National Signing Day Countdown: Teams Poised For Strong Finishes

As National Signing Day draws to a close, there are a few teams hoping to fill out their classes and finish the recruiting cycle on a high note. Here are some schools poised for strong finishes with the 2017 recruiting class. 

It’s been a long, arduous process over the past year, but that’s always the case when it comes to the recruiting trail.

And it’s hard to believe Wednesday will be the culmination of yet another busy recruiting cycle, but that’s where we’re at right now. National Signing Day is only days away, and plenty of programs are hoping to finish on a high note. While there are certainly quite a few schools trying to fend off others from flipping some of their current commits, on the other side of the equation lies the teams who are looking to be on the attack and finish strong.

So, with that said, here are some teams to keep an eye on, as they’ll likely surge between now and National Signing Day.

USC Trojans

Few teams have benefitted from on-field success this past season as much as USC has on the recruiting trail. The Trojans are setting up to have a more grand finale than any other program. They managed to flip 4-star defensive end Marlon Tuipulotu from Washington, and they’re looking to add a few more blue-chip recruits, which will certainly guarantee them a spot within the top 10. Adding 5-star prospects like Austin Jackson and Joseph Lewis will be the boost Clay Helton needs to help USC return to the top of college football.

Florida Gators

A lot of Florida fans don’t know which side of the fence to be on. They’re either happy that Jim McElwain became the first head coach in SEC history to reach back-to-back conference title games in his first two seasons, or they’re upset the Gators aren’t landing in the top five of the recruiting rankings. Florida is setting up for quite a few commitments on National Signing Day, so that should quiet some of the critics. It probably won’t be enough to get the Gators into the top 10, but Florida will land a top-15 class.

The most notable name on the board is 5-star offensive guard Tedarrell Slaton, who will likely make the switch to defensive tackle if he ends up in Gainesville. But Florida is also looking to flip a few commits from former defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, who’s now the head coach at Maryland.

Alabama Crimson Tide

It’s difficult to imagine Alabama loading up even more than it has to this point, but then you remember it’s Alabama, and you think, “Oh, well I guess that makes sense the.” The Crimson Tide are looking to land 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon and 5-star wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Michigan won’t make it easy for Solomon, but Smith is looking like he’ll end up in Tuscaloosa. The Tide also replaced 3-star kicker Brandon Ruiz, who flipped to Arizona State, with 3-star kicker Joseph Pulovas, who flipped from Georgia Tech. So, that spot is taken care of with a week to spare.

Texas Longhorns

Tom Herman has energized the program in Austin, and now the Longhorns are shaping up for a big finish on National Signing Day. Five-star defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson and 4-star cornerback Chevin Calloway are two of the bigger names Texas is pursuing, and it appears as though both will end up playing for Herman. Four-star offensive tackle Stephan Zabié is another name on the Longhorns’ radar.

Oregon Ducks

There has been a lot of drama in Eugene lately. First there was an incident that sent three Ducks to the hospital. Then, five days after officially being hired, co-offensive coordinator David Reaves was arrested and charged with a DUI, and his contract will be terminated. Even with all of that taken into consideration, Oregon is still looking for a strong finish to the cycle.

It looks like Willie Taggart will lure 3-star athlete Bruce Judson to the Ducks, as the Cocoa, Florida native decommitted from USF on Tuesday. There is also a solid chance Oregon can get 4-star cornerback Deommodore Lenoir to re-commit. If Taggart can manage to circumvent these recent headlines and channel all his energy into the recruiting trail, the Ducks could find themselves in the top 30 of the class rankings on National Signing Day.

MORE: 4-Star RB Anthony McFarland Delays Commitment Date