Signing Day is one of the top events during college football’s offseason. After months (and potentially years of deliberating) high school prospects can officially fax a letter of intent on Wednesday, Feb. 4 to declare where they will continue their playing career.
Every year, Parade’s annual high school All-America team highlights the biggest stars headed to the next level.
The 2015 team is headlined by Kyler Murray, a dynamic dual-threat quarterback slated to sign with Texas A&M.
The first Wednesday in February is essentially Christmas for every college football head coach. After months of hard work on the recruiting trail, coaches will hit the offices bright and early on Wednesday for National Signing Day to welcome a new class full of freshmen and maybe a few junior college transfers to chase a national championship.
Nearly six years to the day since the receiver class of 2008 signed letters of intent to play college football, the class continued to dazzle.
In Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse fell onto his back, bobbled the football and eventually came up with the 33-yard catch that put Seattle onto the New England 5. The miracle catch won’t sear in people’s memories thanks to the interception two plays later, but Kearse’s catch is why the wide receiver recruiting class of 2008 is the best in recent history.
For a fourth time in their history, the New England Patriots are the champions of the NFL. While the party is just getting started in Foxboro, Mass., and for Patriots fans worldwide, the rest of the league’s focus has already shifted to the 2015 season.
Many believe National Signing Day to be the end of a long, arduous process after months of evaluations, official visits and message-boarding. To me, Signing Day is just the beginning of the process as thousands of new star athletes take the first steps in their collegiate careers by officially picking a school.
The "modern" recruiting era is tied directly to the online recruiting websites.
Rivals and Scout began the explosion around 2001 and ESPN and 247Sports have powerfully entered the market since. The rankings databases only go back 10 or 11 years, so it is difficult to evaluate historic recruiting classes. But since the turn of the millennium, fans and analysts alike have a tremendous amount of data to evaluate recruiting rankings, talent development and scouting evaluations.
Here are the top 10 recruiting classes of the modern era:
Running back Ezekiel Elliott was one of the key performers in Ohio State’s run to the college football national championship in 2014. The sophomore rushed for at least 220 yards in each of his final three games and is one of the early favorites to win the 2015 Heisman Trophy.
And Elliott isn’t going to forget the Buckeyes’ title anytime soon, as the St. Louis native recently had a tattoo added to his left arm that showcases the college football playoff trophy.