By G9ija

With most of the top commitments on the college football recruiting board being snagged during the early signing period, the buzz surrounding National Signing Day isn’t what it used to be.

While Wednesday was short on fireworks, the virtual conclusion of the 2019 recruiting cycle allows us to take a look back and consider the major takeaways from the entire process.

Oklahoma’s offense isn’t slowing down

Kyler Murray’s run to the Heisman may have garnered most of the attention for Oklahoma, but Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb got in on the party with some history of their own. The standout wideouts became the first pair of Sooners to top the 1,000-yard receiving mark in the same season.

Murray and Brown are headed to the NFL draft, but new grad-transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts will have plenty of weapons at his disposal thanks to head coach Lincoln Riley’s absurd recruiting haul of offensive talent:

• No. 1 overall wideout (5-star) Jadon Haselwood

• No. 3 overall wideout (4-star) Theo Wease Jr.

• No. 22 overall wideout (4-star) Trejan Bridges

• No. 3 overall TE-Y (4-star) Austin Stogner

Adding that rich list of new players to a returning pass-catching stable of Lamb, Lee Morris, Grant Calcaterra, and Charleston Rambo should make Hurts’ job very easy.

Bama back on top

Nick Saban holding a ball: Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Alabama may have lost the national championship game to Clemson, but Nick Saban reclaimed the recruiting crown after finishing with the sixth-ranked class last year. Not only are the Crimson Tide back on top, but they did so in epic fashion, landing 24 players on the ESPN 300, the most since the rankings began in 2006.

Saban’s main recruiting focus was both lines, as he landed top-10 offensive tackles Evan Neal, Pierce Quick, and Amari Kight while bringing in the nation’s top interior defensive linemen in Antonio Alfano and Ishmael Sopsher.

Another name that might catch the eye is the nation’s fifth-ranked dual-threat quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of star pivot Tua.We’re sorry, this video cannot be played from your current location.

Ohio State’s new Day

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day’s first National Signing Day was supposed to be a quiet one, and that certainly proved true in Columbus. The Buckeyes, as expected, lost four-star tackle Doug Nester to Virginia Tech and currently sit with the 16th-best class in the country. While it’s definitely not time to panic, it stands in stark contrast to what Urban Meyer was able to produce while manning the program:

2018 – second overall

2017 – second overall

2016 – fifth overall

2015 – sixth overall

2014 – seventh overall

2013 – third overall

2012 – sixth overall

Ohio State didn’t graduate many seniors and brought in star quarterback Justin Fields via transfer, so the Buckeyes will once again be the most talented team in the Big Ten. While that is certainly reassuring, how Day recruits going forward is something fans will want to keep an eye on.

Oregon rolling under Cristobal

Steve Dykes / Getty Images Sport / Getty

© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Steve Dykes / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Following the surprise resignation of Mark Richt at Miami, rumors began to swirl about a potential return to the Hurricanes for Oregon’s Mario Cristobal. Those would die quickly with the ACC school tabbing Manny Diaz as its next head coach, and the Ducks are certainly happy with that turn of events.

Known as an elite recruiter during his previous stops at Miami, FIU, and Alabama, Cristobal carried those skills to the West Coast and delivered a smashing class for the 2019 cycle. Leading the way is ESPN’s top-ranked player in the entire country, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. His commitment is the headliner on a defense-heavy class for the school known best for its explosive offense:

• No. 1 Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE) – top-ranked player in country

• No. 25 Mykael Wright – second-ranked CB

• No. 53 Mase Funa – fifth-ranked OLB

• No. 85 Lance Wilhoite – 12th-ranked WR

• No. 98 Jonah Tauanu’u – 12th-ranked OT

• No. 111 Ge’Mon Eaford – 10th-ranked OLB

Those commitments headline an incredible haul that has Oregon currently holding the sixth-ranked class in the country, a spot that would represent the highest finish in program history.

Wisconsin landed a QB

Wisconsin is known for producing elite offensive linemen, with many former Badgers dotting the landscape among the highest-paid in the NFL at the position. With such brutal brilliance on the line, it’s easy to see why running backs such as Melvin Gordon and James White have turned exceptional collegiate careers into solid professional runs.

Despite a line that gives a quarterback what seems like an eternity to throw the ball unbothered, the Badgers haven’t produced much from the QB spot outside of Russell Wilson. That could potentially change after Paul Chryst landed the No. 1 pocket-passing quarterback prospect in the country in Graham Mertz. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Mertz held offers from powerhouse programs such as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, and Ohio State but opted to head north to Madison.

When you consider that names like Kare Lyles, Austin Kafentzis, D.J. Gillins, Bart Houston, Joseph Brennan, and Jon Budmayr make the list of top-ranked quarterback recruits over recent years for Wisconsin, landing Mertz could be a huge deal.

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