First of all, before I begin, remember that our full and final national FCS recruiting rankings will be released on Monday morning, Feb. 10. I've been vetting the final signing press releases all day and will continue to add and update so we have the most comprehensive and detailed list of more than 2,000 new players. Also, tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 6) I'll be releasing very short position by position rankings based on the ever-growing FCS recruiting database, as well as several conferences' updates on Friday, Feb. 7. This will all lead into our final rankings on Monday — the Top 50 FCS teams and Top 300 FCS recruits/signees. So what happened today? Well, put simply … a ton.
That tornado that just tore through college football today is known as National Signing Day. We do have an early signing period in mid-December, but that three-day window tends to be overshadowed by college football postseason/playoffs and of course, that big football fan himself — Santa Claus. This signing day (or really, a signing period that goes until April 1) is the one that gets the most hype, the most breaking news, the drama … the weird ways of broadcasting the final decision. Recruits pull rabbits out of hats, their little sisters walk out wearing a T-shirt with the chosen school's name plastered on it, or maybe they do a live Skype session with their future coach.
At the FCS level, it tends to be a little more subdued with fewer cameras around, but it doesn't lessen the news value. Typically an announcement at this level comes with the athlete thanking the other programs that pursued him, and then he dons the cap of the school he liked most.
The FCS had a busy day. We saw dozens of athletes who had Power Five Conference verbal offers end up signing with FCS schools today, so the talent pipeline continues. If you're into the star-rating system (I could personally care less about stars, but these guys are good), you would love what came flowing in today. Players like Sacramento State QB signee Yaro Duvalko, who was a Utah State commitment previously. Or Charleston Southern's DB pickup Jevaun Jacobsen, who had 17 FBS offers on the table but head coach Autry Denson will get to work with him in Charleston, S.C. now. Or how about Nicholls' dynamic duo of Shamar Smith and Quinton Cage — who combined for 42 scholarship offers, mostly of the FBS variety, but will be getting it done in the Southland Conference for the Colonels next year.
There are examples of this all over the country.
And how about the job done by some of the big new names in the coaching world. One would figure former Denver Bronco superstar Ed McCaffrey (and Christian's old man) would make some noise at Northern Colorado, and there certainly has been a buzz around the program during the late recruiting cycle. Or how about McNeese's Frank Wilson, a proven head coach at the FBS level who turned around and did a nice job putting the Cowboys' class together in a short time.
The national championship game programs — James Madison and North Dakota State — got a ton of their work done before they even hit Frisco for the game, signing more than 80 percent of their kids (combined) in December. Not too shabby for having to balance national title game prep with signing day work. Both classes will figure prominently in our national FCS team rankings on Monday.
A lot went on today (and will continue to go on all night) and it will take us a few days to absorb it all and put out a legitimate ranking. So stay tuned.
PS — Interested in our criteria for rankings over the next few days? Take a look below.
Quick rankings explanation/criteria:
- Only high school recruits are taken into account. Transfers are separate and will be evaluated much later this spring.
- The system is based on school offers, NOT 247Sports or Rivals. Every level of D-1 (P5, G5, FCS) has a particular tiered point total.
- When it comes to team rankings, it's the value of all of its Dec. signees and current commitments' point totals combined. Every kid counts.
- I respect PWOs — preferred walk-ons. They get credit too. The FCS is the perfect level for walk-ons. They matter to these schools.
- The final national rankings for Top 50 teams and Top 300 individuals will publish Monday, Feb. 10
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