Alabama, USC and the Top 20 National Signing Day Schools of 2015

The USC Trojans Recruited The No. 1 High School Cornerback In Iman Marshall, While Alabama Recruited The 325-Pound Defensive Tackle, Daron Payne

The USC Trojans Recruited The No. 1 High School Cornerback In Iman Marshall, While Alabama Recruited The 325-Pound Defensive Tackle, Daron Payne

Which school did the best on National Signing Day? The “calculated” consensus of four college football experts – FOX Sports, CBS’, Bleacher Report and Yahoo!’s – is two schools: Alabama and USC.

What is National Signing Day anyway, for those who need to know? Beginning on the first Wednesday in February, high school seniors (in this case, football players) can sign National Letters of Intent (NLI) to play for a top tier NCAA football program.

According to, “The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution.

  • A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
  • The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).”

The NLI is not legally binding, but it is a contract of sorts that comes with penalties if not fulfilled by the student-athlete:

“Basic penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement:  A student-athlete has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters or three quarters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports.”

The Trojans and Crimson Tide were picked the 1-2 best recruiters on Day 1 in 2015 by two experts apiece. CBS and Bleacher Report went with Alabama, while FOX Sports and Yahoo! went with USC at the top.

Beside the Crimson Tide, what about this season’s other “Final Four” schools in the College Football Playoffs (CFP): the champion Ohio State Buckeyes, runner-up Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles?

Florida State potentially improved the most with their new recruits, followed not too far away by Ohio State – but the Seminoles are losing Jameis Winston to the NFL draft while the Buckeyes remain intact at quarterback and elsewhere.

Alabama and Ohio State will be right back in the mix in 2015. The Seminoles? We’ll have to see.

Meanwhile, the Ducks, losing their 2014 Heisman-winning QB, Marcus Mariota, to the NFL Draft – and pulling up 18th on signing day – might need a few seasons to catch up again.

To get the composite ranking below, I took the four sets of rankings and simply added the ranks, with the lowest totals ranked highest (i.e. USC, 6 = Alabama, 6 < a surprising third-best Tennessee, 17). For ties (i.e. Clemson, LSU and Georgia), the school with the best highest ranking (HR) got the nod. For those schools at the bottom and not on all three lists, they are first ranked by school on (3) of the lists, then (1).

Check out my sources, where each ran it out to No. 25, by clicking on the titles in the second list below – and go deeper into the top schools’ signings.


1. Alabama 6 (EVEN)
1. USC 6 (EVEN)
3. Tennessee 17
4. Florida State 20
5. Auburn 27
6. Ohio State 30
7. Clemson 32 (HR: 4)
8. LSU 32 (HR: 5+)
9. Georgia 32 (HR: 5)
10. UCLA 37
11. Texas 41
12. Notre Dame 43
13. Texas A&M 44
14. Penn State 56
15. Oklahoma 58
16. Mississippi State 69
17. South Carolina 77
18. Oregon 49 (3)
19. Ole Miss 51 (3)
20. Arizona State 59 (3)
21. Michigan State 17 (1)
22. Stanford 18 (1)
23. Florida 20 (1)



1. USC Alabama Alabama USC
2. Alabama USC USC Alabama
3. Auburn Florida State Florida State Florida State
4. Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Clemson
5. Georgia LSU Clemson Tennessee
6. Notre Dame Ohio State Ohio State Auburn
7. Texas UCLA LSU Georgia
8. Ohio State Clemson UCLA LSU
9. UCLA Auburn Auburn Ohio State
10. Texas A&M Georgia Georgia Texas A&M
11. Florida State Texas Texas Notre Dame
12. LSU Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas
13. Penn State Notre Dame Notre Dame UCLA
14. Oklahoma Penn State Penn State Oklahoma
15. Clemson Oklahoma Oklahoma Penn State
16. Ole Miss Oregon Oregon Mississippi State
17. Michigan State Ole Miss Mississippi State Oregon
18. Mississippi State Mississippi State Ole Miss Stanford
19. Arizona State South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina
20. South Carolina Arizona State Florida Arizona State

Photos: /


Posted on February 9, 2015, in NCAA Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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