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January 24, 2011

Roundtable: Top school at closing

MORE: ACC blitz | Latest news | Suspense builds

Rivals.com football recruiting analysts weigh in on National Signing Day topic every day leading up to Feb. 2.

WHAT COACHING STAFF IS THE TOUGHEST TO BEAT DURING THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE NATIONAL SIGNING DAY?

Mike Farrell: My pick would be Florida State. I think the Seminoles have a great shot at closing out with the top class in the country or at least staying in the top three. They have an edge for Tony Steward and are very much in the mix for Timmy Jernigan, Jermauria Rasco, Jacoby Brissett and others. Jimbo Fisher and his staff are clearly the top option right now for Florida kids as well as out-of-state prospects looking at the Big Three in the Sunshine State. I think Fisher finishes with the top class we've seen at FSU in years.

Adam Gorney: A lot of coaching staffs close well and it sometimes depends on the year and how certain prospects are leaning. But I tend to think Alabama coach Nick Saban and his staff always do an outstanding job finishing up their recruiting class in the last weeks. The Tide are heavily involved with the top-rated player in the class, Jadeveon Clowney, even though South Carolina probably has a slight edge, and Cyrus Kouandjio is also very much in the picture. Saban got Clemson commit Jeoffrey Pagan to visit last weekend, he's working on wide receiver Nickolas Brassell and a few weeks back convinced Demetrius Hart to flip to Alabama from Michigan.

Chris Nee: I think it is tough to argue against Gene Chizik and his Auburn staff. Already this month, the Tigers have added four four-star prospects and a five-star. Down the stretch, they will likely add a few more pieces while having to turn away talented prospects. Winning a national title is showing early dividends for them.

Keith Niebuhr: I have to go with Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans here. Last February, Kiffin and his staff (which includes master recruiter Ed Orgeron) came through big at the end in their first year at USC to edge Florida for the top overall class. The previous year, he lured two five-stars and nine four-stars to Knoxville, when he was with Tennessee. Say what you will about Kiffin, the guy can close.

Brian Perroni: Alabama seems to have done a very good job under Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide recruit well all year but they have a track record of flipping top commits late and closing well with their remaining uncommitted targets. They lost Brent Calloway to Auburn during the Army game this year but that isn't the norm in Tuscaloosa.



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