With National Signing Day just a few days away we look back at who were the best prospects to sign with a G5 school on National Signing Day over the past five years and how they ended up panning out.
*All rankings are according to 247Sports*
Quarterback: Anthony Alford - Petal, Mississippi (Southern Miss)
Four star quarterback Anthony Alford was rated the second best player out of Mississippi and the third best dual-threat quarterback in 2012.
Off the heels of a breakthrough 2011 season under Larry Fedora that finished with a Conference USA Championship, a bowl win, and a top 20 rank in the AP Poll, Southern Miss was able to beat out Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU for Alford’s commitment.
Despite Fedora leaving for Chapel Hill to be the head coach of North Carolina, Alford remained committed to USM under new head coach Ellis Johnson.
The future of Southern Miss football was bright as Alford arrived in Hattiesburg as one of the best prospects in school history. In high school he was a great baseball player and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the third round of the MLB Draft.
But Alford never lived up to expectations for the Golden Eagles. He experienced several knee and ankle injuries in his freshman season that saw the Golden Eagles go 0-12 and led to the firing of Ellis Johnson.
Alford started five games, played in nine, and threw two touchdowns and four interceptions in a Southern Miss uniform with 993 yards of total offense.
He was suspended by the university for an altercation on campus and had his scholarship revoked by Todd Monken before his sophomore season, granting his release. Alford ended up transferring to Ole Miss and finished his career as a defensive back for the Rebels.
Anthony Alford never became a football star but seems to have a bright future in baseball. Alford is now an outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays and one of the top prospects in their organization.
Wide Receiver: Rodney Adams - St. Petersburg, Florida (Toledo)
Rodney Adams was one of the most sought after receivers from the Sunshine State in 2013. He was pursued by the Big Three (FSU, UF, Miami) and also had major offers elsewhere.
Adams going to Toledo to play for Matt Campbell was a shocker. He played in eight games in his freshman season at Toledo but was never an impact player. He decided to transfer from Toledo to USF to be closer to his family after a tragic car accident resulted in the death of his mother.
At USF Adams blossomed as a go-to receiver and ended up having a prolific career as a Bull. He played a huge part in USF’s best season in school history this season as he got the nod as an All-AAC Second Team Receiver this past season. In 2016 he broke USF’s receiving records for yards (822) and receptions (67) in a season.
He will go down as one of the best receivers in school history as he finished his career second all-time in receiving touchdowns (16), second all-time in receiving yards (1,967) and second all-time in receptions (135).
Safety: Kyle Gibson - Seffner, Florida (UCF)
Gibson was a consensus four star safety by major recruiting services and turned down a bevy of P5 schools to go play for Scott Frost at UCF.
He redshirted his first year on campus but was a key contributor to a pretty good UCF defense last year. He played in eight games last year and started six of them as a cornerback. Towards the end of the season he saw limited playing time due to injury.
He appears to be on the verge of playing a key role in the secondary next season.
Wide Receiver: Desean Holmes - Pasadena, California (San Diego State)
Holmes didn’t last a week at San Diego State. The Aztecs coaching staff failed to hear from him during the summer leading up to the fall semester. He left SDSU abruptly during the first week of school.
He ended up going to Southern Utah.
Defensive Tackle: Ed Oliver - Houston, Texas (Houston)
Ed Oliver made history last year, becoming the first five star prospect to choose a G5 school by deciding to play for the hometown Houston Cougars. He was the fourth ranked recruit in the nation last year and turned down just about every Big 12 and SEC school.
Oliver has lived up to the billing and then some as he has dominated AAC offensive lineman and helped the Houston defense shut down eventual Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in a 36-10 win.
His accolades after his freshman season are the following: AAC First Team Defensive Player, AAC Rookie of the Year, consensus First Team All-American. Safe to say Oliver is panning out just fine for the Coogs.