Signing Day: Interviews with 11 elite coaches & more highlights

BY foxsports • February 4, 2015

Signing Day sure was the whirlwind it promised to be, as programs throughout the country stocked up on elite talent from the recruiting Class of 2015.

USC was among the schools that made out well. In fact, according to Scout.com, the Trojans hold the No. 1 class in the country. That group includes elite CB Iman Marshall, the nation's No. 7 overall player.

Alabama, Auburn, UCLA and Tennessee rounded out the top five, and you should definitely check out the full rankings from Scout here. But beyond the standings and the stars, what's to make of all the Signing Day moves?

Luckily, at FOX Sports, we had the help of some of college football’s elite coaches — 11 of them, to be specific — including Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, USC’s Steve Sarkisian and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly. They all joined our Signing Day experts Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel on @TheBuzzer, where they broke down their teams and let us know which new players we should keep an eye on. The conversations extended beyond Signing Day, too, and we've compiled plenty of talk to help you through the offseason — at least for a couple of days.

We mentioned the Trojans and Coach Sark, so let's start there. Entering his second year at the helm in LA, he's really excited about his defense despite losing elite D-lineman Leonard Williams to the NFL. Here's why:

For the second year in a row, the Vols have hauled in an impressive top-five class. Head coach Butch Jones can brag that he signed the nation's top-ranked prospect in DT Kahlil McKenzie. But that doesn't mean Jones is content.

National champion Ohio State was able to manage a top-10 class this season, too. (Yeah, we know, the rich keep getting richer.) But naturally, Bruce and Stew had to ask Meyer about the QB situation. Yes, they're stacked at the position, but the head coach gave this message to recruits: Don't be scared because we're good.

One of the highlights of Notre Dame's No. 7 class is the nation's No. 2 tight end: five-star recruit Alize Jones from powerhouse Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Kelly will promise you this: This kid's going to play right away.

Penn State head coach James Franklin called in and explained why the "sanctions never really affected" Penn State.

LSU has some work to do at QB and head coach Les Miles isn't ruling out using a graduate transfer to fill the position.

Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin opened up about his former QB Johnny Manziel and said the school "could've done better" for him.

TCU's Gary Patterson doesn't totally buy into the star system for grading recruits, and he's got some pretty solid examples why.

After a disasterous 2014 season, there's reason to be positive for Bob Stoops and Oklahoma.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze talked about the wackiness of Signing Day and his controversial new QB Chad Kelly

With the pattern of freshmen making an impact at Georgia (see: Gurley, Todd; Chubb, Nick), it makes sense that Bulldogs coach Mark Richt expects this year's freshmen to push for starting roles

One last note about these coach interviews: Be sure to check back this week and next for more clips and podcasts.

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES FROM NATIONAL SIGNING DAY:

• Five-star RB Soso Jamabo shocked the college football world Wednesday when he spurned both ITT Tech and the University of Phoenix and instead picked UCLA. No doubt there are some angry engineering students tonight.

• Snoop Dogg's son picked crosstown rival UCLA over his father's beloved USC, and now the rapper has to throw away all his Trojans drawers. 

• Florida had a beast of a day, drawing two of the 11 remaining undecided five-star recruits, including the Class of 2015's top offensive tackle, Martez Ivey. And it sounded as if the Gators were this close to picking up a third five-star player when the No. 8 overall prospect Byron Cowart reportedly had a case of cold feet about his commitment to Auburn, though he eventually faxed his letter to the Tigers.

• Boise State took a, let's say, alternate approach to stocking up, announcing the commitment of Katy Perry's Left Shark from the Super Bowl halftime show.


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