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February 4, 2013
Roundtable: Which memory will last?
Each day leading up to National Signing Day, Rivals.com's analysts will convene at the Recruiting Roundtable and debate a current recruiting topic.
Today's question: When 2013 National Signing Day ends, you'll likely remember this year most for what?
Mike Farrell, National/Mid-Atlantic: I think it will be remembered for how crazy it was down the stretch with so many twists and turns. I can't remember a year where there were so many changes leading up to Signing Day, not to mention so many questions heading into the big day. And it will be remembered for the large number of de-commitments after so many early commitments. I can't really pinpoint on particular situation because there are so many, but if I had to break it down it would be the recruiting circus that followed some of the top players from Georgia this year, including Reuben Foster as an ex-Georgia high school prospect.
Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic: One of the most unusual things about the 2013 recruiting class is the number of early commitments and, as a result of coaching changes and other unforeseen circumstances, how many of those prospects de-committed and chose another school. More than a handful of recruits were committed to more than two schools during the recruiting process. This could be a result of some of the rules the NCAA has adopted or some of the rules the NCAA has not adopted. If something is not changed, the recruiting process is going to continue to speed up and we will see more early commitments.
Woody Wommack, Southeast: Again, I think we'll remember this as the year that Ole Miss changed the game. This class is loaded and it will likely lead to success on the field, which will only lead to more success in recruiting in the future. There are plenty of 2014 kids who are already interested in the Rebels, and I expect this year to be the start of a nice run for Ole Miss.
Kynon Codrington, Southeast: I will remember the year of the cornerback. The 2013 class was loaded with superb defensive backs, and the corners proved they were among the country's elite position groups. Vernon Hargreaves, Kendall Fuller, Jalen Ramsey[/db], Mackensie Alexander and Chris Hawkins will likely be All-America-caliber players at the next level. They all have the ability to play on Sundays if they continue to develop and stay injury-free. I can't remember a position being so loaded since the 2009 class that featured six five-star cornerbacks.
Jason Howell, Southwest: In the Southwest, this is the year of the Aggie and it's about more than the 2013 class. Texas A&M has certainly had a banner year in 2013, but it has also laid a solid foundation for the 2014 class and possibly beyond. In years past, Texas could basically pick and choose who it wanted. That grasp has been slipping, though, and 2012 was the year that A&M stepped up and took advantage. Who knows how long it lasts, but Texas A&M grabbed the attention of several top 2013 prospects and has the full attention of those at the top of the 2014 class.
Rob Cassidy, West: The bizarre storylines. They're incredible. This class features a player who tattooed an Auburn logo on his forearm only to de-commit from Auburn. The nation's top overall prospect was committed to Clemson before his mom returned from Nigeria and made him change his mind. Then there's the whole fiasco involving five-star Alex Anzalone, Ohio State and a photo of a convicted sex offender. Seriously, who's writing this stuff? It's multiple times more outlandish than the average recruiting cycle, and that's really saying something.
Josh Helmholdt, Midwest: Most memorable for me in this 2013 class is how early the top prospects made their college selections. By the start of their senior seasons, approximately 70 percent of the prospects ranked in the Rivals250 had made commitments. Not a single four- or five-star-rated prospect in the Midwest heads into signing-day week uncommitted. This was definitely an unusual year, and I, for one, hope it is an anomaly, but I fear it is a trend that is here to stay until the NCAA enacts effective legislation and stops making the situation worse.
Adam Gorney, West: There are two storylines that will stick with me. One is that Robert Nkemdiche went wall-to-wall No. 1 and kept that top spot even though he didn't do anything during the summer camp series. But his performance at the Under Armour game was more than enough to keep him on top. The second will be USC's recruiting class -- how good it is but also how good it could have been. Imagine if Max Redfield, Kylie Fitts, Vanderdoes and some had others stayed. It would be an unreal class, and the bright spot for the Trojans is at least they're in the running again for Vanderdoes and Fitts with signing day approaching fast.