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2012 National Signing Day Recap

Dorial Green-Beckham chooses to play for Missouri in the SEC.

I wanted to do a piece about the intensity of National Signing Day.  Some of these players could become underclassmen down the line declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft.  For now, just sit back and enjoy the ride.  Just appreciate what these athletes do for their colleges and high schools around the nation.

Mario Edwards who committed to Florida State, Texas commitment Jonathan Gray, and Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green Beckham are the star signings.

Mario Edwards will be this years Jaedvon Clowney.  South Carolina had Melvin Ingram and Devin Taylor before addig Clowney.  Florida State has Brandon Jenkins and Bjorn Werner already at defensive end.  Now their getting the top defensive player with Mario Edwards.  Edwards can play 4-3 right end.  Edwards may be able to play 4-3 defensive tackle, or 3-4 defensive end in a 5 technique as well.

Florida State’s pass rush will be even deadlier with Edwards along with the 3 rushers.  Cornerbacks like Xavier Rhodes and Greg Reid should have even more success with the addition of Edwards in 2012.

Jonathan Gray is going to Texas.  Malcolm Brown was also a 5 star recruit before committing to Texas.  The Malcolm Brown/Jonathan Gray tandem will be fun to watch.  This could be the next big 1/2 punch at running back in college football at Texas.  Alabama had this tandem with Ingram/Richardson, Arkansas had it with Darren McFadden/Felix Jones, USC Reggie Bush/Lendale White, and finally Auburn had Ronnie Brown/Carnell Williams.

Missouri lands a huge super star in Dorial Green-Beckham.  Beckham is 6 foot 6 220 pounds and can run a 4.47 40 time.  Dorial Green-Beckham can run short, medium, or deep routes.  In one game Beckham had 17 receptions, 230 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.  Dorial Green-Beckham made amazing catches time after time.

Dorial Green-Beckham is the best wide receiver recruit to come out in a long time.  Dorial Green-Beckham could go #1 overall in 3 years if a team picking at the top does not need a quarterback.

I’ll post my early picks on some players who I believe could emerge down the road at each position in the FBS in the class of 2012.

Lets start at quarterback.  All the hype surrounds Notre Dame commitment Gunner Kiel.  Kiel originally committed to Indiana before withdrawing that offer to go to LSU.  Then Kiel withdrew from LSU to go to Notre Dame.  Some high school coaches are comparing Kiel to Peyton Manning.  Kiel reminds me of Jimmy Clausen with all of these college withdraws.  I hope Kiel succeeds.  I just felt that his decisions to withdraw from certain schools was unethical to the schools who tried to recruit him.

Two other quarterbacks who received major buzz as well were Jameis Winston of Florida State and Matt Davis who committed to Texas A&M.

Jameis Winston was interviewed on ESPN U.  Winston was real humble in his interview.  I had no idea he got accepted into Stanford before making a verbal commitment to Florida State.  I really believe Winston could take the Seminoles to the next level with all the defensive pieces they added today.  Winston could redshirt in 2012.  In 2013, Winston could take over for quarterback EJ Manuel who heads into his senior season with the Seminoles.

Matt Davis will have big shoes to fill as well.  Davis will be expected to succeed Ryan Tannehill.  Tannehill is getting a lot of high praise as he graduates from Texas A&M to take the next step.  It will be interesting to see how Davis responds to the pressure.

Zach Kline of California committed to California way back in 2010.  Kline has held his word to that commitment.  Kline has impressive accuracy and decision making when watching his tape.  I’m really impressed with Kline’s composure and decision making in the pocket.  Kline is already on California’s campus trying to compete for California’s starting job.  I feel like Kline could go pro as an underclassmen and be a first round pick at some point with the proper development.

Kline is by far and away my favorite quarterback prospect among the 2012 recruits.  Kline could realistically be California’s first 1st round draft pick at quarterback since Aaron Rodgers.  You just get the feeling that Kline wants to succeed at any cost when you see him play.

One quarterback recruit that isn’t generating any remote buzz is West Virginia’s Ford Childress.  Childress played high school football in Houston Texas.  Oliver Luck is a former West Virginia quarterback and the current athletic director of the Mountaineers.  Andrew Luck also played high school football in Houston Texas.  Great move by West Virginia to bring someone in for the post Geno Smith days.

Wes Lunt was 6 foot 6 190 pounds.  Lunt has added 15 pounds.  Lunt threw for 3,000 yards in Rochester Illinois.  Lunt may be able to be a starting quarterback for Oklahoma State at some point.

Jim Mora Jr. was able to land 2 quarterbacks in year 1 at UCLA.  Devin Fuller is the top ranked quarterback on Scout behind Gunner Kiel and Jameis Winston.  Fuller is only 6 foot 185 pounds. TJ Millweard is 6 foot 4 225 pounds.  Expect an intense quarterback competition between these two quarterbacks at UCLA Spring Practices.  Fuller is considered an athlete by some.  Devin Fuller may move to wide receiver.

Washington added 2 quarterbacks behind Keith Price with Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles.  I expect one Washington quarterback to withdraw their commitment or to transfer at some point.  Price will be a junior redshirt in 2012.

Other quarterbacks who could become starters at some point include Connor Brewer of Texas, Chad Voytik of Pittsburgh,Tanner Magnum of BYU, Chad Kelly of Clemson, and Zeke Pike of Auburn.

The 2012 class of running backs looks really strong.  Jonathan Gray of Texas is not the only big name bruiser in the backfield.  Gray may be the one headline rusher, there are other big names in this class who can have an impact.  Texas A&M’s Trey Williams, Pittsburgh’s Rushel Shell, and Barry Sanders Jr. a Stanford commitment are a few names to watch for in the next few years.  If your a fan of A&M, Pittsburgh, or Stanford your going to enjoy watching these running backs pound the football.

My dark horse running back could be Mike Davis.  Davis committed to South Carolina.  One more SEC back to watch is Keith Marshall.  Keith Marshall made a verbal commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs.  Marshall could step in if Isaiah Crowell gets injured in 2012.  Crowell was very effective in 2011.  Injuries limited carries for the Bulldogs true freshman

Florida State landed Mario Pender.  Pender is arguably one of the top 10 running backs long term.  Pender continues to boost Florida State’s recruiting class.

Dorial Green Beckham is playing for Missouri.  Missouri needed a player like Green Beckham in year 1 in the SEC.  This makes a brutal transition for Missouri easier for the Tigers.  Nelson Agholor goes to USC.  Agholor is one of the best receivers.  Agholor will see action at USC this season.

Cayleb Jones of Texas is listed as the best receiver after Dorial Green Beckham.  After Beckham there isn’t a sure fire receiver that you can say is a potential top 5 pick in 2015 at this point.  Jones is the second best receiver in the class of 2012.  Someone will emerge.  It just seems too early to know who that player may be.

South Carolina lost Alshon Jeffery.  The Gamecocks may have made up for that loss with the addition of Shaq Roland.  Roland is 6 foot 2 204 pounds and can run a 4.4 40 time.

Florida landed multiple tight ends with Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson.  Both Taylor and Thompson were the top two tight ends for the lass of 2012.  Getting a two tight end set for Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel may help in his development.  Florida has a tendency for recruiting vertical wide receivers with blazing speed.  I realize Charlie Weis is gone.  I think Florida sticks with a pro style offense and builds more of their offense around Driskel.  Doing that would enable Driskel to become a better quarterback at Florida.

There are 4 offensive tackles that stand out in this recruiting class.  Arik Armstead, John Theus, D.J. Humphries, and Kyle Kalis.

Arik Armstead originally committed to USC.  Armstead then went to Oregon.  Armstead will do a fantastic job opening up lanes for Kenjon Barner as Oregon’s left tackle.  Armstead was already a fantastic pass blocker.  Chip Kelly may improve his run blocking ability after turning down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching job.

Kyle Kalis is going under the radar.  As an Ohio State supporter it pains me to say the Wolverines landed a blue chip left tackle in Kyle Kalis.  Kalis may become Michigan’s best left tackle since Jake Long.  Michigan can start Kalis at left tackle, move him inside to guard before kicking him into offensive tackle, or redshirt him and develop his footwork.  Michigan has a number of options when it comes to developing Kalis.

You have to tip your hat to Michigan for getting a blue chip lineman for Denard Robinson during his final season at Michigan.  The Wolverines picked up 3 other offensive tackles besides Kalis.  It may be really difficult to stop Denard Robinson in 2012.  Michigan could be a dark horse next season.

The SEC landed two offensive tackles with John Theus and D.J. Humphries.  Theus committed to Georgia and he could compete for a roster spot on Georgia’s offensive line at offensive tackle.  Humprhies weighs in at 265.  I bet Humphries gets redshirted in 2012.  Humprhies should develop into a quality offensive tackle for the Florida Gators.

Andrus Peat is going to Stanford.  Peat will probably succeed Stanford left tackle Jonathan Martin as Stanford’s left tackle.  Stanford fans will enjoy seeing more of the running game with Peat at left tackle blocking for Stanford’s running game.

Auburn adds another offensive tackle.  Auburn lands Avery Young.  Young is ranked as one of the top ten offensive tackles in the country.

Issac Seumalo is the top guard prospect in the country.  Oregon State’s guard helps shore up the Beavers offensive line.

Sean Mannion could be a future first round quarterback for Oregon State.  Mannion will enter his sophomore redshirt season in 2012.  Kiper was already tweeting about Mannion on Twitter as a freshman redshirt in 2011.  I’m not ready to buy into the hype just yet.  I am very optimistic to see how Oregon State performs now in 2012 with this addition at offensive guard moving forward.  Seumalo will provide extra pass protection for Mannion at guard.

One player I like on the interior is Curtis Riser.  Riser is a guard prospect who committed to Texas.  Riser will run block for the next big running back tandem in College Football.

An SEC lineman to watch on the interior is guard Jessamen Dumaker.  Dumaker could follow in the footsteps of previous Florida interior offensive lineman like Mike Pouncey, Maurkice Pouncey, and James Wilson a 2012 NFL draft prospect.  Dumaker has committed to Florida.

Besides Mario Edwards, Florida State cashed in on defensive end Chris Casher.  One school hit the jackpot when recruiting defensive ends who can get to the quarterback.  That school was The Ohio State University.  Ohio State landed Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington at defensive end.

A 3-4 outside linebacker to eye on in the future is Georgia commitment Josh Harvey-Clemons.  Clemons is 6 foot 4 210 pounds.  Clemons probably will be redshirted until he bulks up.  Clemons has not signed his papers to officially be a member of the Bulldogs at this time.  There is some talk that he will go to Florida.  I’ll post updates if changes occur.

Georgia Tech had a 3-4 pass rusher in Junior Gnonkonde.  Gnonkonde could play next to Kareem Martin with the departure of Donte Paige Moss.  Great pickup by Butch Davis as Davis continues to recruit well.  The Tar Heels may have some 2014 first round prospects on offense with quarterback Byrn Renner and left tackle James Hurst if both players improve upon last season.  Anything else besides a Seminoles VS Tar Heels ACC Championship in 2012 will be somewhat of a let down because both teams are stacked and have the talent to take the next step.

Another 3-4 pass rusher could be Ifeadi Odenigbo.  Ifeadi Odenigbo is going to attend Northwestern this fall.  Odenigbo turned down Ohio State after their scandal involving Jim Tressel.  Odenigbo will be attending Northwestern.

Eddie Goldman was the top defensive tackle in this class.  After Goldman, Quay Evans of Mississippi State could be another player to watch.  Evans will come in and try to replace Fletcher Cox a 2012 NFL Draft prospect who opted to forgo his senior season at Mississippi State.

Tommy Schutt is going to be an Ohio State defensive tackle.  Schutt looks like a prototypical 4-3 defensive tackle.  Ohio State is really poised to improve the defensive line.

Georgia may have the best nose tackle in 2012 with Kwame Geathers.  Georgia added Jonathan Taylor to their tandem of 3-4 nose tackles.

Reggie Ragland is a 6 foot 4 245 pound middle linebacker.  Ragland can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme.  The Alabama Crimson Tide picked up another linebacker with Reggie Ragland.

One more player to watch is Dalton Santos.  Santos original school of choice was Tennessee.  Santos withdrew that commitment to make a verbal commitment to Texas.  Santos could start at middle linebacker for Texas.

Tracy Howard was the top cornerback in this 2012 class.  Besides Tracy Howard there are three other cornerbacks in this class. Notre Dame cornerback Tee Howard was one of the top cornerbacks.  Ronald Darby committed to Notre Dame before withdrawing.  Darby goes to Florida State.  Darby adds another Seminole.  Florida State has Xavier Rhodes, Greg Reid, and now Ronald Darby.

Yuri Wright will play for Colorado.  Colorado developed Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown in years past.  Colorado looks like their going to continue to recruit good cornerbacks.

There are two safeties who stand out on secondary.  Those safeties are Landon Thompson the safety who committed to Alabama.  Thompson got famous because his mom wanted him to go to LSU.

Shaquille Thompson is going to Washington.  Washington is a player who could help the Huskies secondary with zone coverage.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins showed promise at the end of his freshman season in 2011 at tight end.  Practicing against Seferian-Jenkins will only help Thompson’s game.

To wrap up todays National Signing Day recap there are 5 small school FCS recruits who could have huge impacts in FCS small schools.  Those players are South Carolina State corner Marquise Jones, Cameron Countryman a wide receiver from Penn, Dede Westbrook a wide receiver from Texas State, Alec Davison a middle linebacker from Columbia, and and Lamontiez Ivy a quarterback from Jackson State.

My favorite small school player is Marquise Jones of South Carolina State.  Jones has the size and tackling ability.  Jones has the hands and game changing speed to return a pick 6.  Jones will go out and grab those diving catches that you saw Coastal Carolina’s Josh Norman execute during the East West Shrine week.

Marquise Jones is a 3 star recruit.  Most small schools usually get 2 star recruits.  South Carolina State got a potential future NFL player with Marquise Jones.

Cameron Countryman is 5 foot 11 170 pounds.  Countryman has blazing speed and will be very explosive off the snap against Ivy League secondaries.  Countryman can make big plays for the Penn Quakers if he uses his hands in the vertical passing game.  Countryman is also an excellent route runner who displays fluid agility with his footwork.

Another slot receiver in the FCS could hail from Texas.  Texas State that is.  Dede Westbrook has the speed and hands.  He lacks the size which may limit his ability to a slot receiver role in the NFL.

Alec Davidson has the smarts and intangibles at middle linebacker.  Davidson is an excellent tackler who can cause havoc while stopping the run.  Davidson will be attending Columbia this fall.

Wrapping up this list is Lamontiez Ivy.  Ivy is a a quarterback with the arm strength, zip, and size.  Ivy has a chance to win at Jackson State.  It really would not surprise me if Ivy became a late round pick if he plays all 5 years at Jackson State.

One team that may have helped their offense is Portland State.  Portland State added 4 playmakers.  The Portland State Vikings got 2 tight ends with Adam Futter and Cam Sommer.  Steven Long is a speedy elusive back plus Nicholas Rothstein could be this teams offense at wide receiver.  Some good quarterback play and pass blocking on the offensive line could give Portland State one of the explosive FCS offenses over the next few years.