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February 1, 2012
National Signing Day: Top five surprises
Rivals.com analyst Brian Perroni covers some of the biggest shockers so far on National Signing Day.
1. Greenberry pulls a stunner
Rivals100 wide receiver Deontay Greenberry had been committed to Notre Dame for quite some time. He was expected to sign with the Irish on Wednesday, joining good friend Tee Shepard, who is already enrolled in South Bend. However, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound four-star prospect from California pulled the ultimate stunner on Wednesday when he chose to sign with Houston instead. Greenberry had officially visited Houston last weekend but nobody thought much of the trip as it was thought he was simply doing a favor to Jamie Christian, a new assistant for the Cougars that was recruiting Greenberry previously at Arizona State. The nation's No. 49 overall prospect is by far the highest-ranked player to ever sign with Houston.
2. Davis switches
It is almost impossible for any school to get a top player away from LSU and out of Louisiana. Alabama received a commitment from five-star Landon Collins last month and the Tigers took another huge hit when the state's No. 3 prospect, outside linebacker Torshiro Davis, made a last-minute switch to Texas. Davis was one of the earliest commits for the Tigers in the class and, as late as Tuesday night, seemed 100-percent solid to LSU. He ended up holding a late morning press conference, though, where he announced his intentions to be a Longhorn. The switch meant LSU was shut out on the top three prospects in the state of Louisiana.
3. UCLA wide receiver haul
New head coach Jim Mora needed to upgrade the wide receiver corps at UCLA but the prospects did not look incredibly bright heading into signing day. However, the Bruins stole a big pledge from California very late Tuesday night in three-star prospect Kenneth Walker and then continued the momentum on Wednesday. Four-star wide receiver Javon Williams ended up choosing UCLA on Wednesday morning and was quickly followed by another top prospect at the position. Rivals100 wide receiver and U.S. Army All-American Jordan Payton was a very early USC commit before pledging to Cal at the Army game. He then switched to Washington a few weeks later to follow his recruiter but shocked quite a few people when he eventually ended up signing with UCLA. The three pass-catchers give the Bruins a big-time receiver haul all in the last 12 hours.
4. Five-star flip
Dante Fowler Jr. had been committed to Florida State for 14 months heading into Wednesday's signing day. The Seminoles simply needed to hold on to him for one more day than they were able to though. The five-star defensive end decided to sign with rival Florida. Fowler simply stated that he felt like the situation in Gainesville was better for him and, on a day where the Seminoles won big, was the one big hit they took.
5. Miami wins big
Though Florida State made headlines with several very good late pickups, fellow Sunshine State program Miami also had a big day. The nation's No. 1 cornerback, five-star Tracy Howard, was thought to be a Florida-Florida State battle just a week ago. The Hurricanes were a mere afterthought a few months ago but ended up keeping the local star home on signing day. Miami was not done, though, as three-star running back Jawand Blue was an even bigger surprise when he switched from Virginia Tech on Wednesday. The Hurricanes showed that they are a force again in South Florida.