And away they go
Signing day just ended, but teams are already starting to build their 2012 classes
Fresh off landing the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, FSU assistant coach James Coley on Thursday tweeted "Goodmorning class of 2012, today it begins. FEAR THE SPEAR!!!!!" Yes, recruiting has become a year-round process and 2012 boards are already assembled at programs all over the country.
Off and running
Florida State Seminoles
7 commits (7 ESPNU 150 Watch List players)
The Seminoles notched the No. 1 class for 2011 and are off to a fast start for 2012. Dante Fowler Jr. (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood Senior) is a promising pass-rusher, and after signing an impressive group of safeties this year the Seminoles have a verbal from a promising 2012 safety in P.J. Williams (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard).
Alabama Crimson Tide
6 commits (6 ESPNU 150 Watch List players)
The Crimson Tide fell short of the top class in 2011 but they are already establishing themselves as a potential contender for the top spot in 2012. Early verbals include Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla./Arknold), a talented athlete who was the Crimson Tide's first commit, and Dakota Ball (Lindale, Ga./Pepperell), a tough and productive 6-foot-2, 283-pound defensive lineman out of Georgia. Both have already committed to play in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game.
4 commits (4 ESPNU 150 Watch List players)
NCAA sanctions didn't prevent the Trojans from landing a top-five class for 2011 and it's not preventing them from getting off to a good start for 2012. Early commits include a trio of skilled guys and Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove), a versatile big man who could play on the offensive or defensive line in college.
Ohio State Buckeyes
5 commits (4 ESPNU 150 Watch List players)
The Buckeyes are off to a strong start in-state as all five 2012 commits hail from Ohio. The early haul features a pair of big running backs in Warren Ball (Columbus, Ohio/St. Frances De Sales) and Bri'onte Dunn (Canton, Ohio/Glenoak), who have a nice combination of size and speed.
3 commits (2 ESPNU 150 Watch List players)
Al Golden will have a full year to assemble his next class at Miami and already has a trio of commits on board. Randy "Duke" Johnson (Miami, Fla./Norland) is a quick and exciting athlete.
Texas A&M Aggies
(6 commits, 3 ESPNU 150 Watch List players)
It's still way early and the Longhorns will do their damage, but right now the Aggies lead the way in Texas. In addition to a verbal from a junior college defensive lineman, the Aggies also have commitments from wide receiver Jaevon Richardson (Baytown, Texas/Robert E. Lee) and running back Dennis Smith (Wimberly, Texas/Wimberly).
Don't forget about ...
The Tigers already have a pair of Louisiana prospects on board in ILB Trey Grainer (Thibodaux, La./Thibodaux), a Watch List prospect, and 6-3, 220-pound DE Torshiro Davis (Shreveport, La./Woodlawn). Les Miles also dipped into Florida to land Watch List WR Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely).
The Longhorns will likely start offering 2012 prospects at their first junior day, which is scheduled for February 13. The Longhorns' class, as usual, will fill up fast once those offers go out and there is a lot of good talent in Texas to select from, including 58 prospects on the ESPNU 150 Watch List. Receivers Thomas Johnson (Dallas/Skyline), Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas/S.F. Austin), running back Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas/Aledo) and defensive tackle Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas/Billy Ryan) are a few of the bigger names.