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February 3, 2010

Signing Day 2010: The top 25 teams

MORE: Signing Day Central | Team recruiting rankings

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. USC
Head of the class: WR Kyle Prater, RB Dillon Baxter
Buzz: There was no bigger national story during the final few weeks of recruiting than USC. Lane Kiffin and Co. did a tremendous job keeping together the pieces of the puzzle that already were assembled by former coach Pete Carroll. Keeping Prater, Baxter and Robert Woods on board was huge; they are five-star players at positions of need. The Trojans also closed stronger than anybody, with the addition of five-star prospects Seantrel Henderson and Markeith Ambles and four-star recruits Nickell Robey and Hayes Pullard. - Jeremy Crabtree
Big fish that got away: DE Ronald Powell (to Florida)
2. Florida
Head of the class: DE Ronald Powell, DT Sharrif Floyd
Buzz: This Gators class is absolutely loaded from top to bottom. In all, there are 10 Rivals100 prospects and 18 Rivals250 prospects. The defensive class is simply outstanding. It starts with the nation's top prospect in defensive end Ronald Powell, the nation's best defensive tackle in Sharrif Floyd and fellow five-star defensive standouts Dominique Easley, Darrin Kitchens and Matt Elam. There are stars on offense as well, like offensive tackles Chaz Green and Ian Silberman, tight end Gerald Christian, running back Mack Brown and wide receivers Chris Dunkley, Adrian Coxson, Quinton Dunbar, and Solomon Patton. - Jamie Newberg
Big fish that got away: LB Christian Jones (Florida State)
3. Texas
Head of the class: LB Jordan Hicks, DE Jackson Jeffcoat
Buzz: Another year, another elite recruiting haul for coach Mack Brown and his Longhorns. Texas again cherry-picked a fantastic class loaded with in-state prospects. The Longhorns really got their gems on the Friday before signing day, landing commitments from five-star standouts Jeffcoat and Hicks. They also signed five four-star wideouts. Mike Davis and Darius White are two of the top pass-catchers in the country. On the defensive side of the ball, the line got a big boost with two phenomenal defensive ends in Jeffcoat and Reggie Wilson. Those two standouts complement each other well. UT also signed three defensive tackles that will clog up the middle, led by Taylor Bible and Ashton Dorsey. Tevin Jackson is an elite linebacker that also deserves note as one of the top defenders in the 2010 class. - Barton Simmons
Big fish that got away: OT Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)
4. Auburn
Head of the class: RB Michael Dyer, QB Cameron Newton
Buzz: Auburn is one of the biggest surprises this recruiting season. Coach Gene Chizik landed big names at several positions, including five-star quarterback Cameron Newton and five-star running back Michael Dyer. The Tigers won a major fight in the end and kept five-star OL Shon Coleman in the fold. A slew of big-name four-star prospects like wide receiver Trovon Reed, offensive guard Eric Mack, defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker, defensive end Craig Sanders and linebackers Jake Holland also are headed to The Plains. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina)
5. Alabama
Head of the class: QB Phillip Sims, CB DeMarcus Milliner
Buzz: This is the third consecutive big-time class signed by Alabama coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide landed one of the nation's top quarterbacks in Phillip Sims. Corey Grant is a speedy running back, while Jalston Fowler is a big bruiser. DeAndrew White leads a solid group of incoming receivers. The strongest part of this Alabama class has to be the secondary. The Tide landed five-star cornerback DeMarcus Milliner and high four-star standouts in cornerbacks Dequan Menzie and John Fulton and safety Jarrick Williams. Linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive ends Adrian Hubbard and Alfy Hill should shine in Tuscaloosa. The Tide closed with offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: S Keenan Allen (Cal)
6. LSU
Head of the class: ATH Spencer Ware, DL J.R. Ferguson
Buzz: It's business as usual for Les Miles and his LSU recruiting machine. Once again, The Tigers finished inside the nation's top 10. There might not be as many splash names (wait until next season), but this is a very good class nonetheless. This Tiger contingent is led by five-star Spencer Ware, who they grabbed from Cincinnati, Ohio. Other standouts include defensive ends Justin Maclin and Jordan Allen, safety Eric Reid, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, athletes Tharold Simon and Ronnie Vinson, offensive tackle Evan Washington, tight end Travis Dickson, wide receiver James Wright, running back Jakhari Gore and quarterback Zach Lee. The Tigers closed on Signing Day with a big-time receiver in Kadron Boone, athlete Jarrett Fobbs, defensive lineman J.C. Copeland and five-star DL J.R. Ferguson. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: WR Trovon Reed (Auburn)
7. Oklahoma
Head of the class: RB Justin McCay, RB Brennan Clay, RB Roy Finch
Buzz: Led by two dynamic running backs in Clay and Finch, Oklahoma got help all across the board and pulled in another fantastic class. The quarterback position gets depth in a four-star Blake Bell. Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams star on the offensive line while late-rising defensive tackle Eric Humphrey is one of the steals in the country on the defensive line. With a signing day surprise, four-star Corey Nelson decommitted from Texas A&M to join his high school teammate Joe Powell on the Sooner signee list. With at least one premiere prospect at every position, Oklahoma filled all every need and landed the kind of talent that should keep it among the elite in the Big 12. - Simmons
Big fish that got away: WR Darius White (Texas)
Head of the class: DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, RB Malcolm Jones
Buzz: Most of the attention nationally was paid to USC, UCLA's cross-town rival, but plenty of props should go out to Rick Neuheisel and his staff. Their efforts could signal the start of something special in Westwood. The Bruins put together one of the nation's best running back classes with Jones, Anthony Barr and Jordon James. When Barr and James are healthy, they are fantastic, and Jones was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior. UCLA also added a lot of quality depth along the defensive line. The Bruins also closed strongly with Odighizuwa, Dietrich Riley, Josh Shirley, Jordan Zumwalt and Anthony Jefferson. - Crabtree
Big fish that got away: QB Brett Nottingham (Stanford)
9. Tennessee
Head of the class: WR Da'Rick Rogers, OT Jawuan James
Buzz: New Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and his staff did a tremendous job considering their short recruiting window. Dooley and Co. kept all the previous staff's early enrolles. Then, the Vols went out and filled needs along the offensive line and at linebacker. In addition, they were able to land big-name recruits like wide receiver Justin Hunter, running back Rajion Neal, quarterback Tyler Bray, offensive tackle Jawuan James, and defensive ends Corey Miller and Jacques Smith. How about what they did today, landing five-star wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers away from Georgia? Getting in-state lineman James Stone was very important. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: WR Markeith Ambles (USC)
10. Florida State
Head of the class: CB Lamarcus Joyner, LB Christian Jones
Buzz: Defensive help is on it's way to Tallahassee. New Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher really did well with his first recruiting class. Leading the charge is five-star cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, the nation's top middle linebacker in Jeff Luc and defensive line standout Darious Cummings. The Seminoles landed a big one on Signing Day in five-star linebacker Christian Jones. On the other side of the ball, Florida State had a good haul as well. FSU did especially well at receiver with the dynamic Christian Green, the solid Kenny Shaw and the speedy De'Joshua Johnson. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: CB Terrence Mitchell (USF)
11. Cal
Head of the class: DE/LB Chris Martin, S Keenan Allen
Buzz: The Bears got defensive this season, landing one of the Pac-10's best classes on that side of the ball. The class is highlighted by a linebacker group that features Martin and four-star prospects Nick Forbes, Cecil Whiteside and David Wilkerson. Throw in some late additions, such as Allen and four-star linebacker Chris McCain, and this could be the beginning of one of the best defenses in the league. Offense also was addressed with the additions of running back Trajuan Briggs and four talented receivers led by speedsters Tevin Carter and Kaelin Clay. - Crabtree
Big fish that got away: WR Joshua Harper (Fresno State), OL Roszell Gayden (Auburn)
12. Penn State
Head of the class: LB Khairi Fortt and RB Silas Redd.
Buzz: Penn State's two headliners are from Connecticut? Yes, and they are two of the best at their positions in the nation. Penn State signed the Big Ten's best class, thanks to continued success on the Atlantic Coast and renewed success in western Pennsylvania. LB Mike Hull, QB Paul Jones, OL Miles Dieffenbach, and OL Thomas Ricketts are all four-star prospects from the western half of the state. Jones and Robert Bolden are both in the Rivals250, giving the Nittany Lions a pair of talented quarterbacks. Penn State's linebacker group looks to be in good hands, with U.S. Army All-Americans Hull, Fortt, and Zach Zwinak - who could either star at linebacker or fullback. - Greg Ladky
Big fish that got away: DT Sharrif Floyd (Florida)
13. Oregon
Head of the class: DT Ricky Heimuli, OL Ryan Clanton
Buzz: The Ducks made a splash again nationally when they reeled in five-star running back Lache Seastrunk, but this Oregon class is full of other stars. Clanton, running back Dontae Williams, tight end Curtis White and athlete Keanon Lowe are major four-star recruits. The Ducks also have one of the best offensive line classes in the Pac-10 - Clanton, Nick Rowland and Hroniss Grasu have chances to be stars. The defensive back group has plenty of talent, too. Cornerback Dior Mathis was a steal from Detroit. Landing Rivals100 prospect Heimuli on Wednesday was a nice surprise. - Crabtree
Big fish that got away: DE Gabe King (California)
14. Notre Dame
Head of the class: OT Matt James, DT Louis Nix
Buzz: Even with the change in coaches from Charlie Weis to Brian Kelly, Notre Dame maintained one of the top classes in the nation with 10 four-star pledges. The Irish received an influx of talent on offense, particularly at the quarterback position. Andrew Hendrix, the No. 13 pro-style passer in the nation, was one of three QB commits for the Irish. Hendrix, from Cincinnati Moeller, features a quick release and outstanding size. Notre Dame added a bruising tailback in Cameron Roberson as well as three wideouts. Tai-ler Jones, the No. 19 receiver in the country, runs great routes. Tight end got a boost in Alex Welch, while the offensive line added two four-stars in Christian Lombard and Matt James - the No. 14 tackle in the country. The No. 7 defensive tackle in the nation, Louis Nix, leads the defensive class. Nix is a very physical presence in the middle. He'll be a huge help for four-star linebackers Prince Shembo and Kendall Moore. Versatile athlete Danny Spond provides good athleticism and size to what is another highly ranked class for the Irish. - Mike Farrell
Big fish that got away: DE Chris Martin (California)
15. Texas A&M
Head of the class: OT Luke Joeckel, OT Jake Matthews
Buzz: You really can't talk about the Texas A&M 2010 class without first talking about the group of offensive linemen that the Aggies have assembled as it just might be the best collection of offensive linemen in the country. Joeckel is a complete offensive tackle, Matthews can play every position on the line, Cedric Ogbuehi is one of the best pass-protectors in the country and Shep Klinke has a nasty physical presence in the trenches. Though they lost some commitments late, the Aggies still managed to add some talent to the defensive side of the ball in Ivan Robinson and Jonathan Mathis on the defensive interior as well as guys like Toney Hurd Jr., Damontre Moore and Domonique Patterson. Despite that defensive help, A&M should continue to see its strength on offense. Three four-star running backs in D.J. Jones, Mister Jones and Ben Malena and three high school quarterbacks are all part of this class as well. - Simmons
Big fish that got away: LB Corey Nelson (Oklahoma)
16. Georgia
Head of the class: S Alec Ogletree, DE T.J. Stripling
Buzz: The nucleus of this Georgia class is the defensive line, where the Dawgs just loaded up. Mike Thornton, Jalen Fields, Brandon Burrows, Garrison Smith, Dexter Morant and T.J. Stripling are all big-timers headed to Athens. Other standouts include running back Ken Malcome, cornerback Derek Owens, and offensive guard Kolton Houston. Offensive tackle prospect Brent Benedict is one of the most talented players at his position. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: WR Da'Rick Rogers (Tennessee)
17. Ole Miss
Head of the class: DE Carlos Thompson, ATH Randall Mackey
Buzz: Carlos Thompson headlines the 2010 Rebels class, and he is one of the top defensive end prospects in the south. Ole Miss did well in the junior college ranks with defensive end Wayne Dorsey, safety Damien Jackson and athlete Randall Mackey. High school standouts include linebacker Clarence Jackson, cornerback Cliff Coleman, runnning back Martez Eastland, defensive tackle Carlton Martin and running back Jeff Scott. Like last season, the Rebels had a huge Signing Day by landing defensive end Delvin Jones, linebacker Ralph Williams, wide receiver Vincent Sanders and cornerback Tony Grimes. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: DB Dequan Menzie (Alabama)
18. Clemson
Head of the class: DT Josh Watson, WR Martavis Bryant
Buzz: The Tigers acquired some major talent on defense. Clemson pulled in four defensive linemen, including three four-stars in end Corey Crawford and tackles Josh Watson and Tavaris Barnes. The defensive backfield got four additions as well. That group is highlighted by three four-star prospects including Desmond Brown, Garry Peters and Darius Robinson. Clemson added a lot of speed, some of the form of four-star athlete DeAndre Hopkins. Linebacker Justin Parker was a huge addition to the defense as well. While offense wasn't a focus this year, Clemson added one huge target - literally - in 6-foot-4, 190-pound wideout Martavis Bryant. Bryant is a lanky receiver with excellent speed and good route-running skills. The Tigers added quite a bit of talent and a lot of speed in the 2010 recruiting class. - Farrell
Big fish that got away: S Keenan Allen (California)
19. West Virginia
Head of the class: ATH Latwan Anderson, WR Deon Long
Buzz: The Mountaineers pulled in the Big East's top recruiting class in 2010. West Virginia accumulated five four-star prospects as well as a five-star in Latwan Anderson - for now. Anderson is still committed to the Mountaineers, but didn't sign his letter of intent today because he is still considering other schools. Anderson has the skills to be a terrific cover man for West Virginia. He could also make an early impact on special teams with his uncanny return ability. Outside of that, West Virginia filled needs on offense with two quarterbacks. WVU landed athletic and speedy QB Barry Brunetti, the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country. The Mountaineers filled their needs at wideout as well with two impressive prospects in Deon Long - the No. 1 prep player in the country - and Ivan McCartney. The offensive line got a major upgrade with the addition of jumbo tackle Quinton Spain, a 6-foot-5, 330-pounder. The defense received one other huge pickup in Bruce Irvin, the No. 6 junior college prospect in the nation. There's no question this was a special class with lots of skill position athletes for the Mountaineers. - Farrell
Big fish that got away: RB Braylon Heard (Nebraska)
20. Michigan
Head of the class: QB Devin Gardner and DBs Cullen Christian and Demar Dorsey.
Buzz: Michigan signed 27 prospects and finished with the second-best recruiting class in the Big Ten. Gardner is a good fit for Michigan's offense. His passing skills need some more polish, but he is a natural leader and is eager to get better. He could be the face of Michigan's program in a couple of years. Christian will provide immediate help at cornerback - a major need for the Wolverines' struggling pass defense. A trio of top defensive prospects are coming in from Florida: DT Richard Ash, DB Demar Dorsey, and Marvin Robinson. Eleven prospects come from Ohio, including three linebackers - Davion Rogers, Jake Ryan, and Antonio Kinard. - Ladky
Big fish that got away: DE William Gholston (Michigan State)
21. Missouri
Head of the class: QB James Franklin, OL Nick Demien
Buzz: This will go down as the best class yet in Gary Pinkel's tenure in Columbia. The Tigers did a tremendous job in their backyard, missing out on only two in-state recruits they wanted. To go along with Demien, the Tigers added elite stars Marcus Lucas and Kony Ealy. Lucas could be a perfect fit for Missouri's passing offense. They also did a tremendous job in Texas, grabbing Franklin and Tristen Holt. Missouri also did a nice job of meeting needs, especially at defensive back, receiver and along the offensive line. - Crabtree
Big fish that got away: WR Keeston Terry (to Kansas), CB Dexter McDonald (to Kansas)
22. Virginia Tech
Head of the class: OT Laurence Gibson, DE Zack McCray
Buzz: Even though they didn't pull off the ACC Championship this season, Virginia Tech had significant success on the recruiting trail. The Hokies pulled in one of the top classes in the conference. Tech landed six four-star prospects, including two on the offensive line. Tackles Laurence Gibson and Mark Shuman will should be good ones before their careers are finished. The defensive line group is led by Zack McCray, the No. 8 weakside defensive end in the country. McCray provides the Hokies defense with even more speed of the edge. Versatile linebacker/safety Nick Dew has some of the best closing speed in the country. The Hokies also filled a critical need at quarterback with commits from Mark Leal and Ricardo Young. They will likely compete for the starting job once senior Tyrod Taylor departs next year. - Farrell
Big fish that got away: FB Zach Zwinak (Penn State)
23. Nebraska
Head of the class: OL Jermarcus Hardrick, RB Braylon Heard
Buzz: Nebraska pushed into the top 25 with a solid National Signing Day that included signatures from four-star prospects Brion Carnes and Corey Cooper. The Huskers would have liked to land DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, but there's still plenty of defensive help to keep the Blackshirts humming. Carnes' addition shows that Nebraska is dedicated to using a dual-threat quarterback, and Carnes - from the same high school as Tommie Frazier - should provide immediate depth. Cooper is the type of ball-hawking safety who should thrive in coach Bo Pelini's defense. Throw in impact junior college recruits such as Lavonte David at linebacker and Hardrick along the offensive line, and coaches have to be happy. - Crabtree
Big fish that got away: Odighizuwa (UCLA)
24. Miami
Head of the class: RB Eduardo Clements, OL Brandon Linder
Buzz: The Hurricanes have a solid class headed to Coral Gables. Miami's 2010 crop is headlined by two running back prospects in local high school star Eduardo Clements and Georgia product Storm Johnson. The big need offensively was across the offensive front, and the Hurricanes landed Brandon Linder, Jermaine Barton, Malcolm Bunche, Johnathan Feliciano and Shane McDermott. On the other side of the ball, defensive tackle Tavadis Glenn, defensive end David Perry, linebacker Travis Williams and cornerback Keion Payne lead the way. Miami didn't do as well in their backyard as expected, but they still landed a solid class. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: WR Ivan McCartney (West Virginia)
25. South Carolina
Head of the class: RB Marcus Lattimore, CB Victor Hampton
Buzz: There was a huge sigh of relief last Tuesday night when Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks landed the top running back in the nation in five-star Marcus Lattimore. He's a big-time, versatile back who should do well in Spurrier's offense. South Carolina landed a dynamic slot receiver in Ace Sanders. The Gamecocks also did well along the line of scrimmage, and QB Connor Shaw should be a nice fit. Defensively, cornerback Victor Hampton will have a chance to make a big splash immediately. Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles was one of the most heavily recruited linemen in the south. - Newberg
Big fish that got away: CB John Fulton (Alabama)

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