Another national signing day has come and gone in the American Athletic Conference with Memphis and Central Florida leading the way among all G5 programs. The AAC also signed two of the three 4-star rated players in the nation (according to 247sports) signed by G5 programs.
As a whole, the entire conference had a solid day with only Tulane and Temple ranking outside the top 100 programs in the nation on national signing day. Even with a #101 overall ranking, Tulane has little to worry about as they are more worried about the correct fit for their offensive and defensive philosophies than getting the highest rated player.
That being said, let’s take a look at three things we learned about the AAC after national signing day.
Memphis is the new king: A year after just missing out on a top 60 recruiting class, the Tigers are sitting at #58 nationally with the G5’s best class and highest ranked player. Four-star offensive tackle Obinna Eze from Nashville chose the Tigers over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and well the entire SEC. Eze was ranked #211 nationally and #9 in a suddenly talent rich state of Tennessee.
The Tigers pull another midstate coup in stealing defensive back TJ Carter despite being the only G5 program in the mix for him. Memphis was also able to go all over the nation, even getting two of the top nine players in Oklahoma and players from nine different states. Mike Norvell and company did some work.
New coaches had mixed results: Five different AAC programs had to go through recruiting while finding a new head coach in the offseason. The biggest winner of the day was Cincinnati with Luke Fickell and company landing the #3 ranked class in the AAC. He landed a four-star in safety RJ Potts, signed top 25 players from four different states, and landed a couple of important Ohio State transfers that will not be in the rankings.
South Florida and Houston were also in solid shape on signing day, ranking fourth and fifth in the AAC. Even with the solid ranking, Houston has to be a bit disappointed with a mid 60s ranking after two of the best recruiting classes in school history under former head coach Tom Herman. Overall, both programs were able to mine their talent rich states with a combined 32 of 36 signees coming from in-state programs.
On the other end of the spectrum were Connecticut and Temple.
Randy Edsall and company were able to find a few diamonds in the rough, including two possible new quarterback options and another very talented cornerback. Temple was not able to use the Florida connections of head coach Geoff Collins, landing only one player from the Sunshine State. Four of the six three-star signees were on the defensive side of the ball, including three outside linebackers.
Two of the top three G5 recruits went to the AAC: Houston started things two years ago with Herman landing several highly ranked players over P5 programs. The Cougars proved last signing day that the AAC is a conference to be dealt with in landing five-star defensive tackle Ed Oliver. While they didn’t land a four or five-star player this season, the AAC landed two four-star players in Obinna Eze (Memphis) and RJ Potts (Cincinnati).
The only G5 team to land a four-star player was Boise State.
Here is a look at the AAC rankings headed into today and where they finished.