It's no secret that here at Crystal Ball Run we love college football as much as you do. We also know that for most of you (like us), Signing Day serves as both a literal and metaphorical benchmark in the college football off-season; today is both a "Christmas in February" type celebration for fans everywhere, as well as just one literal step closer to the start of actual games kicking off in September. Once we get through Signing Day, we're only spring practice, summer workouts and fall camp from seeing actual football again! With some goofy realignment and the occasional arrest mixed in, of course.
Whatever the case, we are here to serve you today, on this grandest of all off-season days, with our Crystal Ball Run Signing Day Open Thread!
Trust us, we understand that most of you are at work and don't have the time to watch 12 hours of Signing Day coverage...which is why we're going to do the dirty work for you.
From now until the ink goes dry on the last Letter of Intent on Wednesday, we will be providing up to the minute notes on what is going on across the world of college football. Whether a kid commits, decommits, re-commits or quits football all together, we will be updating this thread throughout the day to reflect that.
All we ask is that you stop in as often as you can to see what's going on (And certainly if you're hearing any news from your favorite teams, we also encourage you to share it as well, either in the comments section below or by sending us a Tweet @CrystalBallRun).
In the mean-time, just sit back, relax and get to work.
We here at Crystal Ball Run will handle the rest!
2:07 p.m.: With the Signing Day news slowing to a trickle, we are going to unofficially close our 'Open Thread.' We will update it throughout the course of the afternoon as more announcements roll in, but the posts will be fewer, and far more spread out.
In the mean-time, it only seems appropriate to finish the day the way we started it: With Robert Nkemdiche.
For those of you who didn't see him commit this morning, here is video, along with the awesome reaction of the Ole Miss coaching staff.
Thanks for all the support, and we look forward to doing this all again next year!
2:02 p.m.: Ok, after a slight hiatus we are back, where the No. 11 outside linebacker in the country Jermaine Grace selected Miami.
Unfortunately, unlike Stacy Coley early, he's not wearing a hat that says "Swag" on it.
1:46 p.m.: ESPN's Keith Bryant feed is screwed up, but apparently he has chosen Florida State. Doesn't it seem like they sign the Top 10 defensive lineman in the country every single year?
1:43 p.m.: Holly Rowe now reporting that all 27 Letters of Intent are in at LSU as well.
1:41 p.m.: Tom Rinaldi, now reporting Alabama has 23 Letters of Intent in. The last three? Dee Liner, Walker Jones (Barrett's brother) an Reuben Foster.
In case you missed it, Foster had an awesome get-up when he signed his Letter of Intent (and no, it had nothing to do with his Auburn tattoo).
1:35 p.m.: Could've sworn Keith Bryant was making his announcement at 1:30. Maybe Alex Collins' mom stole his paperwork.
1:29 p.m.: Who knew Jonah Hill was a major Division I prospect? Personally, I thought his foot-speed looked a little suspect in "Super Bad."
1:20 p.m.: For those getting a little bored, stick around as it seems as though there will be a slew of announcements in the coming hour or so. Defensive tackle Keith Bryant will be making his college choice at 1:30 p.m. EST, and running back Alvin Kamara not far behind.
1:16 p.m.: Interesting little nugget: Colorado got a commitment from a kid named Chidobe Awuzie from California.
Why is that a big deal? Because of the two other visits he took besides Colorado, one was San Jose State. As you may remember, new Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre used to coach at San Jose State.
One thing MacIntyre always could do was identify talent. Will be curious to see if this kid, and others pan out under the new coaching staff.
According to @mercpreps San Jose (Calif.) Oak Grove cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is headed to Colorado...— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) February 6, 2013
1:13 p.m.: Forgot to mention this earlier, but there was an absolutely classic moment earlier when Lou Holtz was talking about why some teams struggle and others don't on Signing Day. Mentioned off-hand, "Look at Auburn, they're in the Top 5 in recruiting every year, yet can't seem to do it on the field."
Yeah, did I mention that Gene Chizik is a guest, in-studio analyst today?
1:04 p.m.: Not really "news" since he committed almost a year ago, but four-star offensive lineman Christian Morris has faxed his paperwork to UCLA.
1:01 p.m.: Want to know what Oregon State recruit Walter Jones looks like signing his Letter of Intent? Too bad, we're going to show you anyway.
Me signing this morning. Go Beavs!!! twitter.com/WaltJones16/st…— Walter Jones (@WaltJones16) February 6, 2013
12:57 p.m.: Like Tennessee, Texas' recruiting class is complete. And although they lost Kyle Hicks (mentioned below), A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama) and Ricky Seals-Jones in previous weeks and months, there were no surprises today.
The Longhorns now have all 15 LOIs in, so no unpleasant surprises on Signing Day.The only consensus five-star... fb.me/C4e7ydBM— Peter Bean (@PBatBON) February 6, 2013
12:53 p.m.: Remember when we mentioned Malik Brown flipping from Syracuse to Tennessee earlier in the day? Well, apparently he was the final member of Butch Jones' first class at UT.
UT confirms signing of DL Malik Brown, the 'last member' of the class. He's No. 21, and that's a wrap. ow.ly/htK2O— Evan Woodbery (@TennesseeBeat) February 6, 2013
12:49 p.m.: From the "stuff you can't make up" department, remember when we said that Alex Collins' press conference had been cancelled at his high school? And there was some indecision over whether he'd sign at Arkansas or Miami? Well, this should explain it.
ESPN reporting that Collins mom stole the papers and ran off with them so that he wouldn't leave home. Wow!— Joe Garcia (@JGJr9) February 6, 2013
12:43 p.m.: Yup, it's getting to be about that time where ESPN starts discussing North Carolina's recruiting class. May be time to sneak in a quick bathroom break. Or a cold beverage.
12:37 p.m.: Not significant, but interesting none the less: Indiana has a recruiting class that ranks them in the top half of the Big Ten. Yes, in football.
12:33 p.m.: Wow, big news as dual-threat quarterback Asiantii Woulard has committed to UCLA. Seems like he'll be a nice contingency plan if Brett Hundley goes pro early in the next year or two. Woulard is listed as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback according to ESPNU.
12:26 p.m.: About a month ago, running back Kyle Hicks decommitted from Texas and instead chose TCU. While he will likely be the only four or five-star rated player in the Horned Frogs class, he clearly has no regrets.
Martin RB Kyle Hicks this morning on switching to Texas from TCU: "I felt like it was the best decision I ever made." #txhsfb— Michael Florek (@michaelflorek) February 6, 2013
12:25 p.m.: And in the funniest news of the day, Johnny Townsend may end up flipping from Ohio State to Alabama. For those scoring at home, Townsend is... a punter. Only on Signing Day, huh?
12:24 p.m.: Isaac Savaiinaea has signed with UCLA. Go ahead and say that name 10 times fast.
Or one time fast, for that matter.
12:21 p.m.: More from Quinton Powell, who was just about the only guy who warmed up to USC, while the rest of the college football world cooled on Lane Kiffin and Co.
Powell:"Every time I heard about the decommitments I shrugged it off. I justthought about myself. I wanted to commit based on my opinion."— WeAreSC.com (@wearescstaff) February 6, 2013
12:20 p.m.: It's been a busy morning for Butch Jones, and it just got a little better with late word that three-star defensive lineman Malik Brown will head on down to Rocky Top.
DL Malik Brown, who had been committed to Syracuse, says he will sign with the Vols. Via @jeffgreer— Evan Woodbery (@TennesseeBeat) February 6, 2013
12:15 p.m.: And, Lane Kiffin is now off the schnide. Four-star linebacker Quinton Powell is headed to USC.
12:14 p.m.: Another Letter of Intent has been faxed to Mark Richt, as safety Shaquille Fluker is now a Bulldog.
12:11 p.m.: It might've taken a little longer than Will Muschamp wanted, but four-star defensive tackle Jaynard Bostwick just sent in his Letter of Intent.
12:05 p.m.: Andddddd mega-recruit Dee Liner just announced he will go to Alabama on ESPNU. In another words, just another day at the office for Saban, huh?
12:04 p.m.: A little bit obscure, but a three-star linebacker has committed to Texas Tech. This is big news, since apparently it means that Tech will attempt to at least play some defense under Kliff Kingsbury.
12:01 p.m.: Interesting, according to SB Nation, four-star safety Priest Willis will not sign with UCLA today. Willis is considered to be one of the better prospects in Jim Mora's first class at UCLA.
11:57 a.m.: Somehow I missed this, but apparently four-star lineman Tashawn Bower has chosen LSU over schools such as Florida and Auburn.
Big get for LSU flipping 4-Star DE Tashawn Bower.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 6, 2013
11:52 a.m.: So here's a little twist for you: On Monday night, Alex Collins (considered by some to be the top running back in high school football) committed to Arkansas over Miami. He had a signing day ceremony at his school today, but has since left before signing his paperwork. We'll keep you updated as more information comes out.
11:44 a.m.: Wow... wow, wow, wow. Easily the most shocking news of the day: Defensive lineman Torrodney Prevot picks Oregon. Prevot had been committed to USC since last summer, and most believed that if he didn't sign with the Trojans, he'd end up at Texas A&M.
Just a stunner out of Eugene, and a major pick-up for Mark Helfrich in his first recruiting cycle.
11:36 a.m.: On ESPNU, Frank Beamer just said "I think we got one of our better classes ever this year," repeating what pretty much every coach has said, every year, ever.
By the way, as best I can tell a perfect Frank Beamer class definitely includes at least six punters, four kickers and three long snappers.
11:35 a.m.: Defensive end Davin Bellamy has committed to Georgia, choosing the Bulldogs over Tennessee and Oregon amongst others. Bellamy of course made news this weekend...when he tweeted out an, ahem, interesting picture of himself on his official visit.
11:33 a.m.: Two more faxes have come in at Texas, where lineman Darius Jones and linebacker Nasshon Hughes have joined the fray in Austin.
11:26 a.m.: What has been rumored for days has gone official this morning: Former USC commit Jalen Ramsey has decided to attend Florida State. Ramsey is considered by many to be the top cornerback in the country this year.
11:23 a.m.: Tom Rinaldi just reported on ESPN that Alabama has received 19 signed Letters of Intent. No news of if Rinaldi has made any of the Alabama staff break down into tears while covering the team this morning.
11:21 a.m.: Although Reuben Foster is already signed, sealed and delivered to Alabama, we just can't get enough of him. Which is why we decided to share this picture of him in the Nick Saban-esque straw hat.
11:18 a.m.: It appears as though four-star offensive lineman Cameron Hunt, who was considering Michigan, Ohio State and Arizona has decided to sign with Oregon. Nice get for Mark Helfrich.
11:12 a.m.: Wow, cornerback Mackensie Alexander just got dramatic on us... saying he was going to make his announcement, before pulling out both Clemson and Mississippi State hats. In the end, he ended choosing Clemson saying... "We will win the national title."
Also, Mackensie's twin brother just chose Auburn.
11:11 a.m.: Although he never gets a lot of credit for it, few coaches develop players quite like Baylor's Art Briles does. The Bears got a big-time offensive line commit in Maurice Porter, according to the school.
11:09 a.m.: After receiving nothing bad news the past couple weeks, Al Golden's Miami Hurricanes finally caught a break, as the nation's No. 4 ranked wide receiver according to ESPN.com picked the Canes.
11:02 a.m.: According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida has received 18 signed Letters of Intent so far. Rumors are that if the Gators don't have them all in by noon, Will Muschamp will strangle a graduate assistant with his bare hands.
11:00 a.m.: Another elite player is headed to the SEC, as defensive end Daeshon Hall has decommitted from Washington and will instead sign with Texas A&M. I mean seriously, where does A&M get all these scholarships from?
Sumlin killin' it. RT @brandonhuffman Lancaster (Texas) four-star defensive end Daeshon Hall has flipped from Washington to Texas A&M...— Crystal Ball Run (@CrystalBallRun) February 6, 2013
10:58 a.m.: After it was previously reported that quarterback Josh Dobbs would flip from Arizona State to Tennessee, the quarterback has officially signed with Tennessee.
10:53 a.m.: After the drama of the last few months, there were many who thought Reuben Foster could very well end up at a school besides Alabama, even after committing to the Crimson Tide on Monday. Apparently that wasn't the case, as according to Auburn beat writer Joel Erickson he has faxed in his Letter of Intent to Tuscaloosa.
10:48 a.m.: And just like that, Ole Miss got ANOTHER five-star.... with the commitment of safety Antonio Conner. Entering the day, Conner was considered the most likely of all top recruits to pick the Rebels, as he played his high school ball right down the road at Ole Miss feeder school South Panola High School.
10:44 a.m.: A one-time Ole Miss commit, here is defensive lineman Elijah Daniel sporting gear of the team he signed with, Auburn.
10:39 a.m.: According to multiple reports, Mark Helfrich has been able to hold onto two of Oregon's most recruits on Wednesday morning, as twins Tyrell and Tyrik Robinson are both set to sign with the Ducks. Both are listed as four-star athletes by Rivals.com.
10:34 a.m.: According to SB Nation's recruiting page, Notre Dame has just received a fax from three-star tight end Durham Smythe. We'll let you insert your own jokes about that name, whenever you're ready.
10:32 a.m.: Want to feel old? Richard Seymour... who is STILL in the NFL, just had a son commit to Georgia.
OL DeVondre Seymour, the son of Richard Seymour, has officially signed with Georgia.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) February 6, 2013
10:27 a.m.: Live on ESPNU, wide receiver Jordan Cunningham says he is making a "50-year commitment" by choosing his school... which is Vanderbilt. We will try to get you video, but Cunningham had far and away the most entertaining announcement so far today.
10:25 a.m.: Quietly, Jim Mora is putting together a monster first class at UCLA. One of his top recruits, defensive back Tyler Foreman just sent his Letter of Intent in and is officially a Bruin.
10:16 a.m.: After flip-flopping back and forth between Ole Miss and Mississippi State all week, it appears as though five-star Chris Jones has elected to stick with Mississippi State.
10:13 a.m.: Ahh, the fickle nature of recruiting. Just moments after losing out on Vonn Bell, Butch Jones was able to sign defensive lineman Jason Carr, according to Vols beat writer Evan Woodbery. Carr was also considering Alabama.
10:10 a.m.: Give Mack Brown credit: He may not be signing a lot of players in the 2013 class, but he is making the scholarships count. The latest signee is ESPNU 150 receiver Jake Oliver.
RT @espnhornsnation: #ESPN150 WR Jake Oliver - @joliver_6 - is officially a #Longhorn. — Sean Adams (@thatsean) February 6, 2013
10:06 a.m.: So despite earlier reports to the contrary, Vonn Bell, the five-star safety from Georgia has instead announced that he will attend Ohio State next season. Cannot emphasize how big of a commitment this is for Urban Meyer, who is building a juggernaut up in Columbus.
10:04 a.m.: As of now, Texas A&M has 17 Letters of Intent signed, sealed and delivered, according to Jimmy Burch of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
#Aggies up to 17 signees this morning w addition of WR Kyrion Parker. Also five LBs already in the fold with this class— Jimmy Burch (@Jimmy_Burch) February 6, 2013
10:02 a.m.: This news broke awhile ago, but it's worth repeating here: Urban Meyer has gotten the better of his former school, as four-star wide receiver James Clark of Florida is heading to Ohio State, choosing the Buckeyes over the Florida Gators.
9:59 a.m.: According to Holly Rowe's interview with Les Miles on ESPNU, LSU has just received a signed Letter of Intent from four-star linebacker Kendall Beckwith. Beckwith is ranked the 92nd player nationally according to Rivals.com.
9:56 a.m.: Butch Jones has already gotten 17 letters of intent this morning, according to beat writer Evan Woodbery. The latest? Offensive lineman Brett Kendrick.
9:54 a.m.: Kevin Sumlin's no dummy. He knows that to win in the SEC he needs to bring in a big, powerful defensive line. He got a difference-maker there in four-star Hardreck Walker, who just sent in his Letter of Intent.
9:50 a.m.: Don't sleep on Gus Malzahn! The Auburn coach just got a commitment from five-star defensive lineman Montravious Adams on ESPNU.
9:48 a.m.: After seeing a couple players decommit earlier in the day, the Oklahoma Sooners have officially received a signature from junior college offensive tackle Josiah St. John.
9:45 a.m.: South Carolina doesn't have a lot of scholarships to give out this morning, but one commitment and signature they did get came from offensive lineman Bryce King, a Dillion, S.C. native.
9:42 a.m.: And two hours in, we have our first Big East announcement of the day, as defensive back Lamar Dobbins has chosen to play at South Florida. Safe to say that Willie Taggart is going to do huge things with that program.
9:35 a.m.: Another HUGE announcement for Ole Miss, as the nation's top offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil has committed to the Rebels. Safe to say it's a great day to be an Ole Miss Rebel, as earlier they signed Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's top overall high school player.
9:34 a.m.: Per Dave Miller of the National Football Post, five-star safety Vonn Bell has committed to Tennessee, over Georgia, Alabama and some other schools. If this is true, it is an ENORMOUS get for Butch Jones in his first recruiting class.
9:31 a.m.: Georgia has gotten a Letter of Intent in from outside linebacker/defensive end Leonard Floyd, per beat writer Seth Emerson. That's a big get for Georgia, at an area of need.
9:28 a.m.: Big news on Rocky Top, as according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Carvell, quarterback Josh Dobbs has decommitted from Arizona State and will now head to Tennessee instead.
9:25 a.m.: Not glamorous, but it is important: Oklahoma just received a commitment from junior college punter Jed Barnett.
"He was one of the best junior college punters we saw out there." - Stoops on Jed Barnett.— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) February 6, 2013
9:21 a.m.: Offensive lineman Devon Kirkland just picked Arkansas over Florida State live on ESPNU. Give credit where it's due, Bret Bielema seems to be getting the players that he wants, capable of running his system.
9:19 a.m.: Another Letter of Intent has arrived on Mack Brown's door-step, as four-star Kent Perkins is officially a Texas Longhorn.
9:14 a.m.: And just as bad as the news was a minute ago, it got that much better for Florida State: They have received a commitment from five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas from Miami. Thomas chose the Seminoles over Miami and USC.
9:12 a.m.: Ole Miss simply cannot be stopped, as they've now gotten four-star offensive lineman to choose the Rebels over Florida State.
9:08 a.m.: Bad news for Oklahoma, as apparently offensive lineman has elected to play for Texas Tech instead of the Sooners.
9:05 a.m.: Marcus Newby, a linebacker from Maryland is now a Nebraska Cornhusker.
9:02 a.m.: HUGE news (literally and figuratively) for Gus Malzahn, who just received a commitment from five-star defensive lineman Carl Lawson. Some services have Lawson listed as the No. 2 player in the country overall, behind only Nkemdiche.
BOOM! This is a big one! Welcome to the AU Family, Carl Lawson #AUNLI— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) February 6, 2013
9:00 a.m.: Not to be outdone, Texas already has had nine of their 15 commits fax in their Letters of Intent, according to OrangeBlood.com's Geoff Ketchum.
8:57 a.m.: It's not even 8:00 a.m. in Columbus, OH, but Urban Meyer already has things rolling, with 14 signed Letter of Intent, according to beat writer Doug Lesmerises.
8:55 a.m.: It's not all good news at Ole Miss, where the Rebels lost Peyton Barber- a former Ole Miss commit- to Gus Malzahn and Auburn.
8:52 a.m.: Uhh ohh, bad news for Mississippi State, as according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, offensive lineman Deon Mix, who was originally committed to the Bulldogs has now switched and will sign with Auburn.
8:49 a.m.: Texas A&M has certainly been all the buzz in the Longhorn State in 2013, but Texas is bringing in their share of elite recruits as well. Included is ESPN 150 wide receiver Jacorey Warrick who just sent in his paperwork.
8:48 a.m.: While all the buzz is on a lot of other SEC programs, don't sleep on the Vanderbilt Commodores who are putting together quite a nice class. They just received their third Letter of Intent today, from kicker Tommy Openshaw.
8:45 a.m.: To date, Oklahoma has four Letters of Intent in. They include four-star running back Keith Ford.
8:43 a.m.: Expect to hear a lot about the Texas A&M Aggies today, as they could sign upwards of 34 total players in the class of 2013. One, four-star cornerback Tavares Garner just sent his Letter of Intent.
8:37 a.m.: Gus Malzahn has announced that the first home-state Alabama signee of his time at Auburn is now in the fold, with Kamryn Melton's Letter of Intent coming in. Melton is a three-star defensive back from Dothan, Alabama.
8:36 a.m.: Apparently it's not all bad news for USC, as four-star lineman Khaliel Rodgers has signed his Letter of Intent.
8:33 a.m.: At some point this thread is simply going to turn into an advertisement for Ole Miss, as the school has announced another Letter of Intent has been faxed through, this one from wide receiver Derrick Jones.
8:31 a.m.: It appears as though four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley has ended his recruiting drama and signed with Florida, after previously committing and decommitting from the Gators, according to InsideGatorSports.
8:27 a.m.: It's more good news for the Ole Miss Rebels, who just got another signed Letter of Intent from four-star quarterback Ryan Buchanan, per Ole Miss' official Twitter page.
8:20 a.m: Alabama is looking to sign as many as three top-rated running backs on Wednesday and at 8:20 a.m. they got a signed Letter of Intent from four-star Tyren Jones of Georgia, according to Tommy Deas.
Tyren Jones added to Alabama big board, RB from Marietta, Ga.— Tommy Deas (@tommydeas) February 6, 2013
7:51 a.m.: Per ace Georgia beat writer, the 'Dawgs got their first Signing Letter of Intent from wide receiver Rico Johnson.
WR Rico Johnson is the first LOI of the day, according to UGA.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) February 6, 2013
7:47 a.m. - The morning's biggest announcement, perhaps the biggest of the day, has just been made. Georgia defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, widely regarded as the top recruit in the nation, has announced he will be playing his college football at Ole Miss.
Ole Miss has long been consiered a favorite for the recruitment of Nkemdiche, but LSU and Florida were also in the hunt up to signing day. Nkemdiche is the cherry on top of a delicious looking recruiting class being put together by Hugh Freeze in Oxford. He is expected to make an impact very early on for the Rebels but let's not send Ole Miss to Atlanta just yet. They still play in a division with Alabama, Texas A&M, and LSU. Now the mission for Ole Miss will be to develope the talent it is hauling in and show something on the field. Maybe we see some improvement this season, but the next few years for Ole Miss should be entertaining, to say the least.
7:18 am - With faxes now officially eligible to be submitted we are seeing schools and recruiting services start to confirm what has been received around the country, or at least on the east coast. While a number of these players have been early enrollees, it is still nice to see as a reminder that this day is officially open for business.
One of the top recruits to be confirmed this morning is Pittsburgh bound offensive lineman Dorian Johnson. One of the top ten players in the country, Johnson was originally committed to Penn State but he ultimately decommitted and decided to head to Pitt. Now it is official.