Over and out.
National Signing Day Part II wasn’t nearly as action-packed from a signing standpoint, but there were still plenty of noteworthy moments across college football, and specifically in the B1G.
Ohio State didn’t finish No. 1, but the Buckeyes still signed their highest-rated class ever. Michigan didn’t close as many thought it could while Nebraska and Penn State made some key late additions.
So what did I like from the B1G on Wednesday? These five things:
1. Jeff Brohm’s huge signee
It’s not every day that Purdue signs a 4-star recruit. In fact, that day hadn’t happened since Danny Etling did so back in 2013.
Wednesday, however, was one of those days.
The Boilers closed and signed 4-star former Texas commit Rondale Moore, who is the top-rated recruit from the state of Kentucky. Moore dropped his Texas pledge shortly before the Early Signing Period following an official visit to Purdue. He then gave his verbal commitment to the Boilers shortly after the Early Signing Period, and the Boilers fended off Louisville to the finish.
He might not have the size (5-8 1/2, 174 pounds), but Moore is going to be able to do a lot of things out of Purdue’s offense. He can be used in the slot, he can run the jet sweep, he can help in the return game and he can block.
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) February 8, 2018
Surely the idea of playing immediately was a big selling point for Jeff Brohm, who just nabbed his highest-rated recruit to date.
2. Scott Frost’s incredible finish
I really don’t think Frost has slept a wink in the last month. I mean, how else could he have coached UCF to a Peach Bowl victory and somehow built a top-25 class basically from scratch? I have no idea.
On Wednesday, Frost closed strong by landing 4-star running back Maurice Washington and 4-star defensive end Caleb Tannor while also signing 4-star commit Cam’ron Jones. I threw out this stat before, but it’s worth throwing out again. In his first class, Frost signed more 4-star recruits (6) than Mike Riley ever did in any individual class.
Frost had to deal with two major hurdles that should’ve prevented that from happening, yet all he did was keep his nose to the ground and go to work. For the Huskers to sign 24 kids and nearly put together a better-ranked class than Michigan says a lot.
And something tells me that Frost will host a few 2019 recruits when Nebraska plays its spring game in front of a sold-out crowd.
3. Ohio State’s steal of Nicholas Petit-Frere
Man, Florida fans were not happy about losing Petit-Frere. The Tampa native was supposed to be in the bag for the Gators. Instead, the 5-star offensive tackle visited Columbus shortly before National Signing Day Part II and that was all she wrote.
It’s amazing how well Urban Meyer recruits when he locks in on a specific target. Petit-Frere was the perfect example of that. Meyer didn’t panic when OSU missed out on Jackson Carman in the Early Signing Period. Instead, Meyer went out and got an even-higher rated offensive tackle.
And he wasn’t afraid to remind everyone about that:
Meyer on losing Ohio OT Jackson Carman to Clemson in December but getting Petit-Frere: "That (Carman decision) received a lot of publicity and he's a fine player but the one we got was the one the laser lights were on."
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) February 7, 2018
There’s a reason that Meyer churns out top-5 seasons like they’re nothing. Winning recruiting battles like he did with Petit-Frere is a huge part of that.
4. Penn State’s top-five class
If you’re a traditional power and you have a revival season, you’d better milk that cow for all it’s worth in the recruiting world. We saw Georgia do that this year. To a certain extent, we saw Penn State do it last year (the Lions had the No. 15 class in 2017).
In 2018, we really saw Penn State make that next push. The Lions closed with the nation’s No. 5 class with nearly all of their damage done in the Early Signing Period. They did, however, pick up a big commitment from top remaining target Rasheed Walker to add some help on that offensive line.
With Walker, that gave Penn State its sixth top-100 recruit in the 2018 class. That’s more than all of the top-100 recruits that James Franklin had in his last 3 classes combined (yeah, I had that stat the other day, too). And perhaps more importantly, Penn State signed 6 of the top 10 recruits in Pennsylvania, which hadn’t happened since Franklin’s first full recruiting cycle (2015).
Penn State’s last top-5 class came in the first year of the 247sports recruiting rankings in 2000. I bet this class will get just a bit more hype than that one did.
5. The B1G didn’t have any SEC-like moments
Not surprisingly, the signing day shenanigans were reserved for the SEC. Why? It just means more, obviously.
Well, it means so much that moms walk away from their sons on live TV, crying babies help make announcements, guys put on hats only to throw them away and Chucky dolls get in on the act.
I just don’t get it.
Is that … Chucky? pic.twitter.com/wklQ7B5jSH
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) February 7, 2018
But hey, B1G commits are a little bit more understated. Even Jim Harbaugh kept things quiet.
Does it mean “less” to the B1G? No, but perhaps hat-throwing, mom-upsetting, baby-tear inducing, Chucky-filled announcements only belong in the South.