undecided.
- Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn’t seem to put much stock in NSD, which is good because he didn’t bring in many headliners in his 22-member class. While in-state counterpart Mark Richt was beating his chest over its assemblage of talent, Johnson was understated, telling the AJC’s Michael Carveli: ““I think we addressed our needs and signed a very balanced, talented group. We are excited about this class and feel like we have a number of players who are not only quality players, but quality young men as well.”
- One of the players who Tech missed out on, Tre Jackson, ended up signing with Florida State. Jackson, a 6’4 300 lb. offensive lineman from Wayne County (Jesup) was once a Tech commitment, but instead will join a Seminoles class which ESPN ranks as the country’s best. Scout has the ‘Noles ranked 2nd and Rivals has them 3rd, though Rivals is known for being partial. It should shock no one that the recruiting service lists the Alabama Crimson Tide as the number one class.
- New Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp did well to keep the program’s class intact after Urban Meyer left. (No word yet on how he is restoring the other meaning of the word class, however.) The headliner is quarterback Jeff Driskell.