It's important to remember that National Signing Day and the week that leads up to it are only part of recruiting. Recruiting goes on in the other 51 weeks as well, and it's entirely possible for a team to close poorly and still end up with a great class. Let's use some baseball terminology. Everybody likes baseball.
The Stanford Cardinal had an amazing day, signing two of the three best offensive tackles in the country in five-star Kyle Murphy and five-star Andrus Peat. Two five stars at a premium position like offensive tackle definitely earns the Cardinal the top spot. Oh, and they added four-star defensive tackle Aziz Shittu, picked up four-star offensive guard Joshua Garnett earlier in the week, and didn't lose anyone of consequence. SB Nation Bay Area has more on Stanford's awesome day.
Missouri signed Dorial Green-Beckham. That's closing. They don't need to do anything else to be on this list. Bill Connelly has more. That's an excellent piece worth of your attention, as Connelly was there for DGB's entire day.
The USC Trojans signed four-star offensive tackle Zach Banner on Monday, and followed it up by signing four-star defensive end Leonard Williams out of Florida and five-star athlete Nelson Agholor, also of Florida. USC also held on to four-star receiver Darreus Rogers. With limited scholarships, USC closed hard. Check out Conquest Chronicles: Signing Day Wrap and SB Nation Los Angeles: USC Recruiting Story Stream.
Alabama signed four-star defensive tackle Korren Kirven and four-star defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson. And the Tide didn't lose anybody important on their way to finishing with the top recruiting class in the country. Check out Roll Bama Roll's Signing Day Wrap and Podcast.
Florida State signed five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman out of DC, five-star cornerback Ronald Darby out of Maryland, stole four-star linebacker Reggie Northrup away from Miami, and snatched up defensive back Colin Blake out of San Antonio. The 'Noles did lose five-star defensive end Dante Fowler to the Gators. See Tomahawk Nation: Florida State's 2012 Recruiting Class.
The Washington Huskies had a great 24 hours, as Steve Sarkisian and Co. signed four-star defensive lineman Pio Vatuvei, four-star cornerback Brandon Beaver, five-star safety Shaq Thompson and four-star receiver Jaydon Mickens. The Huskies also kept elite quarterback Cyler Miles away from USC, as the Colorado star reaffirmed to Washington late Wednesday. The hire of coaches Tosh Lupoi, Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon certainly paid off late for UW. Check out SB Nation Seattle's Washington Recruiting Story Stream, along with UW Dawg Pound's National Signing Day Impressions and Signing Day Ceremony Thoughts.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights didn't make a lot of noise on signing day, but were still quite successful. How? After a crazy week that saw Rutgers lose coach Greg Schiano to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rutgers' class was in danger of falling apart. After striking out on coach Mario Cristobal, however, Rutgers hired Kyle Flood. The move paid off, as the preexisting relationships with Rutgers commitments held up, and the Scarlet Knights managed to sign all of their top commitments, including offensive lineman Ryan Brodie, linebacker Quanzell Lambert and receiver Leonte Caroo. Rutgers also had a major win on Tuesday night, when defensive end Darius Hamilton chose the Scarlet Knights. For more on Rutgers football recruiting, please check out On The Banks: Rutgers Hangs On To Top Class and SB Nation New York: Rutgers Recruiting Story Stream.
Ohio State signed four-star offensive tackle Kyle Dodson and four-star linebacker Jamal Marcus, while not losing anybody. See more on Ohio State recruiting at Along The Olentangy and SB Nation Cleveland: Ohio State Recruiting Story Stream.
When Cal lost its coaches to Washington, it lost its class. The Golden Bears lost at least five four-star or better players to other schools after the departure of Tosh Lupoi. Cal wanted to land more than 25 commitments. Instead, it signed 17, and of much lesser quality than it was expecting just a few weeks ago. California Golden Blogs has more on Cal's signing day. Also see: Cal's Class Not A Disaster -- SB Nation Bay Area.
Florida lost out on five-star New Jersey defensive end Darius Hamilton, five-star Miami cornerback Tracy Howard, four-star defensive end Leonard Williams and four-star offensive tackle Avery Young. The Gators did, however, sign five-star Tampa defensive end Dante Dowler away from Florida State. See Alligator Army for more.
LSU missed on four-star JUCO receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, failed to flip five-star Louisiana safety Landon Collins back from the Crimson Tide, and lost four-star defensive end Torshiro Davis to Texas. They did land four-star linebacker Kwon Alexander out of Alabama, however. See And The Valley Shook's excellent work on LSU recruiting.
Great Setup Work, But Not Much Closing
Virginia Tech signed four-star linebacker Ken Ekanem and four-star athlete Joel Caleb. The Hokies also lost out on four-star defensive tackle Korren Kirven to Alabama, and despite being very angry about losing Juwan Blue to Miami, he's really nothing to get upset over. See Gobbler Country: Signing Day Recap.
Maryland is coming off a 10-loss season and really needed something to jump start its program. The hiring of Mike Locksley did the trick. No, the Terps did not lock down the two five-stars in their area (Goldman and Darby), but their class was awful before Locksley. Just 45 days later, it's not so bad. Still, that's not really closing on National Signing Day, but rather closing in the month prior. Ben Broman of Testudo Times has more on Maryland's recruiting haul.
UCLA closed quite strong over the last month, but did a lot of their damage in the weeks prior. Check out Bruins Nation: Closing Thoughts On UCLA Signing Day and SB Nation Los Angeles: UCLA Recruiting Story Stream.