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The 10 biggest flips from the Early Signing Period

JoJo Earle.
JoJo Earle. (Sam Spiegelman)

The Early Signing Period has come to an end and there was some big flips that happened the last couple of days. Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Deion Sanders and other head coaches flipped players their way. Here were the 10 biggest flips from Wednesday to Friday.

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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

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

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

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1. JoJo Earle from LSU to Alabama

This one was not expected. At least not during the Early Signing Period. Earle, an elite wide receiver has been committed to LSU for almost eight months, but he was planning to wait and sign in February. That was before Alabama made a hard push on Wednesday. When the Crimson Tide gets involved, things can change very quickly. LSU had already lost Keanu Koht to Alabama earlier in the day, so losing Earle made it two losses to the SEC rival. Earle is a dynamic playmaker with speed and explosiveness.

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2. M.J. Daniels, from Mississippi State to Ole Miss

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin wore the ‘Merry Flipmas’ shirt earlier this week, and he knew what he was doing. He knew he had a great shot at flipping Hudson Wolfe from Tennessee before Signing Day, then on Signing Day he took in-state athlete MJ Daniels from Mississippi State. The Rebels had a great close with numerous wins on the recruiting trail. Daniels is a big, athletic, versatile defensive back with ball skills and the ability to play all over the secondary. He will be an impact player early in Oxford.

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3. Audric Estime, from Michigan State to Notre Dame

The four-star out of New Jersey looked like he was headed for Michigan State but, before making things official, the running back flipped to Notre Dame and signed with the Irish. He was committed to the Spartans, and others like Penn State and Wisconsin made runs at Estime earlier this fall, but he liked the fit in South Bend best for his game.

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4. Malik Nabors, from Mississippi State to LSU

Malik Nabers put out an edit on Instagram saying his commitment to Mississippi State was locked in just a few days ago, but that may have been a smokecreen. This was a battle until the end, and it did go back and forth between the Bulldogs and Tigers, but in the end, it was too much for Nabers to say no to the in-state program. He is physical receiver that will fight for the football. Nabers has that Louisiana toughness, and it shows when he plays.

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5. Khari Gee, from LSU to Notre Dame

The Irish snuck in late, and under the radar to grab four-star Gee out of Atlanta. There was buzz around him flipping from LSU to Georgia Tech early in the week, but not many, if any were talking about him ending up in South Bend. He made the decision privately Tuesday, and on Tuesday night he informed LSU of his decision. Gee had multiple programs trying to get him to sign early, and he almost waited until February to make the final decision, but the versatile defender chose the Irish due to the combination of academics and athletics offered.

6. Branden Jennings, from Michigan to Maryland

From early February to mid October, Jennings was committed to Florida State. After being decommitted for four days, the four-star linebacker out of Jacksonville committed to Michigan. That commitment did not turn into a signing though. Maryland continued to recruit the hard hitting defender and the Terps swooped in on Signing Day and took him from the Wolverines. Jennings is a versatile linebacker that is a very big pick-up for Mike Locksley.

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7. Keanu Koht, from LSU to Alabama

A few weeks ago, Keanu Koht looked to be solid with LSU, the school he had been committed to since July 4. The rush end out of Vero Beach was offered by Alabama very early in 2020. He was a target for the Crimson Tide early, but the staff in Tuscaloosa really turned it up in recent weeks. Florida was thought to be in the mix too, but it was Alabama that LSU lost out to on Signing Day. He is a long rush end with quickness off the ball and good bend to get around the corner.

8. De'Jahn Warren, from Georgia to Jackson State

Warren is the only Junior College player on this list, and this could be Deion Sanders’ top signee in his first class as head coach of Jackson State. Warren is a highly-rated cornerback that was committed to Georgia, and even flirted with Penn State before eventually signing with Jackson State. He had over 30 offers, some talked about him as a one-year-and-out type player at a program like Georgia, so it will be fun to watch his development under a coach like Sanders.

9. Quintin Somerville, from Michigan to UCLA

Quintin Somerville is an Arizona native, so Pac-12 schools were involved early, but in June, the four-star defensive end committed to Michigan. UCLA never gave up. Their season, the familiarity he has with their staff and campus, and the uncertainty around the Michigan program led to the flip. He had been thinking about it some time, and the Bruins are getting a versatile defensive lineman who could line up outside or inside on the next level.

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10. Javonte Gardner, from Florida to Jackson State

After not signing with Florida on Wednesday, Gardner flipped to Jackson State and signed his letter of intent Thursday. The four-star offensive tackle was committed to the Gators in May, and looked to be strong to the in-state school, but there were academic concerns reported and that could have played a role in this decision. He is a big body, a physical offensive lineman and another big pick up for Sanders.