As yesterday fades into the sunset. We look forward to the weather warming a bit, the Spring Game, the arrival of this years "The Shirt" and of course, September 6th.
In my humble opinion, the Irish have by far the most exciting class of recruits since, well, ever.
We read all the pundits opinions and yell about who has the "#1" Class of recruits.
Well here goes. Alabama has a class of 33 with at least 5 non-qualifiers. I would love to sit in the living room when Saban is trying to convince a kid to come to Alabama. Coming from a guy who told everyone in South Florida that "I am not the Alabama head coach" as he got rid of leased cars, golf club memberships and his home in South Florida, I don't think it carries too much weight.
And Florida with the Urbanal. Enough said about that one.
Notre Dame is ranked in the top 3 by all of the known analysts. That is except one. The ESPN Network has the Irish at 9. Nine. Can you believe it? Mark May Recruiting network gives them a low ranking and cannot even come up with a reason. Everything written about the class shows better and the number of Top 150 players is more than half of the top ten.
Here is a list of a few of the top 3 classes.
1. Alabama — Nick Saban and his staff hit the recruiting trail with a vengeance. They cleaned up in-state and also got top players from Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
2. Notre Dame— The Irish needed an influx of young talent. Charlie Weis and his staff brought in players from all over and look to have upgraded team speed.
3. Florida — The bulk of the Gators' class came aboard in December and January, making for a rather uneventful final week for their third top-five class in a row.
Tom Lemming, CSTV
1. Alabama — Its best class in 10 years. Dominated its state. Just what Nick Saban needed — talent. They got DB Alonzo Lawrence, the biggest sleeper of the year.
2. Notre Dame — Its best class in 18 years. Helped themselves at every position, with 15 All-Americans coming in.
3. Florida — Came on strong with de-committed players. Took a couple of Notre Dame's and Miami's best, particularly on the defensive side.
Allen Wallace, SuperPrep.com
1. Alabama — Nick Saban locked up the majority of the best in-state talent, led by the nation's No. 1 WR Julio Jones and including OT Tyler Love, CB Burton Scott, ATH Mark Barron and DEs Courtney Upshaw and Michael Williams. QB Star Jackson from Florida has fantastic touch.
2. Notre Dame — This was the class the Irish dramatically needed right now if Charlie Weis is to re-establish the Irish as a power. It's a superbly balanced effort featuring elite athletes such as TE Kyle Rudolph, WR Michael Floyd, DE Ethan Johnson and LB Steven Filer. Weis lost DT Omar Hunter to Florida but he was otherwise very successful in restocking the offensive and defensive trenches.
3. Miami — The incoming 'Cane LB group is just unbelievable and is headed by Arthur Brown, Sean Spence and Marcus Robinson. Three QBs are headed into Coral Gables including in-stater Jacory Harris who will have outstanding five-star WR Aldarius Jackson to use for target practice.
12 ESPN 150 prospects Coach Randy Shannon did an outstanding job landing top-tier defensive talent in his first full recruiting class. The Canes boast five of the top seven outside linebackers, led by the top three -- Arthur Brown (Wichita, Kan./East), Sean Spence (Miami/Northwestern) and signing day recommit Ramon Buchanan (Melbourne, Fla./Palm Bay). The talent continues up front with Marcus Fortson (Miami/ Northwestern), the country's No. 1-rated defensive tackle. Taylor Cook (Eagle Lake, Texas/Rice) and Jacory Harris (Miami/Northwestern) have different types of games but are both quality quarterback prospects. ESPN 150 receivers Aldarius Johnson (Miami/Northwestern) and Davon Johnson (Miami/Booker T. Washington) both project to haul in a bunch of balls in their careers.
10 ESPN 150 prospects This year's surprise class closed with a bang down the stretch on signing day with signatures from No. 6 offensive tackle Antoine McClain (Anniston, Ala.), No. 3 tight end Dwayne Allen (Fayetteville, S.C./Terry Sanford) and No. 3 running back Jamie Harper (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian). This was all while ESPN's No. 1-rated overall prospect DaQuan Bowers (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt) was already hitting the books on Clemson's campus with No. 4-rated quarterback Kyle Parker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail).
Six ESPN 150 prospects One of the biggest movers on signing day, the addition of ESPN's No. 2 overall player, receiver Julio Jones (Foley, Ala.), gives Alabama perhaps its best class since the turn of the century. Jones, offensive tackle Tyler Love (Birmingham, Ala./Mountain Brook) and athlete Burton Scott (Prichard, Ala./Vigor) give the Tide three No. 1-rated prospects at their respective positions, but the Tide's 15 total prospects at need positions who have a Scouts Inc. grade of 80 or above make this class so impressive.
9. Notre Dame
10 ESPN 150 prospects After an abysmal 2007 season, Charlie Weis bounced back with a top-10 recruiting class. While some programs might boast more elite prospects, top to bottom this class holds some of the best overall quality and finally some defensive help is on the way. Elite receivers Michael Floyd (Saint Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) and Deion Walker (Christchurch, Va.) should have Irish fans smiling after watching an anemic offensive performance last fall while tight end Kyle Rudolph (Cincinnati/Elder) also has excellent receiving skills. No. 2 quarterback prospect Dayne Christ (Canoga Park, Calif./Notre Dame) has the arm strength to challenge Jimmy Clausen early in his career for reps. Center and defensive end were key areas of need and filled with good quality.