Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Signing Day Primer: Texas near the top thanks to area's best
What is signing day? It's like Christmas for college football fans. Wednesday is the first day a high school senior can sign a binding letter of intent to play college football for a school. No day - other than the NFL Draft - pumps up fans so much with the chance to see all the great talent their school brought into the program.
Aren't all the recruits taken? Most have verbally committed to play for a school. But they sign their official letters Wednesday. Only 14 of the top 100 players, according to Rivals.com, haven't verbally committed to a school.
So why is signing day so important? For one, it's the first time coaches can talk about their recruiting classes under NCAA rules. Two, it's the official locking up of a class, plus all the arguing about rankings. And though it's highly contested, sometimes the rankings actually pan out. For example: In the 2008 NFL Draft, only one player in the top 10 was not ranked as a four-star prospect or higher.
What the rankings say: Texas is ranked No. 2 by most recruiting analysts. Oklahoma (5th) and Texas A&M (10th) are in the top 10 nationally. Texas Tech and TCU are in the top 40. Need more info on rankings? Check out the team rankings and local area rankings.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. who lists Florida as having the top recruiting class, followed closely by the Longhorns: "Two teams, Florida and Texas, are head and shoulders above everyone else this year. Texas is lining itself up to be a national title contender for the next four years."
Lemming, to The Denver Post: "It's good to have coaches with Texas connections on your staff, because Texas is a very clannish state. The high school coaches down there tend to push players toward college coaches they know."
Rivals.com national recruiting editor Jeremy Crabtree, on TCU's recruiting class post-BCS game, to SI.com: "If you look at the caliber of players they're able to target, there's definitely been a noticeable change in the talent. TCU is now able to go head-to-head with virtually every Big 12 school except maybe Oklahoma and Texas."
Recently, Fox Sports Southwest spoke with recruiting analysts Jeremy Crabtree of Rivals.com and Greg Powers of Scout.com. Some highlights:
Crabtree, on Texas' class: "Texas' class is the best in the conference right now. I'm excited about Mike Davis, a receiver out of Dallas. He really proved his worth in the all-star games, and he's proved he's an elite receiver prospect. Then you throw in Darius White from over in Fort Worth. That kid has the potential to be excellent also. Tevin Jackson, a linebacker that looked good down in San Antonio during the Army All-American game. Reggie Wilson (Haltom City, Texas/Haltom) is a 6'2" defensive end that just gets after it; reminds me a lot of (former Louisville and current Denver Broncos linebacker) Elvis Dumervil when he was coming out of high school, that type of motor. ... He's not your typical 6'4", 6'5" defensive end, but it doesn't matter because he just flat out gets it done."
Powers, on Texas pulling the top prospect in the state of Oklahoma - safety Demarco Cobbs (Tulsa, OK/Central) - away from the Sooners and Tennessee, which he originally committed to: "Texas was always his first love, and when the Longhorns let him know a scholarship was once again available for him, he jumped at it."
Powers, on where the Longhorns might use Cobbs: "Cobbs was a prolific return man in high school, so he could get a look there, but Texas will give him his first college reps at running back and he may even a look out of the 'wildcat' formation. If he winds up on defense, he is a guy that, because of his length, should be able to be an excellent pass defender."
Crabtree, on Plano West defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, who recently committed to Texas: "There's not a better strong side defensive end in the country. He can play the run and pass; he does a lot of really positive things around the football."
Crabtree, on Colt's younger brother, Case McCoy, and whether he can live up to his brother's hype: "Case is similar in style of play and physical attributes, similar in that he's a pretty intelligent football player. In hindsight, you're right, Colt McCoy was the best player Texas signed out of that class, but coming out of high school, he wasn't highly touted. I think that could be similar with Case. He may be the lowest-ranked recruit in the Horns' class this year. They've got the true freshman quarterback [Garrett Gilbert] that played this year. No one's really counting on Case to be a major impact guy, but you know, I wouldn't count him out either."
We welcome readers' contributions on National Signing Day, too. Here's how you can take part. Coaches: Send your lists of confirmed signings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures, blog: Upload your photos, videos or news stories from your Signing Day ceremonies on your school page at HS GameTime.
Watch a Fox Sports Southwest recruiting special, 6 p.m. Wednesday. And stay tuned to HS GameTime all day long on Wednesday for updates from all of your schools.