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Predictions for 2016 National Signing Day

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

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At about this time Wednesday, the best college football players in the country will be making their decisions. National Signing Day is upon us. That means it is time for predictions.

My predictions for where the top 10 uncommitted recruits nationally will sign can be found here. I predict that one player, Demetris Robertson, will actually not make his decision on National Signing Day. Of the remaining nine, I think I'll be right on seven or eight.

I predict that this crop of defensive tackles will turn out awesome, like the 2013 cornerback recruiting group did.

I predict that most people would be shocked at just how rare five-star recruits are compared to the overall population of college football.

I predict that even fewer realize just how tightly correlated college football recruiting is to winning at the highest levels of the sport, and the NFL.

You can find the full announcement schedule for Signing Day here, with 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for every blue-chip recruit.

Conference Predictions


Who will finish on top in the SEC? Alabama or LSU, but there is plenty of intrigue below that as well.

Speaking of the Tide, Alabama could close like a house on fire with up to eight four- or five-star prospects still seriously considering the Tide. Alabama has had a half-decade of consecutive No. 1 classes, but LSU and some others could be in position to knock off the Tide if it doesn't hit its targets. But do you really want to bet against Alabama?

Five of the top-10 prospects in Georgia are uncommitted, so Kirby Smart's first National Signing Day as the head coach at Georgia could be very eventful.

Ole Miss' National Signing Day could be even better than 2013. Red Cup Rebellion has the predictions for the Rebels.


Florida State has been the king of ACC recruiting ever since Jimbo Fisher took over. The Seminoles are still in the running for eight four- or five-star prospects, and will probably end up with about half of them, securing a top-five class in the process.

Can Georgia Tech rebound from a bad season on the field to land some of its top targets? It's possible. Georgia Tech recruiting fascinates me, because of its quirky offense and the school's tough academic entrance requirements.

Miami could be set to close fairly well under Mark Richt. I suspect some of the recent offers that went out are players who Richt's staff had an eye on at Georgia, but weren't quite good enough to play at UGA. Adding offensive line depth will be key in Coral Gables, as will be receiver and defensive tackle.

Big 12

Texas is setting up to have a killer finish to its recruiting class, though most of it appears to be on defense. I'm amazed at what Charlie Strong has been able to do given how rocky his tenure has been to date at Texas.

Big Ten

Maryland might actually land some of its top remaining targets after struggling mightily down the stretch after firing Randy Edsall and his coaching staff.

Michigan's class is mostly done, and now it's just time to ice the cake, specifically if the Wolverines can add Rashan Gary, the No. 1 player in the country.

Penn State's class is mostly finished as well, but the Nittany Lions are looking for a few more pieces Wednesday.


Cal is swinging for the fences on some prospects I absolutely cannot see it landing. But it is also being smart enough to hit a few singles at receiver.