Signing Day A Month Later: USC Will Ink Seantrel Henderson Thursday

Today, a slew of 18 year-olds will capture the hearts and minds of old men everywhere. No, this isn't an episode of Glee. It's National Signing Day! Who will have the top class? How'd your favorite team make out? And how do you pronounce that one guy's name? Not to worry. We've got you covered all day long at SB Nation.

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Not So Fast, Kiffikins: Seantrel Henderson Has Not Signed

Thayer Evans at the New York Times is reporting that Seantrel Henderson, the highly recruited offensive lineman who as thought to have signed with USC, hasn’t actually done so yet.

According to Henderson’s father, Sean, he will wait until U.S.C. appears before an N.C.A.A. infractions committee from Feb. 19-21 to hear about possible sanctions for the program before deciding whether to sign the letter. Though the Trojans are not likely to hear about any possible sanctions at that time, Sean Henderson said the hearing would give the family a sense of where the process was headed.

Henderson has until April 1st to sign. Did someone put a little bug in his ear about possible sanctions? I can’t imagine such things would happen in the sqeaky-clean world of recruiting.

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Your Consensus Recruiting Champs, The Florida Gators

There are four constants in the five top-rated signing classes as ranked by Rivals, Scout, and ESPN. The first is Florida, toplining every list, and looking to field a horrorshow of talent even by stratospheric Gator standards. Texas follows close behind, no surprise to anyone who's ever been in a room with Mack Brown. After that it's some combination of Auburn and Alabama.

...Auburn? 

Rivals has five SEC schools in the top ten, as does ESPN, but no one would have blamed you for predicting a down year on the trail for the Plainsmen. Gene Chizik's first Tigers team went 8-5, finished second from the bottom in the SEC West, and barely escaped the Outback Bowl with their skins. Their offseason is going gangbusters, however; whatever they're paying the players with now that Bobby Lowder's broke, it seems to be working. (We kid. We kid. At least until the investigation breaks, we kid.)

Also puffed of chest and full of fresh football hatchlings: Florida State, trading on prestige and the promise of a Jimbo Fisher regime, pulled down an impressive class after what passes for a disappointing season in Tallahassee. UCLA closed strong, especially in the running backs department. And Tennessee hauled in a class that cracked both Rivals and ESPN's top tens despite losing their coach mere weeks before Signing Day dawned.

And just for LOLZ: the final ranked I-A class in Scout's rankings is Ohio; Rivals dogs Florida Atlantic. (Howard Schnellenberger too busy plying his trade on a trail of an entirely different sort?)

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Seantrel Henderson Announcement: USC's The Choice

There are only a handful of 18 year-old recruits that make you think "definitely an NFL player," but Seantrel Henderson is one of them. People that big just aren’t supposed to be that nimble, and yet everyone seems to agree—Seantrel Henderson is the real deal. A lot of things can happen between now and the NFL, but it certainly seems like that’s going to be his ultimate destination.

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 In between now and then? He’ll join Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans. On CBS’ College sports network, Henderson just chose the Trojans over Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Miami, among a long list of other suitors.

And say what you want about Lane Kiffin, the coach. But man, the guy knows what he’s doing as far as recruiting. Not only did he land Henderson, but you have to think that he had some influence on Henderson’s decision to wait until the end of signing day to announce his decision, ensuring that USC would get all the headlines, and come away looking better than ever under Kiffin and his new Trojans staff.

Are they better off under a coach who’s yet to prove successful at, you know, actual coaching?

Time will tell. But with players like Seantrel Henderson, USC's certainly off to a good start.

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VIDEO-Ladarious Phillips Has The Best Highlight Tape Of All Time

Ladarious Phillips is by no means the biggest name headed to the SEC today. With five of the top ten recruiting classes headed to play in the Southeastern Conference, it’s tough to compete for headlines with all the superstars.

One thing Ladarious wins though? Highlights. Specifically, the greatest highlight music ever.

He’s a 280-pound running back that runs a 4.8 40-yard dash. That may not translate to success as a runner in college, but if you watch the highlight tape, it’s pretty emphatic, and not just because of the excellent funk soundtrack. One way or another, we’re going to wind up hearing from this two-star recruit somewhere down the line. Just a gut feeling.

(HT: Dr. Saturday)

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One More Big Fish: The Seantrel Henderson Sweepstakes

As signing day continues to unfold, with programs picking up key commitments all over the map, there’s one superstar left that remains unsigned. T Seantrell Henderson, according to just about everyone, is among the top two or three players in the nation, and certainly a candidate to contribute immediately, wherever he ends up.

SB Nation’s Minnesota blog, The Daily Gopher, provides an overview of Seantrell’s suitors:

  • Ohio State -the current favorite according to internet rumors.  ESPN Scout’s Inc also projects Henderson to the OSU.  This one makes the most sense based on what many perceive to be the factors that matter the most to Seantrel.  Ohio State is still in the Midwest, it is a quality school academically, they are in the hunt for BCS games every year, they turn out NFL talent every year and they have a stable coaching staff expected to be there throughout Henderson’s time there.  It makes sense and most would believe they are the favorites.
  • Notre Dame – is always listed as Henderson’s supposed top-3.  The Irish have cornered the market on Cretin-Derham Hall kids and SH is also friends with current Irish wide receiver, Michael Floyd; which may or may not affect his decision.  While nobody is predicting Notre Dame (this week), nobody would be surprised if this is where he lands.  Also worth noting, Tom Lemming is often accused of being a Notre Dame lackey who pushes kids to sign with the Irish.  This accusation may or may not be fair but it is out there and Henderson is going to announce his decision on Lemming’s signing day show. 
  • USCBill Kurelic believes USC has the slight advantage, but he’s guessing like everyone else. I was convinced throughout this process that USC was the favorite but that was before Pete Carrol left for the NFL.  Now Henderson has to establish a new relationship in a short amount of time with the Kiffin staff. What the Kiffin staff has in their favor is a rock-star staff.  Given another month to woo him, I would imagine USC would put themselves back in the driver’s seat but I’m not sure where they stand as of Feb-3, 2010.

So, yeah: it would appear the Minnesota native will stay close to home at Ohio State? Not so fast. That post ran yesterday. Today, many analysts have Henderson pegged as USC commit, with Lane Kiffin wooing him from the Buckeyes. Henderson is planning to announce his decision on CBS’ college sports network later this afternoon, and really, it’s anyone’s guess as to where he’ll end up. But whatever he decides, he’s guaranteed to have everyone’s attention, including NFL star and Ohio State alum, Malcom Jenkins.

Yesterday, Jenkins interrupted media day to make his case to Henderson:

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PHOTOS: 4-Star OL James Stone Commits To Tennessee

First of all nothing says signing day like the following photo:

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Look at that. He's got the hats. He's got his grandparents there. (That's rule number one: gotta have grandma at your side.) And then he's got some trophies, a helmet, TWO high school jerseys, and a host of relatives looking over his shoulder. And then... His brother (you'd assume), with the afro on the right hand side. That's what makes the photo, really. That's a great, big beautiful afro, and here's to hoping that we'll be seeing that on college sidelines someday soon. In any case, as for Stone, the 6'5, 300-pound lineman pledged to the Vols.

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A great get for the Vols and Derek Dooley. And man, that's a damn fine bowtie. To all the other athletes out there: You can never, ever go wrong with the bowtie. Nice work, James.

Read more on Tennessee at SB Nation's Vols blog, Rocky Top Talk

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Dallas LB Corey Nelson Abandons A&M For Oklahoma

Fans of Texas A&M have spent the past couple months feeling better about their recruiting class than they had in a long while, thanks in large part to the verbal commitment of LB Corey Nelson (Dallas Skyline), a Rivals four-star prospect who flies sideline to sideline. Nevermind the burning rumors that Nelson was considering a switch to Oklahoma, fans of Texas A&M refused to believe he was seriously considering it (believing in illusions is a prerequisite for Aggie fandom).

Alas, it is signing day and ESPN’s Gerry Hamilton reports that Corey Nelson has signed with…. Oklahoma. The Aggies lose. Again.

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Christian Jones Sticks to Plan, Signs With Florida State

Christian Jones is a legacy there, but there was some drama over whether he was going to sign with the Seminoles following the departure of Bobby Bowden. He even wore an Oklahoma hat! O-M-G!

This all turned out to be unnecessary drama, as at 10:20 a.m. EST Jones announced on ESPNU his intention to commit to Florida State, continuing FSU’s tradition of surging late after lying in the weeds in the run up to Signing Day.

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Matt James Boosts ND's Sneaky Recruiting Class

Matt James, four-star offensive lineman, has committed to Notre Dame over Cincy and Boston College. This qualifies as a jumbo-sized get for Brian Kelly, whose solid but unspectacular class had to this point lacked a serious glitzy trophy commit like James.

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Munchie Legaux Jumps Off The Hawkins Express, Signs With Cincinnati

The second best name in the 2010 recruiting class (after Utah State commit Wave Ryder) and longtime Colorado verbal commit quarterback Munchie Legaux has signed with the Cincinnati Bearcats.  The Buffaloes had dreams of the an "all name" backfield with Munchie handing off to RB recruit Mister Jones, but both former CU commits have gone elsewhere.  

Hard is the life of the Buffalo fan... Check out The Ralphie Report to see what despair looks like...

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VIDEO: Marcus Lattimore's Hat Trick

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a highly-touted football recruit must get up so some sort of foolishness with caps immediately prior to announcing his chosen college. Marcus Lattimore pulled off a rare double-juke Tuesday night, employing both former Auburn star Stephen Davis and an Auburn hat as decoys before settling on South Carolina:

(And yes, that’s “Sandstorm” playing. Of course it is.)

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Signing Day Eve: Marcus Lattimore To South Carolina

Rivals loves him. Scout loves him. Auburn wanted him. And South Carolina's going to get him. World-beating running back prospect Marcus Lattimore announced Tuesday night that he's staying home to become a Gamecock, and he certainly had his pick of schools:

The process was a long and tedious one for the state's Mr. Football, narrowing down 30 offers to two. Clemson was the first to offer, in October 2007, while USC followed in January 2008.

Lattimore received offers from schools in the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and independents, including Notre Dame.

In August of last year, Lattimore narrowed his choices to the Gamecocks, Auburn, North Carolina, Oregon and Penn State.

Lattimore made his intentions public in his home church, and if Twitter reports are to be believed, South Carolina's national anthem "Sandstorm" played a part in the proceedings. Despite this allegation, we wish him all the best in the SEC.

 

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