National Signing Day: Breaking down the team rankings
The first day of the Early Signing Period is over. It was an historic day thanks to Deion Sanders and Travis Hunter but there were a lot of other major commitments, decommitments, and flips. Take a look at where things stand in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings now that the day has ended.
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HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHT AT THE TOP
Just glancing at the team rankings, it may not have seemed all that eventful of a National Signing Day at the top. The current top nine teams were all in the top nine at the start of the day. Upon a closer look, a recruiting fan would see three recruiting powerhouses going punch for punch with each other.
Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M, the top three teams in the team rankings, added a total of 11 commitments since Tuesday night. Ten of them are Rivals250 prospects and five of them are ranked within the top 65 of the Rivals250. That's an incredible accumulation of top end talent in about a 36 hour window.
Georgia threw the first punches on Tuesday afternoon by landing commitments from CJ Smith and Daylen Everette, which extended its lead as the top recruiting class. Texas A&M got the day off to a good start with their signing of No. 1 tight end Jake Johnson, a former LSU commit.
Alabama countered by holding off LSU and signing one of the top commits in wide receiver Aaron Anderson and beating in-state rival Auburn for defensive lineman Khurtiss Perry. The Crimson Tide also pulled top 50 prospect Shazz Preston out of Louisiana before Texas A&M could throw their next punch.
The Aggies came up with big additions in the form of defensive end Anthony Lucas along with offensive tackle Kam Dewberry. Alabama finished the day by collecting signatures from defensive back Earl Little Jr. and former Clemson linebacker commit Jihaad Campbell. Georgia missed on two of their top targets in linebacker Shemar James and safety Kamari Wilson but landed one of the biggest prizes of the day in five-star defensive end Marvin Jones Jr.
Texas A&M capped the evening by flipping longtime Georgia commit Marquis Groves-Killebrew, a Rivals250 defensive back from Georgia. That moved Jimbo Fisher's squad into the No. 2 spot in the team rankings but, when the dust settled, Alabama finished Signing Day as the No. 1 team. There are a few more major prospects that don't plan on committing until later this week and others that are waiting to sign until the February signing period.
FLORIDA STATE PONDERING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
Florida State began National Signing Day with a lot of optimism and that quickly subsided. The biggest news of the day was No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter and longtime Florida State commit flipping to Jackson State. The historic move wasn't the only major blow the Seminoles suffered on Wednesday. Rivals250 receiver Devaughn Mortimer had been committed to Mike Norvell and his staff since March but the Florida native signed with Louisville. Coming into Wednesday, Florida State was in good position to add a commitment from five-star offensive lineman and legacy recruit Julian Armella and, after a delay, he did sign with the anoles. The Seminoles were also hoping to flip Rivals250 Georgia defensive tackle commit Tyre West but he chose Tennessee instead. Florida State finished the day ranked at No. 12.
SARK HAS THE LONGHORNS FLIPPING
The Longhorns finished the day at No. 4 in the team rankings, one spot higher than they were at the beginning of the Early Signing Period. Steve Sarkisian and his staff added five new players to this recruiting class and four of them were flipped from other schools. The most notable of the bunch is top 50 prospect Terrance Brooks. The in-state defensive back had been committed to Ohio State since June but flipped to the Longhorns on Wednesday. In-state prospects like defensive end Ethan Burke (Michigan), athlete Xavion Brice (Oklahoma) and receiver Savion Red (SMU) were all committed to other programs at the beginning of the day.
VOLS SIGN THREE MORE RIVALS250 PROSPECTS
Tennessee was one of the biggest risers of Signing Day. Josh Heupel and his squad began Wednesday outside the top 20 of the team rankings and finished at No. 11 thanks to commitments from running back Justin Williams, defensive end James Pearce and defensive tackle Tyre West. Williams, a former West Virginia commit, picked the Vols over Auburn early in the day and West flipped from Georgia despite a strong push from Florida State. Pearce was one of the bigger surprises of the day. He wasn't expected to sign until February and hadn't taken any official visits yet.
AUBURN, BRYAN HARSIN SURGING
Auburn fans were on edge a bit when the regular season ended but seems to have calmed some of those nerves. The Tigers came from outside the top 30 in the team rankings to finish at No. 15 on Wednesday night. Bryan Harsin and his staff started their big recruiting run on Monday with commitments from Rivals250 defensive back Austin Ausberry and four-star JUCO defensive back Marquise Gilbert. On Tuesday Auburn flipped Rivals250 defensive back JaDarian Rhym away from LSU and landed a commitment from three-star defensive tackle Enyce Sledge. National Signing Day capped the excellent three day run with three four-star commitments. The first was from JUCO defensive back Keionte Scott followed by former Pitt receiver commit Camden Brown. To finish things off, Auburn landed a commitment from Rivals250 linebacker Robert Woodyard, who flipped his commitment from Alabama.
A GOOD DAY FOR PROGRAMS IN STATES THAT START WITH 'M'
Wednesday was a good day to be a school in a state whose name begins with the letter 'M.' This mostly applies to Maryland, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Michigan. Maryland landed commitments from six new players in the last two days. Running back Ramon Brown flipped from Virginia Tech, offensive tackle Andre Roye flipped from Penn State, and Rivals250 linebacker Jaishawn Barham flipped from South Carolina after committing to the Gamecocks on Saturday. The Terps also signed four-star Octavian Smith Jr. and three-star Leon Houghton along with JUCO offensive lineman Maximus McGree. Their team ranking improved by 18 spots and now they sit at No. 36.
Mike Leach and Mississippi State added six new commitments on National Signing Day and three of them are four-star prospects. The highest ranked of the bunch is Rivals250 defensive lineman Trevion Williams, a former Florida State commit, followed by former Ole Miss commit Jacarius Clayton and JUCO offensive lineman Percy Lewis. Three-stars DeCarlos Nicholson, Avery Sledge and Kalvin Dinkins also signed with Mississippi State, helped the Bulldogs finish at No. 13 in the team rankings after starting the day at No. 33.
Ole Miss had big additions as well. The Rebels began Signing day with ranked No. 39 and finished at No. 31 thanks to commitments from former Georgia Tech commit and Rivals250 linebacker Jaron Willis. Lane Kiffin and his staff were able to flip three-star offensive lineman Falentha Carswell from Miami and added a commitment from former Mississippi State pledge Cameron East. Tyler Banks, a three-star from Virginia, also signed with Ole Miss.
Also of note, Boston College finished National Signing Day with the No. 25 ranked recruiting class. If the 2020 recruiting cycle ended today, this would be Boston College's highest-ranked recruiting class since 2004.