Most classes are close to set, but there’s drama coming.
College football’s National Signing Day is Feb. 7. It’s going to be different this year than ever before, because most incoming freshmen have already signed. This was the first year for the Early Signing Period, which lasted from Dec. 20-22.
So less than a quarter of the 2018 class will sign on signing day.
About a quarter of four- and five-star recruits remain unsigned, meaning there will be drama, if less than usual.
Most teams have already signed more than two-thirds of their classes. You can expect to see most Power 5 programs getting commitments from between one and five more players. A few programs have committed players who didn’t sign during the ESP, but coaches tend not to consider those players as serious commits.
Arizona State has just 11 signees and two other verbal commitments — fewer than anyone else in major college football. The Sun Devils went through a coaching change and hired Herm Edwards, who seems astonished by the realities of modern recruiting. But most classes will finish with about 25 players in them, with around 20 of them signed before signing day. This is all a whole new world for college football.
These are the 16 highest-rated recruits yet to commit:
- Five-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. (LSU favored)
- Five-star OT Nicholas Petit-Frere (Florida favored)
- Five-star CB Tyson Campbell (Georgia favored over Miami)
- Five-star CB Olaijah Griffin (USC favored)
- Four-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart (USC? SEC?)
- Four-star WR Jaylen Waddle (Texas A&M or Alabama)
- Four-star WR Devon Williams (Oregon favored over USC)
- Four-star WR Justyn Ross (Clemson or Alabama)
- Four-star QB Tanner McKee (Stanford favored, but might not sign this year)
- Four-star OT William Barnes (North Carolina favored)
- Four-star OG Penei Sewell (Oregon favored)
- Four-star OT Rasheed Walker (Penn State favored over Ohio State)
- Four-star WR Jacob Copeland (Florida, Alabama pushing)
- Four-star DT Michael Thompson (Missouri or Oklahoma)
- Four-star WR JaMarr Chase (LSU favored)
- Four-star LB Solomon Tuliaupupu (USC favored)
Surtain is the highest-rated cornerback recruit in the history of recruiting rankings. He’s got a chance to be better than his famous dad of the same name, a former All-Pro. Campbell is his teammate at American Heritage in South Florida, where the elder Patrick Surtain is the head coach (though Alabama considered him for a job recently).
Williams, long considered an Oregon lean, might be the best pure deep threat in the class. McKee is an elite QB prospect and expected to commit to Stanford at some point, but he plans to put off his career for two years to complete a Mormon mission. He’ll be worth the wait.
Ohio State or Georgia will probably finish with the No. 1 class.
Georgia ended the ESP in the lead, but Ohio State has pulled ahead with three blue-chip commitments and some ratings adjustments on both sides.
As it stands, Ohio State’s 24-man class has 311 points on the 247Sports Composite, which averages out evaluations from around the recruiting industry. Georgia’s 22-man class has 309 points. Both are expected to sign more blue-chip recruits. The most notable is five-star Campbell probably going to Georgia.
Wait, that means Alabama won’t finish No. 1?
Yeah. Wild, right? The Tide have an outside shot if everything breaks perfectly for them, but they should see their seven-year reign of top classes end. Bama is likely to sign a smaller class than Ohio State, Georgia, Texas, and Penn State. That’s just because of scholarship limits, but team recruiting rankings penalize smaller classes.
What’s the recruiting highlight tape I absolutely have to see? Preferably one my friends haven’t all seen already.
Tennessee receiver commit Jordan Young just Mosses people here:
(Watch here if a video’s not showing up for you above.)
Young only got Power 5 offers a few weeks before signing day, in one of the more bizarre recruiting misses of the year. He’ll be an asset for Jeremy Pruitt’s team, unless Florida State can steal him away. Young visited the Seminoles on the final weekend and Tennessee immediately offered another receiver, perhaps as an insurance plan for losing Young.
Will something totally unexpected happen on Signing Day?
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