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February 2, 2011

Signing Day 2011: The top 25 teams

MORE: Signing Day Central | Team recruiting rankings top 50

Rivals.com takes a closer look at the final top 25 teams in the national team rankings.

See where your favorite team stacked up on National Signing Day as we break down each of the top 25 classes.

A look at top 25 signing classes
1. Alabama
Head of the class: DB Hasean Clinton-Dix, APB Demetrius Hart
Buzz: Alabama held on to the top spot by turning linebacker Brent Calloway back to Alabama after he had decommitted to Auburn earlier in January. The Crimson Tide also added defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan on National Signing Day. Offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio remains in the picture as he has yet to officially sign, after pledging to Auburn on national television Wednesday. Nick Saban's class is very strong at the top with the nation's top safety (Clinton-Dix) and top all-purpose back (Hart) bound for Tuscaloosa. In total, Alabama landed 10 of the nation's top 250 prospects.
Big fish that got away: RB Isaiah Crowell
2. Florida State
Head of the class: DB Karlos Williams, RB James Wilder Jr.
Buzz: Florida State loaded up on both sides of the ball in the 2011 class. It added depth on the offensive line, signing eight linemen, and added a lot of talent at the skill positions. Florida State's commitment list includes 21 prospects from the Sunshine State, with six of Rivals Top 20 Florida prospects in the 2011 class. Safety Karlos Williams leads the defense and is a player who can make an immediate impact in Tallahassee. On offense, it is tough to find a better running back duo than James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman. The only bad news for Jimbo Fisher and company was that Tony Steward spurned them for Clemson on National Signing Day.
Big fish that got away: LB Tony Steward
3. Texas
Head of the class: RB Malcolm Brown, LB Steve Edmond
Buzz: Texas didn't add a commitment after mid-August as Mack Brown and company continued the trend of loading up early and hanging on. Down the stretch, the only major loss was four-star offensive lineman Christian Westerman, who switched to Auburn. The top player in the class is Malcolm Brown, a talented running back who will likely see early playing time for the Longhorns. Others such as defensive back Quandre Diggs, linebacker Steve Edmond and offensive lineman Sedrick Flowers are important pieces. In total, 16 members of the Rivals250 are on their way to Austin.
Big fish that got away: OL Christian Westerman
4. USC
Head of the class: WR George Farmer, ATH Marqise Lee
Buzz: NCAA sanctions haven't slowed Lane Kiffin and the Trojans at all. USC closed strong adding athlete Marqise Lee, linebacker Lamar Dawson, offensive lineman Aundrey Walker and defensive tackle Christian Heyward on National Signing Day. In total, the class wrapped up with 15 prospects from the Rivals250.
Big fish that got away: ATH De'Anthony Thomas
5. Georgia
Head of the class: RB Isaiah Crowell, DE Ray Drew
Buzz: Despite a disappointing season in Athens, Mark Richt put together the Georgia "Dream Team" and secured one of the nation's top classes. Among the in-state prospects taking their talents to the Bulldogs is running back Isaiah Crowell, defensive end Ray Drew, defensive back Malcolm Mitchell, defensive back Damian Swann and tight end Jay Rome. Richt also stole linebacker Kent Turene, a native of the Sunshine State, from Southern Cal on National Signing Day. Georgia signed a total of 20 prospects from the Peach State.
Big fish that got away: DE Xzavier Dickson
6. LSU
Head of the class: OL La'El Collins, DT Anthony Johnson, WR Jarvis Landry
Buzz: LSU once again did a fantastic job of keeping Louisiana talent home, landing 17 prospects from the Pelican State. On Wednesday, the class was topped by the commitment of four-star defensive end Jermauria Rasco. Rasco joins the likes of defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and Mickey Johnson on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, offensive tackle La'El Collins will likely block early in his career for quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who will be looking for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Les Miles landed 10 of the nation's top 250 prospects.
Big fish that got away: DT Timmy Jernigan
7. Auburn
Head of the class: Kris Frost, Christian Westerman
Buzz: Auburn had a huge January landing 10 prospects considered four stars or better since the start of January. The top prospect among that group is offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, who pledged to Gene Chizik and company on national television during National Signing Day. At this point, the offensive lineman has yet to send his letter-of-intent to the Tigers. In total, Auburn landed 13 of the nation's top 250 prospects, including the top prospect in Arkansas, North Carolina and Arizona. The only bad news for Auburn on signing day was that linebacker Brent Calloway flipped back to Alabama, where he had previously been committed.
Big fish that got away: LB Brent Calloway
8. Clemson
Head of the class: LB Tony Steward, LB Stephone Anthony, RB Mike Bellamy, WR Sammy Watkins
Buzz: Dabo Swinney and Clemson signed four five-star prospects, including two landed on signing day. The top of the class is led by running back Mike Bellamy, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a pair of linebackers, Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward. Both linebackers pledged on Wednesday and saw Swinney win tight battles against Virginia Tech and Florida State, respectively. Clemson landed three of the top 10 prospects from the Sunshine State. Clemson was one of the bigger winners on signing day.
Big fish that got away: Brandon Ellerbe
9. Oregon
Head of the class: ATH Colt Lyerla, ATH De'Anthony Thomas
Buzz: The Ducks will look to return to the BCS National Championship game after loading up once again in the 2011 class. Chip Kelly's class is led by in-state athlete Colt Lyerla, a five-star prospect. Oregon, which landed just three in-state prospects, did an excellent job searching the nation for some of the top talent. The Ducks went from Hawaii - defensive end Lake Koa-Ka'ai - to Florida - wide receiver Tacoi Sumler - for talent. In total, seven of the Rivals250 is bound for Eugene.
Big fish that got away: DE Delvon Simmons
10. Notre Dame
Head of the class: DE Ishaq Williams, DE Stephon Tuitt
Buzz: Brian Kelly is bringing a great class to South Bend, especially along the defensive front seven. The class is led by five-star defensive ends Ishaq Williams and Stephon Tuitt, who are followed closely by defensive end Aaron Lynch. The Fighting Irish also landed the top player from New Mexico, offensive tackle Matthew Hegarty. A total of 10 Rivals250 prospects are taking their talents to South Bend.
Big fish that got away: RB Savon Huggins
11. Ohio State
Head of the class: LB Curtis Grant, QB Braxton Miller
Buzz: The Buckeyes closed strong adding five-star linebacker Curtis Grant to an already star-studded class. Joining Grant in Columbus will be four-star defensive back Doran Grant, defensive tackle Michael Bennett and quarterback Braxton Miller. Ohio State was once again effective at closing the state's border, keeping seven of the top 10 home. Nine of the signees come from the Rivals250. The only bad news for Jim Tressel was when offensive lineman Aundrey Walker opted to leave Ohio for the Hollywood lights of Southern Cal.
Big fish that got away: OL Aundrey Walker
12. Tennessee
Head of the class: OL Antonio Richardson, WR DeAnthony Arnett
Buzz: The Tennessee Volunteers bounced back from a slow start to close very strong down the stretch. While they were denied by talented linebacker Lamar Dawson, who opted for USC, they saw a number of wins surrounding National Signing Day, including offensive linemen Antonio Richardson and Cameron Clear, as well as linebacker Curt Maggitt, and defensive back Byron Moore. Derek Dooley's staff addressed numerous needs in its 27 signees, which included six Rivals250 members.
Big fish that got away: LB Lamar Dawson
13. Oklahoma
Head of the class: RB Brandon Williams, WR Trey Metoyer
Buzz: Signing day was a relatively calm one for Oklahoma, which signed a smaller class, bringing in just 17 prospects. Leading the charge for Bob Stoops' Sooners is running back Brandon Williams and wide receiver Trey Metoyer. Jordan Phillips is a talented defensive tackle who could play on either side of the football. Oklahoma kept two of the top three in-state prospects home, landing offensive lineman Dylan Dismuke and quarterback Kendal Thompson, but lost out on the top in-state player, defensive back Josh Turner, who opted for Texas.
Big fish that got away: DB Josh Turner
14. Florida
Head of the class: QB Jeff Driskel, DB Marcus Roberson
Buzz: Florida survived a transition from Urban Meyer to Will Muschamp and still ended up signing a top 15 class consisting of 18 prospects. The top prospects in the class are quarterback Jeff Driskel, Rivals.com's No. 1 QB in the nation, running back Mike Blakely and defensive back Marcus Roberson, who committed and signed with the Gators on National Signing Day. Florida's class lost steam during the transition from the old to the new staff, and it resulted in the Gators falling short for prospects such as five-star linebackers Stephone Anthony and Curtis Grant.
Big fish that got away: LB Curtis Grant
15. Nebraska
Head of the class: RB Aaron Green, OL Tyler Moore
Buzz: Bo Pelini landed a balanced 19-player class that has seven prospects in the Rivals250. The leaders of the class are offensive lineman Tyler Moore, from Florida, and running back Aaron Green, from Texas. Moore leads a five-man offensive line class that also includes Zach Sterup, Ryan Klachko and Ryne Reeves. The class got a nice bump on National Signing Day when four-star defensive tackle Todd Peat Jr. pledged his services to the Huskers.
Big fish that got away: CB Tevin Mitchel
16. North Carolina
Head of the class: DT Delvon Simmons, LB Travis Hughes
Buzz: The Tar Heels lured Delvon Simmons away from Southern Cal and Oregon on signing day. Joining Simmons in Chapel Hill will be fellow defensive linemen such as Devonte Brown and Norkeithus Otis as well as linebacker Travis Hughes. On the offensive side of the ball, Butch Davis added talented linemen Jarrod James and Kiaro Holts, who will block for quarterback Marquise Williams.
Big fish that got away: RB Savon Huggins
17. Cal
Head of the class: DT Viliami Moala, DB Stefan McClure
Buzz: The Golden Bears signed a solid class of 22 prospects, with 14 of them being in-state prospects. At the top of the list is defensive tackles Viliami Moala and Mustafa Jalil as well as defensive ends Todd Barr and Brennan Scarlett. In the secondary, Avery Walls and Stefan McClure were big gets. The best offensive player in the class is probably running back Brendon Bigelow, who has battled knee injuries during his high school career.
Big fish that got away: ATH Colt Lyerla
18. Ole Miss
Head of the class: LB C.J. Johnson, WR Nickolas Brassell
Buzz: Houston Nutt closes strong, landing in-state prospects in five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson and four-star wide receiver Nickolas Brassell in the final week. The Rebels earned the state championship in recruiting by locking up the top five prospects in Mississippi - Johnson, Brassell, Donte Moncrief, Aaron Morris, and Tobias Singleton.
Big fish that got away: DB Floyd Raven
19. Texas Tech
Head of the class: TE Jace Amaro, RB Kenny Williams
Buzz: The Red Raiders class was topped by a strong group of offensive weapons led by Rivals250 tight end Jace Amaro and running back Kenny Williams. Joining the duo at the top of the class on the offensive side of the ball is wide receivers Derek Edwards and Marcus Kennard. The top defensive prospect in the class is junior college defensive end Leon Mackey. The deep class did suffer one tough loss down the stretch when defensive back Marcus Roberson defected for Auburn before eventually signing with Florida.
Big fish that got away: DB Marcus Roberson
20. South Carolina
Head of the class: DT Kelcy Quarles, OL Brandon Shell
Buzz: The Gamecocks amassed a huge class in 2011 led by offensive lineman Brandon Shell, defensive linemen Kelcy Quarles and Phillip Dukes, as well as defensive backs Sheldon Royster and Brison Williams. While the Gamecocks are in the top 20, their class could improve drastically on Feb. 14 when the nation's No. 1 prospect, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, makes his final decision. Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks are considered the leaders for the in-state prospect.
Big fish that got away: LB Lateek Townsend
21. Michigan
Head of the class: RB Justice Hayes, DB Blake Countess
Buzz: Brady Hoke landed half of his 20-man class after his hiring, highlighted by four-star athlete Raymon Taylor and four-star tight end Chris Barnett. Those two joined defensive back Blake Countess, running back Justice Hayes and defensive end Brennen Beyer to give the Wolverines a strong finish on National Signing Day. Hoke also did a good job of retaining a number of commitments after a tumultuous separation by the Wolverines from Rich Rodriguez.
Big fish that got away: DE Anthony Zettel
22. Stanford
Head of the class: LB James Vaughters, DB Wayne Lyons
Buzz: Despite a coaching change in Palo Alto, the Cardinal closed with a Top 25 recruiting class. The class is led by a pair of talented defenders from the Southeast in linebacker James Vaughters from Georgia and defensive back Wayne Lyons from Florida. Stanford once again flashed its national appeal, landing the top-ranked prospect from Indiana, running back Remound Wright, and the top-ranked prospect from Colorado, offensive tackle Brendon Austin. The class was dinged a bit down the stretch by defections after Jim Harbaugh's departure.
Big fish that got away: APB Amir Carlisle
23. Washington
Head of the class: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Kasen Williams
Buzz: Steve Sarkisian and the Huskies dominated at home keeping nine of the state's top 15 prospects, including Rivals100 prospects Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams. The top out-of-state prospect that was lured to Washington was defensive back James Sample from California. The balanced class addressed needs on both sides of the ball.
Big fish that got away: RB Brendon Bigelow
24. Arkansas
Head of the class: OL Brey Cook, DB Tevin Mitchel
Buzz: Bobby Petrino and Arkansas finished with 30 prospects, led by offensive lineman Brey Cook. Despite missing on the top in-state prospect, quarterback Kiehl Frazier, Arkansas dominated within its borders. The Razorbacks also dipped into Texas for defensive back Tevin Mitchel and New York for wide receiver Marquel Wade.
Big fish that got away: QB Kiehl Frazier
25. Virginia
Head of the class: DB Demetrious Nicholson, ATH Darius Jennings
Buzz: Mike London and his staff found success by working hard in Virginia and Maryland to keep talented prospects home. At the top of that list is in-state defensive backs Dominique Terrell and Demetrious Nicholson, as well as running back Clifton Richardson. From nearby Maryland, he lured defensive back Brandon Phelps and talented athlete Darius Jennings. Terrell and Jennings were both prospects that London closed with, landing their commitments on National Signing Day.
Big fish that got away: LB Curtis Grant

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