Comparing 2011-12 National Signing Day Classes to 2015 Final AP Rankings
Everyone enjoys National Signing Day, although possibly not as much as some, but then, we all enjoy something not as much as others. But looking back can help us put signing day into perspective.
So I went back to the class rankings from four and five years ago, which would put 2011 redshirt freshman into a redshirt senior year in 2015, along with 2012 true freshman. Then we compared those numbers against the final 2016 AP rankings, to see just where everyone landed when those players became seniors.
Of course, like with everything else, there are caveats, like how some college juniors might leave for the NFL early, or how some coaches didn’t make it the full five-year span since the day those players first signed with them.
Finding the rankings for those signing classes was tougher than I expected, since many of those sites, like Rivals.com, switched their landing pages around. Interesting.
2011 National Signing Day Rankings
8. Notre Dame
10. Ohio State
2012 National Signing Day Rankings
4. Ohio State
8. Texas A&M
Now, let’s look at the final AP rankings for the 2015 College Football season:
- Alabama – Back-to-back top recruit rankings should have placed them in this spot, so kudos to Nick Saban and his evil recruiting empire!
- Clemson – The Tigers had back-to-back ninth-place rankings, although, it wasn’t Jim Kelly’s nephew Chad Kelly that brought the team to the brink of a national championship!
- Stanford – This was a shocker, as the Cardinal ranked 20th the 2011 signing class and they were unranked in 2012. It’s interesting that they blamed the departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh for the loss of some good recruits. Yet, five years later, head coach David Shaw got his team to finish third overall.
- Ohio State – Ranked 10th and fourth respectively,
- Oklahoma – Ranked 14th and 10th respectively, the Sooners have done well over the past 10 years, both in signing day rankings and end-of-the-season rankings. Bobby Stoops’ club ranks fifth overall in wins (104) since 2006.
- Michigan State – Unranked with both 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes,
- TCU – What’s cool about the Horned Frogs not being ranked among the top 25 recruiting classes in either year, yet finishing seventh here is that Andy Dalton had just left TCU as a senior for the NFL after their undefeated 2010 season.
- Houston – Same as TCU, this school gave no notice they’d be a top-10 team at this point, especially considering they shifted from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference in 2013.
- Iowa – Just like the Spartans, the Hawkeyes were a Big 10 team that came up short in signing day rankings, yet are coming off a great 2015 season anyway.
- Ole Miss – The Rebels had a good class in 2011, but went unranked in 2012, yet still came through with a top 10 season halfway through this decade.
The point here is – unlike the teams that usually “win” the NFL Draft, the top teams on National Signing Day are usually in the mix near the end five years later. However, if you’re a one-and-done class, you’re going to need some help.
Michael Irvin Jr. Photo Credit: Miami Herald, Getty Images
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