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National Signing Day Ticker

Commitments, news and notes throughout the day


Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's top recruit, signed with Ole Miss this morning. / USA TODAY Sports

Bookmark this page, as we'll be updating it throughout Signing Day with news and notes from across the country.

Signing Day Central | Composite Rankings | Top 10 Classes | ESPNU Schedule
PHOTOS: Top 10 Uncommitted | Outrageous Commitments

THURSDAY

1:35 p.m.


CBS Miami

If Montravius Adams' airbrushed T-shirt won signing day, Alex Collins' camo suit and tie won the day after signing day. With his father by his side, Collins, a star running back at Plantation (Fla.), signed his letter of intent to play at Arkansas, one day after his mother took his LOI.

WEDNESDAY

9:55 p.m.

Inspiring story from Colorado, where Aurora theater shooting victim Zack Golditch signed his letter of intent to play at Colorado State today.

8:15 p.m.

Placer (Auburn, Calif.) defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes signs with Notre Dame.

7:40 p.m.

Here's a rundown of the big winners and losers on signing day.

7:20 p.m.

Was this the most creative signing day announcement? The most creepy? Both?

5:40 p.m.

Here's a look at the composite Top 25 class rankings, which are based on the rankings of the four major recruiting sites. Alabama, Ohio State and Florida lead the way.

5:30 p.m.

Most of the American Family Insurance ALL-USA team had already committed to schools, but a few guys kept their future plans a secret until today. Here's a look at where all of the senior selections will play college football.

4:30 p.m.

In case you missed it, the most bizarre story from today's signing day involves South Plantation (Fla.) running back Alex Collins. The top-50 recruit was expected to sign with Arkansas, but his mother reportedly took off with his national letter of intent. Collins knew his mom preferred that he sign with Miami, as it would allow her to attend more games. Still, he wasn't counting on this.

“She wants me to go to Miami because she’s a fan of the school and because it’s close to home, so she’ll be able to come to all of my games,” Collins told NBCMiami.com on Sunday. “It’s ultimately going to be my decision. She’ll just end up being ok with whatever school I go to and support me.”

Collins seems be handling the aftermath of the embarrassment rather well.

Related: Expect the unexpected on signing day

4:15 p.m.

And then there was one. One uncommitted prospect in the composite Top 50 rankings, that is. Placer (Auburn, Calif.) defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, who is ranked No. 6, will announce his school choice at 8 p.m., but there's rampant speculation that Vanderdoes is already signed.

Notre Dame released a list of players from whom it had received national letters of intent this morning and Vanderdoes' name was on it. Notre Dame later claimed it was a mistake and Vanderdoes assured his followers that was the case.

Very intriguing. Alabama, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are apparently in the mix.

3:53 p.m.

Norcross (Ga.) running back Alvin Kamara, the No. 42 recruit in our composite rankings, committed to Alabama over Georgia in an announcement broadcast on SportsCenter. Coupled with the signing of the all-time leading high school rusher, American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection Derrick Henry, the Crimson Tide shouldn't miss NFL Draft-bound running back Eddie Lacy too much.

3:20 p.m.

It's all in the family at Notre Dame. Torii Hunter Jr. and Corey Robinson are the latest sons of famous athletes to sign with the Irish.

3 p.m.

People are taking notice of Ole Miss' signing day dominance, even the King himself.

2:45 p.m.


USA TODAY Sports

Check out our gallery of signing day ceremonies from across the country, starring Montravius Adams' incredible custom T-shirt.

2:00 p.m.

Few schools have given recruits a head start as much as Alabama the past two seasons. The Crimson Tide already has nine 2013 recruits on campus as early enrollees, adding to the eight who enrolled early last season. The nine early signees include: quarterbacks Cooper Bateman, Parker McLeod and Luke Del Rio; offensive lineman Leon Brown; wide receiver Raheem Falkins; running back Derrick Henry; tight end O.J. Howard; offensive lineman Brandon Hill; and athlete Jai Miller.

MORE: Florida State closes strong with pair of five-star recruits

Having the chance to play college spring football can make a difference. Three of the Tide's early signees last year contributed heavily to the team's national championship. T.J. Yeldon ran for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns, Amari Cooper had 59 catches for 1,000 yards and Deion Blue started 14 games at cornerback and had two interceptions.
Alabama is hardly alone with the big number of early 2013 enrollees as Georgia has 13 while Florida, Western Kentucky and Louisiana State have eight.

1:30 p.m.

Former 2 Live Crew rapper Luther Campbell is an assistant coach these days with Miami Northwestern, which, according to coach Steven Field, expected to have 17 players sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Campbell is a happy man today.

1:25 p.m.

We have a truly bizarre and developing story out of Florida, where South Plantation star running back Alex Collins, who was expected to commit to Arkansas, canceled his signing day ceremony. ESPN's Corey Long reported that Collins' mom confiscated Collins' letter of intent and ran off with them. Our own Paul Myerberg said it best:

1:17 p.m.

Our own Jim Halley busts five Signing Day myths. For one, it's not just one day.

1:05 p.m.

While he isn't an elite recruit, Holy Cross (New Orleans) wide receiver and LSU commit Kevin Spears could be a stud in Baton Rouge. He headlines a list of potential late bloomers from this year's class.

12:45 p.m.

Houston (Miss.) defensive end Chris Jones sticks with Mississippi State despite getting 'death threats' from rival schools.

12:33 p.m.

It's been a busy week for Ray Lewis. He finished his NFL career with a Super Bowl win on Sunday and got to hold the Lombardi Trophy. On Wednesday, he was in Lake Mary, Fla., to watch his son, Ray Lewis III, sign with Miami, his father's alma mater. The younger Lewis ran for 89 touchdowns in his career.

PHOTOS: Super Bowl Players in High School

12:30 p.m.

How did Milton (Ga.) defensive end Carl Lawson spend his morning before signing with Auburn? A grueling, hourlong workout with his teammates, of course. Our own Jason Jordan is spending the day with Lawson. Here's his first dispatch from Georgia.

11:55 a.m.

Robert Nkemdiche wore some sweet Ole Miss suspenders to today's announcement.


USA TODAY Sports

11:33 a.m.

The REAL stars of signing day? FAX MACHINES!

11:30 a.m.

Immokalee (Fla.) defensive back Mackensie Alexander, the No. 29 recruit in our composite rankings, signed with Clemson. His brother, Mackenro, will play at Auburn.

11:20 a.m.

Speaking of fashion, check out what Auburn (Ala.) linebacker Reuben Foster wore to his signing day ceremony. Are the long sleeves to cover up that Auburn tattoo? Well played.

11:15 a.m.

What do fashion perks have to do with a recruit's choice on Signing Day?

"There have been crazier reasons for kids choosing schools," said Mike Farrell, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com.

Check out the full story here.

11:10 a.m.

Ridgeland (Rossville, Ga.) defensive back Vonn Bell, who was expected to sign with Tennessee, signed with Ohio State today.

10:55 a.m.

Vanderbilt's success on the field is paying off on signing day. The Commodores won nine games this season, their best showing since 1915. Vanderbilt, which 247Sports lists as having the 30th best signing class, has signed three recruits ranked among the top 10 at their position. They pulled linebacker Nigel Bowden of Central (Macon, Ga.) away from Georgia Tech, quarterback Johnathon McCrary of Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.) away from Georgia and Tennessee and tight end Mitchell Parsons of Chaparral (Parker, Colo.) away from Colorado.

MORE: Signing day lists by conference
MORE: SEC dominates field on signing day

The Commodores have an outside chance of signing another elite player, particularly since he's in their backyard. Corn Elder, who ran for 2,618 yards and 39 touchdowns last season at Ensworth (Nashville), is hoping to go someplace where he can play football and basketball and the Commodores would be happy to oblige. Elder led Ensworth to back-to-back basketball state titles and was the state's Mr. Football while leading Ensworth to its third consecutive state football title.

10:40 a.m

Booker T. Washington (Miami, Fla.) LB Matthew Thomas, who is No. 8 in our composite rankings, committed to Florida State. As you can tell from the poster above, Thomas was also considering Alabama, Miami, Georgia and USC. In hindsight, the prominent placement of the Seminoles logo was a giveaway.

10:30 a.m.

Not every top high school football player was looking forward to signing day. Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.) quarterback Donovan McCoy, who led his team to the 4A state title by passing for 2,769 yards and 32 touchdowns, was named the state's first-team all-state quarterback. He's passing on college football however, to concentrate on finding a good school to study bio-engineering.
 
“Up to about the end of the season I thought I was wanting to play and looking for a place to play, but I have reached a point where I have gotten what I need out of football,” McCoy told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’ve played for 12 years and I’m 18 years old and my body has been to hell and back. I still love the game of football. Hopefully one day when I have kids they will want to play and watch it with me, but as a player it’s just something I’m ready to move on from.”

That doesn't mean McCoy will have to pay to go to college. He carries a 4.4 grade-point average, scored 34 on the ACT and has several academic offers.

"It's a difficult decision for him," said Highlands coach Dale Mueller. "He loved playing football. He was our class MVP every year and our team MVP as a senior. ..  But, he's also a guy who has a 4.4 weighted GPA. I teach him in my advanced placement physics class and he plans on majoring in engineering. He's a guy who could make that work playing football, but just decided it's time to focus more on academics. It's a very mature decision. If you look across college football rosters, there are a lot of guys who decide that after playing a year. He's a guy who made that decision while in high school."

10:25 a.m.

It's been a good signing day for Ole Miss, but it hasn't been perfect. Avon (Ind.) defensive end Elijah Daniel signed with Auburn after entering the day committed to Mississippi. From the Indy Star: Avon coach Mark Bless wasn’t even sure as late as Tuesday night which school the highly-sought Daniel would choose. Daniel, dressed in an Auburn pullover and stocking hat, officially faxed his letter of intent to Auburn at 7:01 a.m. “It was mainly (Auburn) because of my family and me knowing (defensive line coach Rodney Gardner) for a long time. Me and my family came to an agreement yesterday that it was the best choice for me.”

10:20 a.m.

Mississippi football fans are obviously elated with Robert Nkemdiche's commitment on Wednesday, but the Rebels have another defensive player coming in who could have a more immediate impact. The nation's top rated junior college player, Lavon Hooks, a defensive tackle from Northeast Mississippi, signed in December with Ole Miss and is already on the school's campus.

Hooks, who is 6-4 and 295 pounds, had 51 tackles last season, including 9.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. Any one who wonders what kind of impact a junior college recruit can have need only look back a few years to Cam Newton, who led Auburn to the national title one season after leading Blinn College to a national junior college title.

Deario Grimmage, the football coach at Meadowbrook (Norcross, Ga.), was the school's defensive coordinator when Hooks played linebacker, defensive end and tight end there. He said it is clear that Hooks benefitted from playing first in junior college.
 
"I've seen the growth in him as a student-athlete and in his size," Grimmage said. "He's so far from peaking, because we were short-staffed and he didn't really get the coaching he needed. He had some other distractions here that held him back. I'm excited to see this season in the SEC."

10:10 a.m.

Colleyville Heritage (Texas) DB Myles Crosby has signed his letter of intent to play at SMU. While Rivals.com rates Crosby as a two-star recruit, he'll have plenty to brag about when he arrives on campus. Crosby, you see, is the 11th-ranked male model in the world, according to Models.com. The Dallas Morning News has the full story of his decision to put modeling aside to focus on football and school. “The stereotypical model is a lot softer than I am,” Crosby said.

9:50 a.m.

Milton (Milton, Ga.) defensive end Carl Lawson signed his national letter of intent with Auburn today at 8:32 a.m. Lawson, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPN150, picked the Tigers over UNC, Clemson and Tennessee. "It's where I'm supposed to be," Lawson said. "When I visited there last weekend I knew. It was a no-brainer." Our own Jason Jordan (@JayJayUSATODAY) is spending the day with Lawson and will be providing an insider's account of what it's like to be a top recruit on signing day. Jason's a much better writer than photographer, as you can see.

9:40 a.m.

Columbia (Lake City, Fla.) offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil commits to Ole Miss. If you're keeping track at home, the Rebels now have the nation's No. 1 WR (Laquon Treadwell), No. 1 DE (Robert Nkemdiche) and No. 1 OL (Tunsil). Wow. Here are the updated Top 50 composite rankings.

Related: No titles needed for Ole Miss to win recruiting season

9 a.m.

Wharton (Tampa, Fla.) DB Vernon Hargreaves, an American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection, has signed his national letter of intent to play at Florida.

8 a.m.

Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, an American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection and the nation’s consensus No. 1 prospect in the class of 2013, announced he will attend Ole Miss.

"After much discussion and prayer, I have decided to attend the University of Ole Miss," Nkemdiche said.

Technically it's the University of Mississippi or just Ole Miss, but hey, Rebels fans probably don't care.

As Rece Davis opined in the ESPNU studio, "You know how good this cat is? Nobody's going to mind that he called it the University of Ole Miss."

Related: Nkemdiche hopes to be a freshman All-American, do special things

Related: No titles needed for Ole Miss to win recruiting season

7:30 a.m.

According to Houston coach Tony Levine, St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback John O'Korn became the first official signee in the country. O'Korn is one of nine players at Aquinas expected to sign with Division I schools today.

MORE: USA TODAY Sports Signing Day Homepage

 

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