January 29, 2012

Strong close could salvage some classes

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Rivals.com's football recruiting analysts weigh in on a question of a day through National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Today's question: What program had you expected to have picked it up in recruiting by this time and it just hasn't happened?

Mike Farrell: I would have expected Auburn to be a bit higher knowing how good the staff is and being that the Tigers are just one year removed from a national title. They can still close very strong if they pull a few upsets over the next few days, but it seems they will still be outside the top 15. LSU and Oklahoma State are two others I expected to be higher right now.

Adam Gorney: I thought Arkansas would have been doing a much, much better job with this recruiting class. The Razorbacks only have two four-star commits and one is a junior college wide receiver. With their recent success and the lure to play for coach Bobby Petrino, I thought Arkansas would be landing numerous four-star prospects. That could all change if five-star Dorial Green-Beckham, the No. 1 player in the 2012 class by Rivals.com, picks the Razorbacks. But Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and some other programs are rated higher now and that should be a concern especially if Green-Beckham chooses to go elsewhere.

Josh Helmholdt: After the season Oklahoma State just had and all the attention the Cowboys received this past fall, I'm shocked they do not have at least one Rivals250 prospect in their 2012 class right now. They are ranked as the No. 38 class heading into the final week, lower than area recruiting foes Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech. And losing Joe DeForest, who had helped them land several Houston-area prospects over the last few years, earlier this month is certainly not going to help going forward.

Chris Nee: I am surprised by Wisconsin's lack of victories on the trail this year. They are coming off an 11-win season and Rose Bowl appearance but have really struggled. Some of that is due to coaching changes, but it is still surprising they haven't had more success.

Keith Niebuhr: I'll go with LSU. While I still think the Tigers have a solid class, I'm a little surprised they haven't done better. To me, LSU is the country's most underrated program. Year after year, the Tigers seem to win big. And year after year, their recruiting is off the charts. But this time around, the class, while good, is not as strong as I thought it would be. First of all, that says a lot about the program that a top-20 class doesn't wow you. That tells you how good LSU has recruited of late. In fairness, the Tigers were dealt a major blow when five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel flipped to Notre Dame at the 11th hour. With Kiel, LSU wouldn't be my pick. But the fact is, he didn't go there. While this group isn't bad at all, it is lacking a little bit in star power. I really thought LSU would finish with more of a bang after another stellar season.

Brian Perroni: Oklahoma has a pretty good class but the Sooners have still been a bit disappointing this year. The state of Texas has been the bread and butter for OU in recent years and the Sooners' top commit from the state is only ranked No. 20. They have gone a bit more national this year but they haven't been landing the biggest of the big names there either. The fact that only four commits at the moment, although that number will likely go up a bit after this weekend, project to play defense is also concerning.

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