clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

7 maps that help explain National Signing Day 2015

Hundreds of college football teams signed thousands of players on one day. Here are a few ways to look at the bigger picture.

1. Where does the most talent come from?

Since it's clear stars matter, there's a reason the SEC has been so dominant in recent years. A bulk of the nation's elite talent comes from the region, with many of those players choosing to stay home at nearby schools.

This year, Florida had twice as many 247Sports Composite five-star prospects as any other state, with five of them electing to sign with SEC schools. That helps show why three of the top five and half of the top 12 classes are in the SEC.

2. Who won Texas?

Of all the powerhouse states, Texas may be the deepest. The state's rich prep football history means enough talent to support five power-conference teams and seven mid-majors.

Thirty of the state's 46 Composite blue-chips will remain in the state, while Oklahoma and LSU were among the schools most successful at taking away top Texas talent. The Aggies' move to the SEC has helped their recruiting efforts, but Charlie Strong's staff at Texas was able to make up some significant ground, ranking one spot ahead of the No. 12 Aggies in the Composite.

Texas four- and five-stars:

3. Florida State's state, for now

The Sunshine State is known for producing tons of speed. With just three power-conference programs, there's plenty of talent to be spread around. Florida State's recent success has allowed it to recruit at the highest level, ranking No. 3 in the country while signing five of the state's top 12 Composite prospects.

Florida's new staff was able to recover from a slow start with a few wins on Signing Day. Will the Gators reclaim the throne they held before Jimbo Fisher's rebuild?

Florida four- and five-stars:

4. USC, then UCLA, then everybody else

Unlike Florida and Texas, California tends to keep its blue chips at home. While some leave the state, only two of the top 19 Composite prospects left the Pac-12.

The exception might be at quarterback. The state has a reputation for being one of the top quarterback producers in the country -- five of 2015's top six pro-style quarterbacks and three of its top seven dual threats hail from the Golden State -- but just three of them are staying in the state (Josh Rosen to UCLA, Ricky Town and Sam Darnold to USC). Among the invaders, Alabama took five-star Blake Barnett.

California four- and five-stars:

5. Taking the biggest brand national

There's no recruiting powerhouse quite like Alabama, which secured its fifth straight recruiting title on Signing Day.

Winning three national titles in a four-year stretch didn't hurt the Tide's national profile, and continuing to gather top recruiters like Mario Cristobal didn't either. Many assistants have specific territories they recruit, but Cristobal, named the national recruiter of the year by three different services, landed 12 commits from three different time zones. After he was curiously fired as the head coach at FIU, it's safe to say he'll get another chance to run a program some day.

6. Loaded state + state's biggest power = elite class

Under second-year head coach Steve Sarkisian and without NCAA sanctions, USC has returned to its talent-hoarding ways, hoping to rebuild its status as a national powerhouse. After landing the Pac-12's top class last year for the first time since 2011, the Trojans made a serious run at Alabama for the nation's top class, settling at an impressive No. 2, and they barely left their region to do it.

7. How to build an elite mid-major class

Recruiting as a team outside of a power conference can be tough, especially when you don't have a large natural recruiting base. Smaller-conference teams with better locations like San Jose State and South Florida can rely on the leftover talent from their own states to fill out their classes, but Boise State doesn't have much local talent.

The Fiesta Bowl champs managed to bring in the Composite's top-rated class of any non-power and beat power-conference teams like Colorado, Iowa, and Syracuse. Their strategy is to find overlooked players in major metro pipelines. Notice how they were able to bring in multiple recruits from several different faraway areas, rather than just one at a time?