HEAD OF THE CLASS: QB Pat Devlin (4), DT Jared Odrick (8)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Penn State is still capitalizing on the momentum it got by signing Justin King and Derrick Williams last season -- and winning the Big Ten this season didn't hurt, either. Following an Orange Bowl victory, Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions have been one of the hottest teams in recruiting. They convinced Devlin to back out on Miami and head to Happy Valley. Chris Bell, as we saw at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, is one of the nation's top wide receivers. Across the front, Paterno has to be all smiles with tight end Andrew Quarless and offensive linemen Antonio Logan-El, Lou Eliades and J.B. Walton. The strength of this recruiting class is the D-line: PSU is bringing in six defensive tackles and three defensive ends, led by Maurice Evans, Phillip Taylor, Odrick and Tom McEowen. Linebacker Navarro Bowman is one of the top prospects from the East Coast, as is cornerback A.J. Wallace.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: WR Vidal Hazelton (USC)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: CB Jai Eugene (1), DT Al Woods (2)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Coach Les Miles is picking up right where Nick Saban left off. The Tigers have the nation's top running back class with Keiland Williams, Charles Scott and Richard Murphy. Williams and Scott have size, power and speed, while Murphy is great in space. Ricky Dixon is a receiver with size, and Richard Dickson could be a star at either tight end or defensive end. Woods is one of the top five defensive prospects in the country; he is a very powerful and a disruptive force. Jacob Cutrera is one of the top middle linebackers in the South and cornerback Perrish Cox is among the nation's top cornerbacks. Earlier this week, LSU pulled off a major coup by stealing the nation's top cornerback, Jai Eugene, from Michigan.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: RB DeMarco Murray (9), DT Gerald McCoy (1)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: The Sooners scored big on Signing Day with McCoy, the nation's top D-line prospect and an explosive athlete. This could be the last season for Adrian Peterson at Oklahoma, so running back was also a major need. Enter Murray and Mossis Madu. Murray is a playmaker who can score any time he touches the ball, while Madu is a prospect who came on late this fall. Adron Tennell and Brandon Caleb are two talented receivers with size, and the Sooners scored big on the O-line as well. Quarterback Sam Bradford is the No. 17-ranked signal-caller in the country. Cornerbacks Dominque Franks and Jonathan Nelson are the headliners of the new Sooner defensive unit.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: DL Derek Burton (Oklahoma State)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: RB Ben Tate (23), DT Bart Eddins (4)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Auburn brings in good prospects at just about every position -- Neil Caudle (QB), Ben Tate (RB), Chris Slaughter (WR), Tim Hawthorne (WR), Terrell Zachary (WR), Lee Tiley (OL), Jamarcus Ricks (OL), Bart Eddins (DT), Greg Smith (DT), Raven Gray (DT), Bo Harris (LB) and Mario Fannin (S). Harris, from Georgia, could emerge as the best prospect from the Peach State among the Class of '06. Caudle is a talented signal-caller but needs to get his knees healthy. Tate is a big, strong back while Slaughter and Zachary are two large targets at wideout. Auburn went all the way to Columbus, Ohio, to land Tilley, one of the top O-linemen in the nation. Eddins has a great motor on the inside but needs to get bigger. Gray is a terrific athlete on the edge at rush end. The Tigers made a nice Signing Day steal by taking tight end Michael Goggans from Tennessee. Overall, this is one of coach Tommy Tuberville's best classes.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: WR Earl Alexander (Alabama)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: LB Brandon Graham (3), OL Steve Schilling (3)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Michigan went to the South and stole some very good prospects, such as running back Carlos Brown (Franklin, Ga.), wide receiver Greg Matthews (Orlando, Fla.) and quarterback David Cone (Statesboro, Ga.). The Wolverines also went out West to land offensive lineman Schilling (Bellevue, Wash.) and, on Signing Day, Jonas Mouton (Los Angeles), the nation's sixth-rated safety. UM secured another big back in Brandon Minor, as well as one of the nation's top O-line prospects in guard Justin Boren. Defensively, the Wolverines will re-sign Marques Slocum, one of the most highly sought-after linemen from the Class of '05. Linebacker Brandon Graham is already in physical shape to play in the Big Ten.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: S Myron Rolle (Florida State)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: TE Nate Byham (1), DT John Malecki (19)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: In his first full year of recruiting, coach Dave Wannstedt & Co. landed a host of Hot 100 prospects: Byham, the nation's top tight end; running back Kevin Collier; wide receiver Dorin Dickerson and offensive lineman Joe Thomas. Collier could emerge as a franchise back. The Panthers scored big on the D-line, especially at tackle with Jason Pinkston and Malecki. Pitt went down to Florida and found some talent for its secondary, with safety Tamarcus Porter and cornerback Ricky Gary, who are teammates from Pahokee. Landing safety Elijah Fields was a great way to close out this class. BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY:CBDarrin Walls(Notre Dame)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: S Myron Rolle (1), TE Caz Piurowski (9)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: The 'Noles made their typical Signing Day splash, stealing cornerback Patrick Robinson and wideout Damon McDaniel from rival Florida, and landing four-star prospects Marcus Ball (10th-rated LB) and Daron Rose (32nd-rated OL) just before the wire. Aside from headlining recruit Rolle, who is already enrolled at FSU and should make an instant impact, this is not your typical Florida State recruiting class. It's loaded with linemen, but that's what the 'Noles need. FSU will re-sign OL Matthew Hardrick after he spent a year in prep school. Evan Bellamy, Shannon Boatman and Brandon Davis are other O-linemen headed to Tallahassee. Christian Ponder was one of the top quarterback prospects from Texas, and Piurowski could be the pass-receiving tight end the Bowdens have been looking for in their offense. On defense, Kevin McNeil, a very good end from Georgia, could be the steal of the class. Tight end/defensive end Brandon Warren is a big-timer from Tennessee.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: RB C.J. Spiller (Clemson)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: RB Chris Wells (1), DE Robert Rose (5)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Wells is the nation's top prospect, and he is ready to be a star in the Big Ten. Barring injury, he should make an impact for the Buckeyes as a true freshman. Wells has the size (6-foot-1, 230 pounds), speed and power to really help out the OSU offense. Quarterback recruit Antonio Henton was the Player of the Year in Georgia and will remind many of Troy Smith. The Buckeyes are loading up on defense, especially at linebacker, with Ross Homan, Thaddeus Gibson, Mark Johnson and Tyler Moeller. Rose is a star in the making at defensive end and has the athleticism and frame to be a terror on the edge. Kurt Coleman is a very good defensive back while Ray Small could be a corner or wide receiver. Both players are blazers.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: OL Justin Boren (Michigan)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: RB LeSean McCoy (5), CB Ryan Hill (3)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Staff changes on offense cost the Hurricanes one of the nation's top quarterbacks. Pennsylvania's Pat Devlin, the No. 4-rated signal caller, decided to sign with Penn State instead of the 'Canes after the dismissal of offensive coordinator Dan Werner. To replace Devlin, the 'Canes stole unheralded recruit Daniel Stegall, who had previously committed to Arkansas State. Miami got McCoy, a top-20 running back late on Signing Day, and had already signed two other talented runners in Kylan Robinson and Javarris James. Sam Shields and George Robinson are two receivers from the Sunshine State headed to Coral Gables. The Hurricanes are bringing in five defensive linemen and a big-time linebacker prospect in Colin McCarthy. He's one of the top defensive prospects from the state of Florida. Hill is as good as they come in the secondary.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: Devlin (Penn State)
HEAD OF THE CLASS: QB Brent Schaeffer (1), Allen Walker (9)
NEWBERG'S ANALYSIS: Ole Miss in the top 15? Believe it. Coach Ed Orgeron is the Recruiter of the Year after putting together the Rebels' top class in a very long time, despite coming off of a 3-8 season. Running back Cordera Eason, wide receivers Terry Levy and Kendrick Lewis, and offensive linemen John Jerry and Aubrey McPhadden are all talented enough to make immediate impacts in Oxford as freshmen. Defensively, the stars are tackle Jerrell Powe, end Kentrell Lockett, linebackers Todd Cox and Jonathan Cornell and safety Walker. Powe, Lockett and Walker all have a chance to be big-time players, but the Rebels' critical need was at quarterback -- and Orgeron went out and got former Tennessee signal-caller Brent Schaeffer.
BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY: WR Tony Burks (Mississippi State)