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Mind of Mike: Ten bold predictions for the Early Signing Period

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Trey Sanders
Trey Sanders (Nick Lucero/

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Making predictions about what will happen on National Signing Day is usually a fool’s errand, and National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell is willing to play the fool. Here are 10 things to look out for during the Early Signing Period.

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1. Alabama will stay on topGeorgia took over the Early Signing Period last year and dominated the rest of the field in 2018, but Alabama will remain on top when this year's Early Signing Period ends. The Crimson Tide are involved with enough big names that even if they strike out on a few, they can still add enough star power to their No. 1 class to stay on top.

2. Georgia will keep the highest average star ranking – The Dawgs might only add one or two new signees over the next week or so, but they will remain on top when it comes to quality. They are involved with so many big names – Trey Sanders, Jadon Haselwood, Tyrique Stevenson, Evan Neal to name a few – that they can’t help but keep that 4.06 star average. They could finish back-to-back classes with a per recruit average ranking of four stars or better, which would put Georgia in very exclusive company.

3. Teammates will go separate ways – Like everyone else, I’m trying to figure out where IMG teammates Trey Sanders and Evan Neal will end up. For the longest time I thought they would be a package deal to Alabama, but now I think Sanders ends up at Georgia and Neal ends up at Alabama. Neal is the easier to predict as it would be shocking if he picked anyone but ‘Bama. With Sanders, I wouldn't be stunned at all if he ends up at Georgia or Alabama.

4. There will be a few “secret letters” – There are many prospects like Jadon Haselwood, Bru McCoy, Chris Steele, Quavaris Crouch, Tyrique Stevenson and others that are making their announcements at all-star games in January that could sign “secret” letters during the early signing period. Remember last year, Nik Bonitto signed with Oklahoma but still announced his “commitment” at the Under Armour All-America Game to no one’s surprise. I expect that to happen this year as well, maybe a few times.

5. Someone will change their mind – Last year the big name was tight end Luke Ford who decided he wasn’t going to sign early only to change his mind and sign with Georgia on Friday after seeing what a great class the Bulldogs were putting together. I don’t know who it will be this year, but obviously someone will change their mind and sign later in the week after initially planning on waiting until February.

6. ‘Canes get the best of the stateMiami is involved with quite a few big name targets and if the Hurricanes land a couple, they should be able to surpass Florida State and Florida in the Team Recruiting Rankings. Florida will stand at No. 2 and Florida State will be No. 3 with work to be done between now and the first Wednesday of February.

7. Fewer players will sign early this year – Last year it was rare for a committed player to hold off on taking part in the the Early Signing Period, but this year there seem to be a lot more prospects willing to wait. The majority of committed prospects will still sign early, but I don’t expect it to be in the 80 percent range as it was a year ago. Why? I have zero explanation for it. Maybe it was just the fact that last year was the first Early Signing Period and prospects got caught up in the excitement. This year’s class has the advantage of watching the 2018 class go through the process last year.

8. USC's class will remain ranked embarrassingly low – The Trojans are ranked outside the national top 25 and have an embarrassing (for them) 3.19 star average for their 16 commitments. Usually there are a ton of five-stars just waiting until the end of the process to choose the Trojans but this year that isn’t the case aside from Bru McCoy. This could be one of the worst recruiting years for USC in history.

9. Arkansas remains the shocker of the class – While Arkansas has quite a few commitments that won’t be signing early, the Razorbacks are still in great shape to remain the surprise of the class of 2019. While they likely won’t end up in the top-10 nationally, they should be able to stay in the 11-15 range, which is amazing based on the season they had.

10. DJ Williams will land someplace good – Who the heck is DJ Williams you may ask? He’s a running back prospect out of Sebring, Fla. who is committed to Appalachian State currently but is rumored to be the No. 2 choice for both Georgia and Alabama if they strike out on Trey Sanders. Whether Williams signs early or becomes a big target down the stretch remains to be seen as Sanders isn’t announcing until Wednesday, but remember the name DJ Williams as someone that could end up being better than a lot of the higher-ranked running backs in this class.