College football recruiting Christmas came and went on Wednesday, as National Signing Day enjoyed its annual spectacle of signings from sunrise to (past) sunset.

Many of the destinations were obvious for top prospects. Schools like Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Michigan and Florida State (among others) inhabit permanent spots atop the recruiting grades, and this year was no different.

Rather than discuss those schools, it’s worth digging into the more surprising ones both at the top and bottom of the yearly rankings. Which of them were this year’s biggest winners and losers of National Signing Day?

Winners

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford brought in just 14 recruits in this cycle, but three of those were five stars and the overall class had one of the top-five per player averages in the country (according to the 247Sports composite rankings). The Cardinal have always been a tough sell to elite recruits due to difficult admission standards, but Coach David Shaw’s reached another gear over the last few years. Shaw managed to sign three of the top 15 recruits in the entire class, including No. 1 quarterback Davis Mills.

About John Cassillo

John Cassillo covers all things Syracuse sports (and beer) as managing editor of Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. An SU alum, he hasn't missed an Orange football game since 2006, despite his better judgment. John lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, and his dog who's named after Jim Boeheim.