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February 6, 2013
NSD: Five predictions for Signing Day
Predicting what's going to happen on Signing Day is always difficult and risky based on the unpredictability of 17-year-old football players. However, Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell, as usual, is willing to go out on a limb with his annual five predictions for National Signing Day.
1. Nkemdiche shocks … no one
The nation's No. 1 player, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, will not shock the world on Signing Day and will commit to and sign with Ole Miss. While LSU gave it the old college try and made him think, his family preference for the Rebels wins out here. I know, I'm really going out on a limb.
2. Ole Miss cleans up
In addition to Nkemdiche, Ole Miss will add quite a few other top talents and keep one in place as well. The nation's No. 1 offensive tackle, Laremy Tunsil, will also choose Ole Miss over Georgia and others and, despite a strong run from Alabama, safety Antonio Conner will sign as well. Offensive lineman Austin Golson will also sign with Ole Miss as expected and defensive end Elijah Daniel will stick with the Rebs. The big question is whether five-star defensive end Chris Jones will flip from Mississippi State. Who's going to bet against Hugh Freeze at this point? Heck, Ole Miss could even steal away offensive lineman Denver Kirkland on Wednesday, you never know.
3. FSU closes strong
Many schools will have good days on Wednesday and Ole Miss will be a big winner but so will the Seminoles. Five-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was essentially in the fold Tuesday and linebacker E.J. Levenberry Jr. stuck with the 'Noles Tuesday evening. I expect five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas and his four-star teammate Denver Kirkland to be in the fold as well on Signing Day despite the late push by Ole Miss for the latter. I also think the 'Noles reel in Stacy Coley and Keith Bryant to make it a big finish, just a week after fans were starting to panic.
4. Bama No. 1 again
Here's a stunner for you -- Nick Saban and Alabama finish first in the recruiting rankings for the fourth year out of the last five and for the third year in a row. I guess there's something to those national titles on the field after all. They will finish with running back Alvin Kamara, defensive end Dee Liner and official adds defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson even though he's essentially been committed since around Friday. They could also pull the upset for Conner, but even if they don't, these additions will be enough to seal the deal.
5. Georgia limps to finish
USC will probably rebound with a few signees on or after Signing Day so Georgia will be left alone as the team that limped to the worst finish. Not only were the Bulldogs finalists for prospects such as Reuben Foster, Montravius Adams and Alvin Kamara who all will sign elsewhere, but they had a silent commitment from Tunsil and lost him to Ole Miss. And keep this in mind -- if you consider Foster to be an in-state recruit as I do, Georgia lost out on 12 of the top 13 prospects in the Peach State. That is not a good recruiting year.