So I have been almost too depressed to post this. But it is national signing day eve and it must be done.
Montravious Adams has followed Carl Lawson and will be headed to Auburn barring some recruiting miracle. Rivals has made the projection and he has already informed the coaching staff of his decision. Unless he is pulling the greatest fake-out of all time this has got to be one of the worst finishes for a recruiting class in recent memory (without the firing of a coach). We beat Auburn this season, they lose their entire coaching staff, and they still pull these two.
Adams was the only thing holding this class above average. You offer a kid first and lead for him the whole way, only to come up short at the end. Losing Lawson stings but losing Adams just plain hurts the class. He was supposed to be a lock going all the way back to the summer where he wanted to commit. Clemson coaches wanted to keep it quiet. The conventional wisdom was that this was to ward off the dawgs but it turns out to be Auburn. Again, as early as last week the staff thought this was a done deal. Complete shocker for the staff.
Dabo has failed to close as successfully in the past two cycles and will need to adjust. Opposing coaches know his pitch (even studied his pitch and recruiting philosophy) and have mimicked lots of his family style recruiting and anticipate what Dabo will say. We came on strong after losing Robinson but couldn't sustain the momentum up until signing day. Remember that on that trip we anticipated Clark, Woulard, Adams, and possibly Lawson signing with Clemson. For various reasons none of them will--that is not finishing strong.
Montravious is really a very nice, humble kid so that makes this tougher to take. Adams has a handler and so that is a question here but we have had a good relationship with him throughout. Mom didn't seem to have much of a preference and was fine with a bunch of coaching staffs. Certainly Auburn is again paying for players--they felt like firing the previous coaching staff would give them some cover from NCAA sanctions but they decided to go for it here in the end. They were obviously inspired by their other SEC brethren and the ineptitude of the NCAA to close the book on the Miami scandal.
Here are my predictions for tomorrow...
Wiggins-UNC (but this one is closer than I originally thought--but not enough evidence to go with Clemson)
Ryan Carter--there are rumblings that we will sign him but they better stay just rumblings (if we sign him then why didn't we just offer him when we had Nkemdiche??)
The reason I have Alexander to Clemson is because of the conversations with Brent Venables and dialogue with our staff. Always good to be talking at the deadline. Also an unconfirmed story of Auburn parties reaching out to Alexander who told them he could not be bought (again I couldn't verify this). I do know that Florida is at it again. They backed off of Alexander because they felt confident that they could grab Jalen Ramsey but he is probably going to FSU so they are back after Alexander. Right now he is deciding between Auburn, Mississippi State, and Clemson but if there is a Florida hat on the table I will be a bit nervous. Other coaching staffs think he is going to be a Tiger but staffs at Auburn and Mississippi State both feel like they have a legit shot at him.
Obviously Alexander can change his mind quickly but he will help this class out immensely. Get him and I can stomach the loss of Adams (I think) but without him I will be quacking for the next few weeks. Certainly a deflating feeling going into signing day. I will be on the signing day open thread all day long tomorrow and I am resolved to not be a downer all day..