'Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted. This time tomorrow we'll be hip deep in National Signing Day. For now however a few recruiting tidbits and thoughts from the calm before the storm:
- Speaking of storms, you may have noticed that there is a large, fierce one extending across two-thirds of the country right now and dropping a devil's brew of sleet, freezing rain and snow. Our thoughts go out to all of our Dawg Sports readers who find themselves again dealing with a winter which has been record-breaking in its sheer crappiness. What does this have to do with National Signing Day? Just follow me for a second. I'm given to understand that a lot of young men who will be signing national letters of intent may not have fax machines in their bedrooms nowadays. Alex P. Keaton would be very disappointed. The ones that do have a fax machine probably don't have a generator just in case they need to send a fax when the power goes out. A wave of school closings tomorrow could thus take some of the starch out of signing day. Or, it could send paranoid, snowbound college football fans over the edge when they try to figure out which of their prized commits are eerily silent because they have thought better of it and will be joining Al Golden and DaveTheDawg in sunny south Florida, and which ones are simply huddled in their darkened homes, cut off from the world and cursing the new ice age. Da Coach O will be out on his snowmobile reminding Ohio and Michigan's best that it's currently sunny and 76 in the City of Angels.
- Speaking of Orgeron and crew, if you've been watching USC's recruiting class you may have noticed that it's rather large. Especially for a school which was just given a 30 scholarship reduction over 3 years as part of a years-long NCAA investigation. How is this possible? As with so much else that makes college football fans shake their heads, blame the NCAA. USC has appealed the NCAA ruling and seems to be recruiting with the assumption that their penalty will be reduced. Hazardous assumption? Maybe. But Lane Kiffin has never really been one to see the glass as half empty. Of course, if the NCAA does not grant some relief, USC could find themselves in a real scholarship crunch in 2012 and 2013, which could equate to depth issues in 2013, 2014 and beyond. Also worth noting, in a departure from the Pete Carroll era, 19 of the Trojans' pledges are from the state of California. Kiffin seems to be concentrating on kids who grew up watching Southern Cal during the Carroll years and have always wanted to be Trojans. Given the talent pool in southern and central California, there's really no need for him to do otherwise.
- Southern Cal did miss on one national recruit, as star cornerback Marcus Roberson from Ft. Lauderdale powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas announced his commitment to Auburn. Georgia had been recruiting Roberson, the #2 corner in the nation according to Rivals.com, hard as recently as last week. But with Rivals' #1 and #3 corners in Malcolm Mitchell and Damian Swann, I think we'll manage. The bigger news for Bulldog fans is that Roberson is a good friend of linebacker Kent Turene, who the Bulldogs are still on the trail of. Turene had been committed to Southern Cal, is rumored to have verbally committed to Georgia recently, and had expressed an interest in playing in college with Roberson. Had Roberson gone to Florida or Texas Tech (two of his other finalists), it might have hurt Georgia's chances with Turene. Turene has expressed no interest in Auburn however. This means Kent Turene is a really good judge of character. He has that in common with Auburn recruit Brent Calloway's dad.
- Finally, a question for the group. Certainly there are some guys in Georgia's 2011 recruiting class who are bona fide bluechippers. Ray Drew, Malcolm Mitchell, and Christian Lemay are not going to sneak up on anybody. That being said, there are a lot of players in this class who are lesser known, but no less important. After all, sometimes it's the 3 star rated fullback, or the undersized linebacker you work out after a basketball game who end up making all the difference. So, Dawg Sports recruiting experts, what player in this class do you believe we could look back and say was the most underrated on Signing Day? I'll be back later with more recruity goodness. Until then . . .