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January 25, 2012

Meyer, Kiffin among best in final week

MORE QUESTIONS: What would you change?

Rivals.com's football recruiting analysts weigh in on a question of a day through National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

Today's question: What coach normally works the most magic in the final week leading into National Signing Day?

Mike Farrell: Bobby Bowden used to work amazing magic down the stretch and I think Jimbo Fisher is going to channel his inner Bobby and finish strong as well. The obvious answer here is Urban Meyer, but I have a good feeling about how Fisher is going to finish out this FSU class, especially if it can land Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby and Reggie Northrup and pull a surprise or two.

Adam Gorney: Now that he's back in coaching, that goes to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. When he was at Florida he told Matt Elam that he had a dream about coaching him for the Gators - this was when Elam had just flipped to Florida State - and that changed Elam's mind to go back to Florida. It was amazing that Meyer would go to those lengths to sway a prospect and even more intriguing that Elam would be influenced by that recruiting pitch. The job Meyer has done in his short time at Ohio State has been amazing. He's gotten a lot of quality prospects in this class (the situation at Penn State has surely helped) and he's a relentless recruiter. Ohio State football is an easy sell to lots of kids but Meyer makes it even easier. It will be interesting to see if that trend will continue in future recruiting classes.

Josh Helmholdt: Bobby Bowden used to be known as a National Signing Day week magician. The Seminoles were a fun team to follow in the days leading up to the first Wednesday in February. Florida State was on the wrong end of one of 2011's big signing day surprises, however. Five-star linebacker Tony Steward was expected to announce for the Seminoles, but pulled the surprise and chose Clemson. The Tigers also picked up five-star linebacker Stephone Anthony on National Signing Day 2011, adding to a class that already had five-stars Mike Bellamy and Sammy Watkins. Maybe Dabo Swinney is the new Bowden.

Chris Nee: I would normally say that honor belongs to Urban Meyer, but with Ohio State pushing tight on numbers I don't think he will be able to pull many rabbits out of his hat, so to speak. With that in mind, I'd say Lane Kiffin. USC always seems to be one of the best teams at closing and this year looks no different. Southern Cal could close with a pull that includes five-star offensive lineman Zach Banner, five-star offensive lineman Kyle Murphy, five-star wide receiver Nelson Agholor, four-star athlete D.J. Foster and four-star defensive end Arik Armstead. While they aren't likely to land all five, I'd be willing to bet the Trojans land more of that bunch than they don't.

Keith Niebuhr: It used to be Bobby Bowden, and I don't think that is even debatable. Today, I'll go with Lane Kiffin. He's a closer, plain and simple. We all recall the final push made by USC two years ago to finish with the No. 1 overall class. Before that, he did some nice work landing late commits during his brief stint in Knoxville. Based on our projections, it looks as if the Trojans will once again come on strong here at the end - even though the school was hit with NCAA sanctions.

Brian Perroni: It seems as if Alabama always does really well in landing kids that wait until signing day to announce so I would say Nick Saban. I'm not sure it has anything to do with being especially good late in the game, though, as he is always one of the best in the business.



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