Early Signing Period: Five programs in the spotlight
Every college football recruiting class is graded on the front end in terms of high school talent acquired and on the back end with how well those prospects performed once on campus. The recruiting spotlight can be a wanted moment in the public eye or the feeling of crawling under the proverbial stage to hide.
With the Early Signing Period beginning on Wednesday, we look at five teams that are in that spotlight, good or bad.
CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100
The resume of head coach Lincoln Riley speaks for itself, and he added to it during the 2022 season. USC went from a four-win team a year ago to its first 11-win campaign since 2017. The Trojans' jump was sparked by additions made through the transfer portal, but to keep that momentum going, USC will have to add talent to the roster in the 2023 class. Will Riley and Co. be able to finish strong with a top-10 recruiting class?
Given a full year to recruit, USC’s staff has already made a big jump from No. 56 with the 2022 class to No. 12 this time around. Of the 20 commits, nine are from California. Rivals’ California state rankings has 31 four-stars of which four are uncommitted. The stamped seal of approval for Riley would be a top-10 class, and to do that would be to close on the local prospects.
RELATED: USC'S 2023 COMMITMENT LIST
Texas A&M had the top-ranked 2022 class with a mind-blowing six five-stars and 20 four-stars. A year later, the Aggies are slotted at No. 15 with 15 commits. There are only four four-stars from the state of Texas that are uncommitted.
Unless coach Jimbo Fisher has some flips in the works, this class may struggle to get into the top 10. The Aggies may have to hit the transfer portal to recoup what they did not sign and to replace what was lost off their squad to that same portal.
RELATED: TEXAS A&M'S 2023 COMMITMENT LIST
Michigan’s success on the field is not translating along the recruiting trail, as it currently has the No. 19 class. With a 12-2 record last season and a 13-0 mark entering the College Football Playoff this year, Michigan should expect better recruiting results. The good news is that the Wolverines are still in the mix for some Rivals250 prospects that could beef this class up to a top-15 group.
RELATED: MICHIGAN'S 2023 COMMITMENT LIST
Since Dec. 6, Colorado has added seven commitments highlighted by the flip of four-star running back Dylan Edwards from Notre Dame. One should expect new coach Deion Sanders to have a couple more splash commitments in this class, after all we are talking about Prime Time.
This year’s recruiting class may not overwhelm anyone, but give Coach Prime some time; he will make a lot of noise in Boulder. This recruiting cycle will be heavily supplemented via the transfer portal.
RELATED: COLORADO'S 2023 COMMITMENT LIST
So it seems, whatever head coach Mario Cristobal wanted in the 2023 class he got. The group is impressive with three five-stars and 15 four-stars. In the days leading up to the Early Signing Period, Miami landed four-star end Rueben Bain, five-star offensive tackle Samson Okunlola and Mark Fletcher. The feather in the hat was keeping Okunlola and Fletcher away from in-state rival Florida.
Miami is not finished yet. The Hurricanes' class is slotted at No. 6 with a chance to break into the top five. Signing four-star corner Damari Brown would be yet another big win for this coaching staff.
RELATED: MIAMI'S 2023 COMMITMENT LIST