Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/2/12


For the vast majority of high school recruits and college football programs, the ink is dry on all the letters of intent. The fax machines have all been put away for another year. The unused hats from signing ceremonies are, hopefully, en route to people who need them.

Signing Day 2012 is in the books, and recruitniks are already looking ahead to 2013.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, how about a recap of today's "action?" Here are the 10 biggest takeaways from National Signing Day:

 

1. Stop me if you've heard this before: The SEC rules.

 

For all the talk about the culture, the passion of SEC fans and all-star coaches, college football's premier conference continues to thrive on an overwhelming abundance of talent within its states' borders.

Eight of the league's 14 teams finished in Rivals' top 25 classes. That group includes defending national champion Alabama's top-ranked haul and new conference member Texas A&M, which finished 14th overall.

It's even more impressive when you consider that three schools in prime SEC territory – Florida State, Miami and Clemson – finished in the top 15.

2. The top recruit in the country is going to Missouri. Yes, Missouri.

Below is a list of the last 10 No. 1 recruits in the country by year and school attended.

2003: Ernie Sims - Florida St.
2004: Adrian Peterson - Oklahoma
2005: Derrick Williams - Penn St.
2006: Percy Harvin - Florida
2007: Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame
2008: Terrelle Pryor - Ohio St.
2009: Bryce Brown - Tennessee
2010: Ronald Powell - Florida
2011: Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina
2012: Dorial Green-Beckham - Missouri

Which one is not like the others? (No, it's not Notre Dame.)

It's probably a stretch to say a wide receiver can be a transformational player for a college program, but if one could, it's DGB. Mizzou just landed the most promising pass catcher since Randy Moss.

The Tigers are far from a traditional powerhouse, but they now have a favorite son to help lead them into the SEC.

3. For Miami, it's quantity over quality.

The NCAA is breathing down his neck, but Miami coach Al Golden still managed to sign a top 10 recruiting class. That little Nevin Shapiro problem likely played a big part in why The U signed a whopping 33 players this year. Gearing up for some lean years in terms of available scholarships is probably a good move by Golden.

4. For USC, it's quality over quantity.

Lane Kiffin knows all about scholarship restrictions. Courtesy of the Reggie Bush affair, the Trojans had just 15 free rides to hand out this year.

Damn if they didn't make 'em count.

Southern Cal's 15 recruits averaged a Rivals rating of 4.07 stars out of five. That was easily the highest rate in the country. The Trojans snared three five-star recruits, including offensive linemen Jordan Simmons and Zach Banner.

Won't be a big team, but pound for pound, it will be tough to put together a better assembly of talent.

5. Toshiro Davis = Bizarro Ryan Perrilloux.

Back in 2005, vaunted prep quarterback Ryan Perrilloux pulled one of the all-time great Signing Day stunners. Right before he put his pen to paper, Perrilloux jilted the Texas Longhorns in favor of Les Miles and the LSU Tigers.

Mack Brown returned the favor today, swiping away five-star defensive end Toshiro Davis from the Bayou Bengals at the last minute. For Davis' sake, here's hoping his career doesn't go the way of Perrilloux's.

6. Brady Hoke gives the Maize and Blue hope.

After a two-year hiatus, the Michigan Wolverines returned to familiar territory inside the top 10 of the recruiting rankings. Rivals put Michigan's 25-man class at No. 6, led by five-star additions Ondrei Pipkins at defensive tackle and Kyle Kalis on the offensive line.

7. Bobby Petrino has had better days.

Arkansas just wrapped up one of its better seasons in recent memory, but the Razorbacks failed to parlay that into much success on the recruiting battlegrounds.

Once widely thought to be DGB's eventual destination, Petrino failed to seal the deal. On top of that, Oklahoma stole away talented juco receiver Courtney Gardner, too.

Rivals ranked the Hogs No. 32 in the nation, which is respectable. On the other hand, they had the 11th-best class in the talent-rich SEC.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, Robert.

8. Stanford doesn't need Luck.

If you had assumed the Cardinal would go away once Andrew Luck was gone, I'd slow your roll. Stanford hauled in the No. 5 class in the nation, according to Rivals.

The group includes running back Barry Sanders, Jr., son of that Barry Sanders. He'll be running behind an offensive line that includes two five-star studs in in-state star Kyle Murphy and Andrus Peat out of Arizona. On the other side of the ball, DE Aziz ****** (watch yo mouth!) also pledged allegiance to the brainiacs.

9. Notre Dame loses a big one to... Houston.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly claims he spoke to Deontay Greenberry on Tuesday night, at which point the receiver from Fresno, Calif., allegedly reaffirmed his commitment to the Domers. On Wednesday, Greenberry, one of the best prep wide receivers in the nation, became a Houston Cougars.

Signing Day flip-flops are nothing new, but a kid from Fresno passing on ND for the Cougs?

Gunner Kiel's coach got in a parting shot when asked about the news, stating that he didn't care about Greenberry because the Irish had signed "the right kind of guys."

So it shall be written: Sign with Notre Dame, right kind of guy; sign with Houston, not right kind of guy.

10. Jim Mora starts fast.

New UCLA coach and infamous wet blanket Jim Mora probably eased some fears among Bruins concerned about his ability to entice high school boys to Westwood. Rivals ranked UCLA's class No. 12 overall.

Of course, Pistol Rick never had any problem landing recruits. What Mora will need to do differently is try to get them to win games.

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