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National signing day | See who UCLA and USC got

National Signing Day is the first day a high school senior can sign their national letter of intent. On Wednesday, some of the most-highly recruited football players from Southern California and across the country will make their announcements and sign their paperwork, sealing the future for university football programs around the country.

UCLA's strong recruiting class gets stronger on signing day

North Torrance High linebacker Mique Juarez announces his committment to UCLA during National signing day on Feb. 3. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

North Torrance High linebacker Mique Juarez announces his committment to UCLA during National signing day on Feb. 3. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Sitting in class with his phone off much of Wednesday, Breland Brandt didn't know the excitement he was missing.

The UCLA freshman, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end from Los Angeles Windward High who is already enrolled in college in anticipation of participating in spring practice, soon found out he had plenty of company as part of the Bruins' incoming football recruiting class.

When he turned his phone back on, "my Twitter was just blowing up," Brandt said.

UCLA knew it had achieved recruiting success in the days leading up to the first day high school seniors were allowed to officially accept scholarship offers. But another contingent of eight players Bruins coaches had targeted were undecided heading into late Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Once he plugged back in, Brandt discovered UCLA had signed most of them. Around noon, North Torrance High's Mique Juarez, one of the nation's best linebackers, picked the Bruins. A few minutes later, Concord De La Salle defensive lineman Boss Tagaloa announced he too was headed to Westwood.

Of the eight, six committed to UCLA.

Clay Helton and USC close signing day with a flourish to bring in highly regarded class

Long Beach Poly five-star cornerback Jack Jones announced his decision to attend USC on national signing day on Feb. 3. (Christina House / For The Times)

Long Beach Poly five-star cornerback Jack Jones announced his decision to attend USC on national signing day on Feb. 3. (Christina House / For The Times)

USC found itself in a two-strike hole going into national signing day Wednesday, but managed a big hit.

Coming off a season in which Steve Sarkisian was fired as coach five games into the season and Clay Helton was named permanent coach before a two-game skid to end an 8-6 year, plus a staff in flux until late January, USC still managed to sign a 20-scholarship recruiting class Wednesday that was rated 11th best in college football by Scout.com.

Previously uncommitted defensive backs Jack Jones of Long Beach Poly and Jamel Cook of Miami Central, running back Vavae Malepeai of Mililani, Hawaii, offensive lineman E.J. Price of Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer, and defensive linemen Connor Murphy of Phoenix Brophy Preparatory and Josh Fatu of Long Beach City College signed national letters of intent to round out the final seven scholarships that were unclaimed at the start of the day.

"As a head coach, I cannot tell you how proud I am of the staff for how they finished and how they closed," said Helton, who signed players from six states. "There were several battles that were late into the night and early into the morning."

Alabama wins again on national signing day

Gordo High (Ala.) football player Ben Davis holds up a football with the Alabama symbol on national signing day while dressed like legendary Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant. (Michelle Lepianka Carter / Associated Press)

Gordo High (Ala.) football player Ben Davis holds up a football with the Alabama symbol on national signing day while dressed like legendary Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant. (Michelle Lepianka Carter / Associated Press)

As usual, national signing day had its share of theatrics. And by the end, also per usual, some of college football's most talent-rich programs got that much richer.

While Deontay Anderson, a safety from Manvel, Texas, earned top honors for theatrics by starring in a video in which he skydived through animated cloud logos representing several schools that recruited him — including his final three of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana State — national champion Alabama secured the top recruiting class, according to a consensus of analysts.

The Crimson Tide signed 25 players, including linebacker Ben Davis of Gordo, Ala., and running back B.J. Emmons of Morganton, N.C., the nation's top recruits at their positions, according to Scout.com.

Other big winners: Ohio State, Florida State, Louisiana State and Mississippi, which learned it had landed Anderson when he unzipped his skydiving apparel to reveal a red Ole Miss T-shirt.

Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh scores some big recruiting victories in Southern California

Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh talks to fans at the school's "Signing With the Stars" event Feb. 3. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh talks to fans at the school's "Signing With the Stars" event Feb. 3. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Jim Harbaugh must be a pretty good recruiter considering how many top players he convinced Wednesday to leave sunny California for sometimes-snowy Michigan on letter of intent day.

Among the Southern California contingent joining the Wolverines are defensive back David Long from Los Angeles Loyola and receiver Dylan Crawford from Santa Margarita. Harbaugh also beat out USC and UCLA for tight end Devin Asiasi from Concord De La Salle.

"Amazing recruiter. I mean, you want to play for a genuine passionate guy," Long said. "He has the experience and knowledge, so it's hard not to buy in."

It wasn't just in California where Harbaugh showed his recruiting expertise. Defensive tackle Rashan Gary, perhaps the No. 1 prospect in the nation, signed with Michigan. He's from Paramus Catholic in New Jersey and is 6 feet 4, 287 pounds and fast.

Watch Jack Jones talk about his decision to go to USC

DB Jack Jones signs letter of intent with USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Jack Jones, the school announced.

Player: Jack Jones

Position: Defensive back

Height: 5 feet 11

Weight: 175

Scout rank: Five star

High School: Long Beach Poly

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Alabama and Texas A&M

Notes: Army All-American… Released a list of top five schools last spring that did not include USC, before he decided to reconsider his options… Becomes the third top player from Poly in three years to commit to USC on signing day.

Defensive lineman Josh Fatu headed to USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Josh Fatu, the school announced.

Player: Josh Fatu

Position: Defensive lineman

Height: 6 feet 3

Weight: 290

Scout rank: Three star

School: Long Beach City College

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Boise State

Notes: Was committed to Boise State when he announced his decision on signing day to attend USC.

USC adds E.J. Price to the O-Line

USC has received a letter of intent from E.J. Price, the school announced.

Player: E.J. Price

Position: Offensive lineman

Height: 6 feet 6

Weight: 325

Scout rank: Four star

High School: Archer in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Auburn and Georgia

Notes: Under Armour All-American… Second player from state of Georgia to sign with USC, after receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe.

Multi-threat Keyshawn Young signs with USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Keyshawn Young, the school announced.

Player: Keyshawn Young

Position: Receiver/cornerback

Height: 5 feet 11

Weight: 175

Scout rank: Three star

High School: Miami Senior 

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Florida State, Louisville and Michigan

Notes: Young became the second player from Miami to announce he would attend USC on signing day… Defensive back Jamel Cook also is from Miami.

UCLA announces Chigozie Nnoruka's signing

Receiver Trevon Sidney joins his teammate Tyler Vaughns at USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Trevon Sidney, the school announced.

Player: Trevon Sidney

Position: Receiver

Height: 5 feet 11

Weight: 160

Scout rank: Four star

High School: La Puente Bishop Amat

Verbally committed: July 10, 2015

Schools considered: Notre Dame, Texas A&M and UCLA

Notes: Army All-American. USA Football Under-19 National Team. High school teammate of receiver Tyler Vaughns, who also committed to USC.

Sidney on why he chose USC: “I chose USC because it felt most at home for me and it was a childhood dream and it's what my grandpa loved and wanted for me.”

RB Vavae Malepeai signs with Trojans

USC has received a letter of intent from Vavae Malepeai, the school announced.

Player: Vavae Malepeai

Position: Running back

Height: 5 feet 11

Weight: 195

Scout rank: Four stars

High school: Mililani (Hawaii) High

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Oregon

Notes: Army All-American was committed to Oregon before he announced his decision on signing day to attend USC. He is the second player from Hawaii in this recruiting class to sign with USC.

USC announces Connor Murphy's signing

USC adds defensive end Connor Murphy

USC has received a letter of intent from Connor Murphy, the school announced.

Player: Connor Murphy

Position: Defensive end

Height: 6 feet 7

Weight: 250

Scout rank: Four star

High School: Brophy Preparatory in Phoenix

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Alabama, Arizona State, Michigan and Oregon

Notes: Murphy made official visits to Arizona State, Michigan, Oregon and USC. His brother, Trent, played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.

Linebacker Jordan Iosefa signs letter of intent with USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Jordan Iosefa, the school announced.

Player: Jordan Iosefa

Position: Linebacker

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 225

Scout rank: Three star

High School: St. Louis School in Honolulu

Verbally committed: June 15, 2015

Schools considered: Hawaii and Oregon State

Notes: USC offered Iosefa a scholarship after watching him participate in a camp in Hawaii, and Iosefa committed two days later. He is USC’s only player from Hawaii.

TE Cary Angeline signs with USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Cary Angeline, the school announced.

Player: Cary Angeline

Position: Tight end

Height: 6 feet 7

Weight: 230

Scout rank: Four star

High school: Exton (Pa.) Downingtown East

Verbally committed: June 26, 2015

Schools considered: Michigan, Penn State and Notre Dame

Notes: Angeline did not make any official visits and did not host coaches from any other programs on in-home visits. His commitment was solidified when USC announced Clay Helton as permanent coach. Also played basketball

Angeline, to Scout, on why he chose USC: “At the end of the day, I definitely felt USC was the right fit for me. I felt great with the campus, the coaches and obviously the great education. USC has great football tradition and they run a pro-style offense that uses their tight ends a lot.”

Tyler Vaughns is headed to USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Tyler Vaughns, the school announced.

Player: Tyler Vaughns

Position: Receiver

Height: 6 feet 2

Weight: 170

Scout rank: Five star

High School: Bishop Amat

Verbally committed: Aug. 19, 2015

Schools considered: Alabama and Texas A&M

Notes: Army All-American… High school teammate Trevon Sidney also committed to USC

Vaughns, to scout, on why he chose USC: “USC was my first offer and the school I grew up wanting to play for.”

Alex Akingbulu signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Alex Akingbulu has signed his letter of intent with UCLA, the school announced.

Player: Alex Akingbulu

Position: Offensive lineman

Height: 6-5

Weight: 250 pounds

Scout rank: Three stars

High School: Harbor City Narbonne

Verbally committed: Nov. 26, 2015

Schools considered: UC Berkeley, Utah

Notes: Two years ago, Akingbulu was a bench player on his school’s basketball team who hadn’t played football. Told The Times, "I never thought I'd be in this position. It's happening so fast.”… Development may require patience as he continues to learn the game and position... Skinny for offensive lineman, but recruiters think he can add weight.

USC gets Frank Martin II

USC has received a letter of intent from Frank Martin II, the school announced.

Player: Frank Martin II

Position: Offensive lineman

Height: 6 feet 5

Weight: 285

Scout rank: Four star

High School: Santa Ana Mater Dei

Verbally committed: April 16, 2015

Schools considered: Arizona State, UCLA and Utah

Notes: Army All-American. Made an official visit to Arizona State, but never seemed to waiver on his commitment to USC. Has a Reggie Bush jersey and said he used to run the sidelines as a youngster, pretending he was the Trojans’ star running back.

Martin, to Scout, on why he chose USC: “I've wanted to go to USC since I was a kid. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a Trojan and be a part of that family. I've always loved USC, my family loves USC and this is a dream come true for all of us.”

Defensive back Jamel Cook signs with USC

USC has received a letter of intent from Jamel Cook, the school announced.

Player: Jamel Cook

Position: Defensive back

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 185

Scout rank: Four star

High School: Miami Central in Miami

Committed: Feb. 3, 2016

Schools considered: Florida State

Notes: Army All-American. … Was committed to Florida State before he announced his decision on signing day to attend USC.

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