5 B1G questions I have for National Signing Day
Yeah, I know.
National Signing Day isn’t what it once was. The amount of recruits committing in February compared to December is miniscule. That’s life with the Early Signing Period.
But storylines, there still are. And B1G questions, there are still plenty of those.
Here are my 5 B1G questions ahead of National Signing Day:
1. Will a top-100 recruit pick a B1G school?
In years past, the headline “Zero top-100 recruits pick B1G schools on National Signing Day” would’ve been massive news. With the Early Signing Period, though? It’s not that crazy. In fact, it’s expected. Not a single unsigned recruit is projected to end up at a B1G school. And to be fair, there are only 13 unsigned recruits in the 247sports top 100.
Having said that, there’s still a chance that changes. Four-star Florida State commit Nick Cross did take a last-minute visit to Penn State, and there have been rumors that his dad favors the Lions. He’s still considered a 100 percent favorite to end up with the Seminoles, but crazier things have happened.
Other than that, though, the hay looks like it’s in the barn when it comes to top-100 recruits picking B1G schools. For what it’s worth, 18 top-100 recruits are already signed with B1G teams.
2. What happens with Doug Nester?
Just outside of the top 100 is the 4-star offensive lineman and Ohio State commit, who is the subject of a battle between the Buckeyes, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
While Penn State is the team where he could play almost immediately, the Hokies could be the team with the most favorable chance after a weekend visit swayed the 247sports crystal ball to 69 percent Virginia Tech.
Nester took late official visits to all 3 schools, but it was Justin Fuente’s staff that got to make the final impression. If he does wind up somewhere other than Ohio State, one could chalk it up to it being a casualty of the coaching change. Nester did commit to the Buckeyes back in August of 2017, and he was OSU’s first verbal pledge of the 2019 class. He was allowed to take 2 official visits to Columbus because of Urban Meyer’s retirement.
It’d be rare for Ohio State to whiff on its top remaining target, especially with so much time to be able to focus on him. But heading into Wednesday, it wouldn’t be surprising if that scenario played out.
3. How historic is Purdue’s class?
What a strange question to ask. But after Purdue landed a commitment from 4-star U.S. Army All-American receiver David Bell, it made the possibility of a historic class that much more realistic.
Sidenote: It’s always a good thing when your star player is overjoyed with a recruit committing.
— Boilerswag24 (@Hat3James) January 5, 2019
The question isn’t what Purdue plans to do on Wednesday. The damage has been done. The question is how historic this class is going to be.
Keep in mind that this is a program without a top-25 class since 2004. In other words, this is going to be Purdue’s best class in 15 years as long as Purdue stays in the top 25.
It doesn’t appear that the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan State or NC State are going to pull off some last-minute surprise and leapfrog the Boilermakers, who already have 24 recruits signed. Virginia Tech can make a late push if it adds Nester and 4-star linebacker Eugene Asante, but it’s looking like Purdue, which sits at No. 24 currently, should finish with a top-25 class.
4. What late moves will Scott Frost pull off?
In his first full recruiting cycle at Nebraska, Frost looks like he’s on the verge of the program’s first top-20 class since that famed 2011 class, which didn’t pan out as Husker fans hoped it would. As of right now, Nebraska sits at No. 19 nationally, and Frost is hoping to add 2-3 more recruits on Wednesday.
Demariyon Houston is a former Texas commit who is now projected to end up at Nebraska after he took an official visit to Lincoln. While he’s a composite 3-star receiver, 247sports has him graded as a 4-star recruit. Houston was originally scheduled to take a weekend visit to Colorado, but that didn’t happen, which only added to the belief that he’ll sign with Nebraska.
Dayton (Ohio) running back John Bivens is the other skill player who’s expected to be coming to Lincoln. While there’s some concern about his injury history with his knee, the 6-1 tailback would add some much-needed depth and skill at the position if he can stay healthy.
There’s also outside hope that Nebraska can make a major push to land Asante, though it doesn’t appear there will be any major 4-star splashes from Frost on Wednesday. Finishing his first full cycle with a top-20 class would be nothing to scoff at.
5. Can James Franklin finally get some offseason momentum?
In case you missed it, it hasn’t been the best offseason for the Lions. Like, at all. Roster turnover galore put a bit more emphasis on Franklin to crush it with the 2018 and 2019 classes. Fortunately for him, he’s well on his way to doing just that.
Now, the question is how strong Franklin will finish this 2019 group. The aforementioned Cross and Nester appear to be Penn State’s best chances to land an elite recruit on Wednesday, though Mark-Antony Richards and Jaquaze Sorrells are still being pursued down to the wire. Penn State is also in the market for a slew of 3-star recruits, including Germany native Joseph Appiah Darkwa and Florida receiver TJ Jones.
At the very least, it appears Franklin is going to have several new additions to the current class, which has 19 signees and is ranked No. 10 nationally. Franklin has never landed consecutive top-10 classes, and that’ll likely change on Wednesday.
Closing with a top-10 class would certainly begin to change the narrative after some head-stratching departures in January.