February 3, 2010

Farrell: National Signing Day predictions

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Predicting what's going to happen on Signing Day is always difficult and risky based on the unpredictability of 17-year-old football players. However, Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell, as usual, is willing to go out on a limb with his annual five Signing Day predictions.

1) Florida will set the standard - Texas made a nice push with the commitments of five-stars Jackson Jeffcoat and Jordan Hicks late last week and USC could still make a run at getting close to the Gators but the biggest question about Florida's class is about whether Urban Meyer and company can surpass the record-setting 2006 class signed by Pete Carroll at USC. If they land Adrian Coxson or Chaz Green on Signing Day, they should set the new standard.

2) USC will finish in top five - USC has been either just outside or just inside the national top 10 for quite some time now but haven't made its big move….yet. Signing Day is when they will add numerous commitments and make a strong push towards the top five. They will land Christian Thomas, Hayes Pullard, Glen Stanley, Josh Shirley and Nickell Robey and they could end up with Sean Parker, Markeith Ambles, Seantrel Henderson, Chaz Green and others. Lane Kiffin and super recruiter Ed Orgeron would have liked more time to make a true run at the No. 1 class, but a top-five finish following less than a month's work will be fine with them for now.

3) Georgia will limp to the finish - Ouch! In the last few days, Georgia lost Nickell Robey and Deon Rogers as a commitments, whiffed on defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker and linebacker Telvin Smith as targets and will lose five-star Da'Rick Rogers to Tennessee. They will also likely strike out on wide outs Christian Green, Adrian Coxson and Kadron Boone. And if defensive tackle Mike Thornton picks Kentucky over the Bulldogs as some are now predicting, look for a complete meltdown in Athens.

4) Five stars will surprise - There will be at least two major surprises amongst the 26 five-star recruits. Whether it's Seantrel Henderson heading west to USC or south to Miami instead of to Ohio State, Owamagbe Odighizuwa spurning Nebraska for UCLA, Christian Jones choosing someone other than Florida State or a major flip at the end by someone unexpected, you can bet there will be a couple of major surprises that leave fans wondering what just happened. There are too many rumors out there about some of the nation's best for things to go as expected.

5) Pac-10 closes out stronger than anyone - In addition to USC, the Bruins of UCLA and the Bears of Cal will also have huge days. UCLA expects good news from players like Dietrich Riley, Jordan Zumwalt, Anthony Jefferson and others and have a shot at Ricky Heimuli and possibly Owamagbe Odighizuwa. Meanwhile, Cal is expected to pull in Keenan Allen, Gabe King, Chris McCain and have a shot at J.R. Ferguson and others. Three teams from the Pac-10 in the top 15 is likely.

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