2013 National Signing Day logo2013 National Signing Day

National Signing Day Predictions: Where Top Defensive Recruits Will Sign

Robert Nkemdiche will have all eyes on him on national signing day. (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)
Robert Nkemdiche will have all eyes on him on national signing day. (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)
Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2013

Once Sunday's Super Bowl is over, the football world will turn its attention to where the top defensive recruits will commit to on national signing day.

Many of the top recruits have announced their intentions already, but there are plenty of defensive players who have yet to commit. When Wednesday comes, the recruiting classes will begin to shape up.

The offensive stars of this year's recruiting class have committed already, so all eyes will be on the defensive side of the football. 

The SEC is looking to get stronger, and several of the top remaining recruits come from the South. 

So where will the top players sign?


Robert Nkemdiche, DE

Scout.com's No. 1 recruit is deciding between Ole Miss, Florida and LSU.

The 6'4" defensive end made a late recruiting trip to LSU (as reported by ESPN.com) last week, so the Tigers have a chance to nab the star. The late visit to Baton Rouge may have been enough to sway him.

Nkemdiche is, perhaps, the most athletic defensive lineman in this year's class, and he has good size as well. He would be a huge addition for Ole Miss, but he can choose to go to a national power to pursue a national championship.

Florida and Ole Miss have been his leading choices for a while, but he may surprise some people with his pick.

Nkemdiche's late trip to LSU made things interesting, and he will sign with Les Miles and the Tigers.


Mackensie Alexander, CB 

Nkemdiche is the top recruit, but Mackensie Alexander has a chance to be a stud in any school's secondary.

Although he is only Scout.com's seventh-ranked cornerback, he has great talent. At 5'11", he can still guard the taller receivers.

Alexander may be the best tackler out of all the cornerback prospects this year. He knows how to play the game and has the potential to be a shutdown corner.

Mississippi State, Auburn, Rutgers and Clemson all make his final list. Alexander would fit in any of those schools' systems, so there really isn't a wrong choice.

His recruiting visits should have given him some clarity to help make his choice. Alexander has plenty of suitors, but he will take the risk and sign with Rutgers.


Matthew Thomas, OLB

Now that national signing day is quickly approaching, Matthew Thomas will have to decide where he will play next season.

The senior is the second-ranked linebacker by Scout.com, and he will be one of the biggest names to watch on Wednesday.

The 6'4" linebacker isn't the biggest player, but he makes up for it with his athleticism. At 210 pounds, he can put on some more muscle and become an even bigger threat.

Being from Miami could play a role in his decision. He is currently deciding between Miami (FL), Florida State, USC, Alabama and Georgia.

It will probably come down to the Hurricanes and the Seminoles. His quick style of play makes him better adjusted for Florida State's defense, but he hasn't shown his hand yet.

In the end, he will make the right decision. Thomas will be a Seminole by the end of the process because he fits their defensive strategy perfectly.

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