With only one day left before signing day, we preview the big date in college football with our weekly Big 12 roundtable below:
Which signing day announcement intrigues you the most?
Trotter: Definitely Daylon Mack. The five-star defensive tackle, who is choosing between Texas A&M, Texas and TCU, could send an awfully strong message with his college announcement. The Gladewater, Texas, native could boost TCU's recruiting credibility by picking the Horned Frogs. He could underscore Texas' resurgence under Charlie Strong by heading to Austin. And, he could reaffirm A&M's recruiting hold on the state by going back to the Aggies. Whatever Mack chooses, it will be compelling.
Chatmon: It has to be Mack. Elite defensive tackles don't grow on trees and Mack has the ability to become the anchor of a defense during his collegiate career. Strong or Gary Patterson could build one of the Big 12‘s best defenses around the 6-foot-1, 330 pounder if he decides to sign with the Longhorns or Horned Frogs. All eyes should be on Mack on signing day as the rest of the Big 12 will have their fingers crossed that Mack gets out of the Big 12.
Olson: Yep, Mack is the obvious choice here. But I'll mention another I'm curious about: ESPN 300 running back Chris Warren III. He's done such a good job of keeping his cards close to the vest during this recruitment, but the reports that Soso Jamabo is leaning toward UCLA make Warren a must-get for Texas. You wonder if Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have a legit chance, too, or whether Washington quietly swung this one its way with Warren's official visit over the weekend. There is a nice, rare dose of mystery with this recruitment. We'll find out early Wednesday morning.
Who has the most to gain on signing day?
Trotter: The most signing day drama will likely come out of the Austin. In addition to Mack, the Longhorns are also still in on several ESPN 300 prospects, including Jamabo, wideout DaMarkus Lodge and Warren III. If the Longhorns come up big on signing day, they could finish with a top five class.
Chatmon: The Horned Frogs have the most to gain if Mack decides to become a foundational piece in TCU's defense. Not only could he pay immediate dividends as early as 2015, his signature would send a message that the Horned Frogs are here to stay as a force on the recruiting trail. Patterson's program has won head-to-head battles with some elite programs before but landing Mack is a different animal.
Olson: West Virginia and Oklahoma have some big-name targets taking it down to the wire, too. I'd be impressed if WVU can close with a couple wins in the battles for Jordan Cronkrite, Antonio Callaway and Gary Jennings. Oklahoma badly needs linebackers and I'm a fan of Arthur "Hulk" McGinnis. Closing with Joshua Wariboko and Prentice McKinney Jr. would be a real nice way to finish off this class.
Which class will have the biggest 2015 impact?
Trotter: With only eight returning starters, it's probably Kansas. The Jayhawks signed eight junior-college players for a reason. Iowa State will also be leaning heavy on its incoming juco class to make an impact on the defensive side. But freshmen to watch in 2015 include TCU cornerback DeShawn Raymond, Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Darrion Daniels and Oklahoma cornerback P.J. Mbanasor.
Chatmon: Texas will have the best class and the biggest impact. Led by Jefferson, Strong's first recruiting class after a full year of evaluation will be full of players the Longhorns held high on their priority list. With 11 members of the ESPN 300 and 15 four-star prospects, the Class of 2015 will have plenty of talent. Five of the Longhorns' top seven tacklers were seniors in 2014 so several signees will get plenty of opportunities to make an immediate impact on defense.
Olson: I just don't think very many of the guys signing with TCU and Baylor will need to make an impact in 2015. Those programs are stockpiling for the future. Texas has to stockpile for now. This could be a class filled with players who can earn starting roles right away. And not just the obvious ones like Malik Jefferson and Mack. Holton Hill, DeShon Elliott, Kris Boyd, Brandon Hodges, Tristan Nickelson, Quincy Vasser, Patrick Vahe, Devonaire Clarington -- these are all potential starters in 2015. The Longhorns have a chance to go young and start building something big.