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National Signing Day: The top Group of Five signees

Preston Stone
Preston Stone (Sam Spiegelman)

Group of Five teams have made waves this season and, judging by the way some of those teams recruited this year, that isn’t changing anytime soon. Take a look at the top 10 Group of Five signees in the 2021 class and where they’re headed.


MORE: The Farrell Awards | What to look for during the rest of the Early Signing Period | Farrell's thoughts on NSD | Winners and losers from National Signing Day | Analyzing the team rankings | How every team announced commits on Twitter | The 10 biggest flips | More team rankings topics after Friday | Five teams poised for late signing period | Biggest surprises of NSD

NSD COACH INTERVIEWS: USC's Clay Helton | Oregon's Mario Cristobal | Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin | UNC's Mack Brown

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series



Stone's recruitment didn't last long. He committed to the Mustangs back in early January and never looked back. As the top ranked Group of Five signee, Stone leads SMU's class, the fourth highest-ranked Group of Five recruiting haul in the nation. Stone, the only Rivals250 prospect to sign with a Group of Five team so far this cycle, is the highest-ranked Group of Five signee since five-star Ed Oliver in the 2016 recruiting class. Stone will have a couple impressive offensive playmakers joining him in receiver Dylan Goffney and running back Montaye Dawson but he almost got Rivals100 offensive tackle Savion Byrd to sign with the Mustangs on Wednesday instead of Oklahoma.


2. Chamon Metayer

A former Miami commit, Metayer is the one four-star in Cincinnati's top ranked Group of Five recruiting class. Multiple Power Five programs offered Metayer during the process but he opted for the Bearcats back in September. He is one of six defensive linemen Cincinnati signed this week and he is expected to see playing time early in his career.


3. Caleb Johnson

Johnson, one of the fastest prospects in the 2021 class, was planning on playing receiver for Oklahoma. He committed to the Sooners in July, picking them over offers from multiple SEC programs. Oklahoma wanted Johnson to play in the secondary but he was adamant he wanted to play receiver. The two went their separate ways in late October and Johnson signed with North Texas on Wednesday.

4. Willie Shaw

Shaw had a few impressive Power Five options when he announced his commitment to Toledo back in May. The pandemic ruined his plans to take visits to a handful of schools in the spring so he jumped at the chance to commit. Toledo was the beneficiary of Shaw hitting fast forward on his recruitment but Illinois and Nebraska were in the mix as well.

5. Byron Threats

A speeding in-state prospect, Cincinnati reeled in Threats in August. He was originally committed to Purdue, choosing the Boilermakers over teams like Indiana, Georgia Tech and Michigan State, but opened up his recruitment in July. Threats was also being pursued by Kentucky and West Virginia before choosing the Bearcats.

6. Jack Dingle

Cincinnati reeled in a commitment from Dingle back in April. His commitment to the Bearcats wasn't a surprise. Dingle has a number of connections to the school. His father played for Cincinnati and his brother is currently on the roster. Louisville was the other main contender for Dingle's commitment.

7. Mao Glynn

Glynn was a coveted prospect by many Power Five teams but decided to stay in-state and play for the Bearcats. Prior to his commitment, Glynn knew a number of players already committed or on the team and that helped Cincinnati a great deal. Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and West Virginia were his other finalists.

8. Kiael Kelly

The shutdown of the spring camp season sabotaged any momentum Kelly had built coming off his junior season but he still had plenty of options. Teams like UCF, USF, Texas Tech, Syracuse and a few others were involved in his recruitment but Kelly ended up pulling the trigger in July. Kelly is one of two quarterbacks Ball State signed in this class.

9. River Helms

Helms is one of the highest-ranked prospects Western Kentucky has ever signed. A former Georgia Tech commit, Helms opened his recruitment up on Wednesday after originally committing to the Yellow Jackets back in October. At one point, Helms was entertaining offers from Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Louisville, Georgia, and Florida State.


10. Nick Dimitris

It was a long, winding road but UNLV did eventually lock in a commitment from Dimitris. He originally committed to the Rebels in August but decommitted in November only to recommit and sign with UNLV in the Early Signing Period. Fresno State was his other main contender but Mississippi State was very much in the mix as well.

Team Ranking Team

No. 33


No. 46


No. 55

South Florida

No. 58


No. 60


No. 61

San Diego State

T-No. 64

Boise State

T-No. 64


No. 67


T-No. 69

Air Force

T-No. 69