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February 4, 2009

Farrell: National Signing Day predictions

MORE: Signing Day Central | Announcement Watch | Signing Day Wire| NSD Predictions

Predicting what's going to happen on Signing Day is always difficult and risky based on the unpredictability of 17-year-old football players.

However, Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell, as usual, is willing to go out on a limb with his annual five Signing Day predictions.

Signing Day Predictions
1. Tennessee will pull one or two big upsets
Whether Tennessee jumps in late and lands uncommitted players like wide receiver Marlon Brown, defensive back Darren Myles, defensive end Sam Montgomery, running back Eddie Lacy, linebacker Tana Patrick or wideout Kendall Kelly or they steal away soft verbals like defensive tackle DeQuinta Jones, athlete Marsalis Teague, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery or wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson, the Vols will get a few no one expects they will.
2. Alabama will win the mythical national title
'Bama just has too many top-ranked guys left on the board to not pull this thing out. Dre Kirkpatrick, Brandon Moore and Tana Patrick are near locks while the Tide also has a great shot at Kendall Kelly, Bobby Massie, Eddie Lacy and Darren Myles. Chalk up a second recruiting title in a row for Nick Saban.
3. USC will be okay
Sure, USC is going to lose Vontaze Burfict to Arizona State for sure but there's a chance they could hold either Randall Carroll or Alshon Jeffery (or both). But even if they lose all three, USC can also close with linebacker Manti Te'o, defensive end Jarvis Jones, linebacker/defensive back Frankie Telfort and safety Jawanza Starling and Byron Moore. And they'll could still be in the mix for running back Bryce Brown and wideout/tight end Orson Charles following Signing Day. The Trojans will be just fine.
4. The bigger the more unpredictable
The bigger guys could end up being the biggest surprises on Signing Day and I expect at least one or two 300-pounders to pull shockers.

Candidates include uncommitted offensive lineman Bobby Massie (watch out for Ole Miss) and committed prospects Stanley Hasiak, Henry Orelus, Gary Brown, DeQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves.

At least 600 to 900 pounds of high school prospect will surprise many with a decision.

5. Michigan will be sweating it out
Let's start with the committed players looking around. Defensive tackles DeQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves have been the subject of numerous rumors with many feeling that Tennessee could steal away Jones and Texas Tech could steal Graves. And Michigan is trying to lure wide out Je'Ron Stokes away from Tennessee, although that doesn't look as promising as it did a week ago. Michigan is also hopeful for defensive end Sam Montgomery and athlete Denard Robinson (and his teammate Adrian Witty) although Montgomery is thought to be a North Carolina lean while recent rumors have Robinson possibly looking to stay closer to home. Stealing away Quinton Washington was huge for the Wolverines, but if they lose both Jones and Graves and whiff on the rest, it will be disappointing.



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