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.
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 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.
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."