Ohio State won the national championship to start 2015 and Urban Meyer inched closer to Nick Saban on the field, but the Alabama Crimson Tide extended their historic recruiting run on Wednesday's National Signing Day with another No. 1 class.
Headed by longtime quarterback signee Blake Barnett, the Tide was the clear favorite to take home the No. 1 spot as the day drew on. And as the letters of intent arrived at the fax machines in Tuscaloosa from five-star cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick and five-star running back Damien Harris, the recruiting national champion favorite cemented their title.
The day began very early as Florida native Byron Cowart took the ESPN stage to announce his commitment. With a "Chuckie" doll in his arms, Cowart chose Auburn University over the Gators from Florida. Then, later in the day, Martez Ivey flipped the script as he signed with the Gators and Cece Jefferson did the same, propelling Jim McElwain's first signing class to 247sports.com's No. 21 class in the nation.
Ole Miss was able to flip wide-receiver DaMarkus Lodge late in the day, patching up a class scarred from the losses of Drew Richmond to Tennessee and Jefferson to Florida. And with the additions of Javon Patterson at the offensive lineman position and Eric Swinney at running back, the Rebels turned in 247's No. 23 ranked class.
Hugh Freeze could not recall a young receiver with DaMarkus Lodge's ability to go up and get the football. http://t.co/wM63SsSrwU— Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) February 5, 2015
In other big news during the day, Missouri and Gary Pinkel were able to snag ESPN.com's second-ranked player in the country in Terry Beckner Jr. while they also held off Michigan and Jim Harbaugh's hot pursuit of quarterback Drew Lock. Mississippi State garnered a big commit in the nation's No. 1 inside linebacker Leo Lewis on their way to turning in the nation's No. 12 recruiting class according to 247, and Texas A&M and John Chavis made a splash on signing day with defensive end Daylon Mack.
To wrap the day up, 12 of the top 22 classes were from SEC teams, and with 118 of ESPN's Top 300 signed by the SEC, a number that overwhelms the other conferences. Here are your final SEC rankings from 247sports.com: