National Signing Day 2013: Schools in Trouble Heading Toward Deadline

Lee Schechter@@leeschechterContributor IIIJanuary 29, 2013

New Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich has a tough task of recovering the Ducks recruiting class after the departure of Chip Kelly (Chris Pietsch, AP via USA Today Sports)
New Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich has a tough task of recovering the Ducks recruiting class after the departure of Chip Kelly (Chris Pietsch, AP via USA Today Sports)

With National Signing Day 2013 quickly approaching, which schools are in trouble as the deadline nears?

According to, Michigan comes in as the No. 1 recruiting class with Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Ohio State and LSU rounding out the top five.  

While teams continue to shift in the rankings and make the final push to boost their rankings, three programs are in trouble.  

USC, Oregon and Florida State, typically strong recruiting schools, are in trouble heading toward the deadline.  


USC Trojans

According to, USC currently has the highest average star rating out of any team in the country with 4.46 stars.  But USC only has 13 recruits, which skews that average star rating.  

Nonetheless, 13 recruits who are all 4- and 5-star players is impressive.  But the Trojans are still in trouble as the deadline approaches. 

According to, USC had already landed 18 recruits in July and found itself sitting at the top of the Rivals recruiting team rankings.  The Trojans had everything set in place.  They had a No. 1 recruiting class, a No. 1 ranked team and a national championship run in sight.  

Then disappointment set in.  

USC struggled all season long, finishing 8-5.  Head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff sat on the hot seat. Kiffin is still around but has lost most of his defensive coaches, including Monte Kiffin and Marvin Sanders.  

With the losses of coaches on the defensive side, USC lost five commits on defense and six commits overall.  

According to Gary Klein of the L.A. Times, "Hatcher would be the sixth player who orally committed to the Trojans to reopen his commitment, following safety Max Redfield, receiver Eldridge Massington, defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, defensive back/receiver Sebastian LaRue and defensive lineman Kylie Fitts."

USC may lose more recruits, and they will not be able to recover from the losses.  

The Trojans will have a strong talent pool of players. But with a low number of recruits, if they continue to lose, the Trojans are in trouble.  


Oregon Ducks

Chip Kelly is finally done flirting with the NFL.  Kelly made the jump to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.  

Kelly's decision to dive into the world of NFL coaching hinders Oregon's recruiting. But Kelly's indecisiveness and wavering throughout the season slowed the Ducks recruiting prior to the big announcement.

According to Bud Elliott of SB Nation, "Oregon really didn't have much to lose. Oregon's class numbers just 13, and of those, only six are consensus rated four-stars or better. Hardly a recruiting class of a consistent national title contender."

Oregon should not have much of a drop off since Kelly's flirtation with the NFL already left its mark on this year's recruiting class.

But now Oregon has little time to recover and is without the face of its program for the last four years.

Two other fairly strong football schools in recent years, Tennessee and Auburn, lost their head coaches and then plummeted in recruiting.

Oregon will not drop as much as these two schools.  

But Kelly's indecisiveness and sudden departure have left new head coach Mark Helfrich and the Oregon Ducks struggling as the signing day deadline approaches.  


Florida State Seminoles

 Florida State is the top-ranked recruiting class out of the ACC but sits at No. 21 on's list.

The Seminoles have a stacked defensive class thanks to the recruiting power of new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.  

Offensive coordinator James Coley left the Seminoles for the Miami Hurricanes offense.  Coley was arguably the Seminoles top recruiter, and many players have ties to him.

Coley's loss could spell a loss of recruits on offense as national signing day approaches.  

According to Dallas Jackson of, "Four targets, in particular, may have been rattled by the turnover."

The coaching change has left offensive tackle Austin Golson, defensive end Davin Bellamy, cornerback Marquez White and running back Alex Collins to reconsider their commitment to FSU.  

The Seminoles still have one of the higher ranked recruiting classes, but they still have a ways to go. Within the ACC, Florida State is at the top, but in comparison to other teams in the almighty SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12, the Seminoles have more work to do.

With time running out before National Signing Day 2013, the Seminoles could be in trouble.