Florida State Dominates College Football's Signing Day

By Michael Preston
|  Thursday, Feb 3, 2011  |  Updated 2:00 AM CDT
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MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Lonnie Pryor #24 of the Florida State Seminoles scores a touchdown while being pursued by Ramon Buchanan #45 of the Miami Hurricanes on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes 45-17. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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Last season Florida State finally reasserted its on-the-field dominance of rivals Miami and Florida. After this year's National Signing Day, it appears they've also found their mojo on the recruiting trail, too.

Coming off a 9-4 season and an appearance in the ACC Title Game, the Seminoles pulled in what's considered to be the best collection of new players in the country, reports ESPN.

FSU's class boasts the nation's top defensive tackle prospect (Tim Jernigan of Lake City, Fla.), the top safety prospect (Karlos Williams of Davenport, Fla.) and top tight end prospect (Nick O' Leary of Palm Beach, Fla.), which bodes well for the program putting a strangle hold on the talent rich Sunshine State. The 'noles also added top five national running back/linebacker prospect James Wilder Jr. from Tampa, whose father once toted the rock for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But on a day for college football fans that mixes part of the giddy anticipation of Christmas morning with the palace intrigue of a Gossip Girl season finale, several of the nation's other glamor programs also racked up top classes as well.

The Southeastern Conference, which is home to the last five BCS national champions, cleaned up with nine schools in the consensus top 25 rankings. Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and LSU led the way with top ten classes.

Despite being on probation, USC made waves on Groundhog Day, also landing a top ten class led by top-20 national player, wide receiver George Farmer. The Trojans also scored a couple of big out of state stars: Ohio offensive tackle Aundrey Walker, long considered a lock for the home state Buckeyes, and Kentucky linebacker Lamar Dawson, who seemed bound for either Kentucky or Tennessee.

Texas and Ohio State also landed among the nation's elite, while the big surprises in the top ten were Clemson and Notre Dame, the former coming off a losing season and the latter getting a jolt of energy from Coach Brian Kelly's first full recruiting class.

Even though the ink has dried on the majority of intent letters, there's still a little bit of drama left to unfold. Two of the nation's top five ranked players: South Pointe (SC) defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Dematha (MD) offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio have yet to sign. Clowney, considered to be the number one player in the country, is considering Alabama, South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina and Auburn while Kouandjio - who verbally committed to Auburn but hasn't signed on the dotted line - is still considering Alabama, New Mexico, California and Connecticut.
 

Selected Reading: ESPN, CNNSI, Sportsline

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