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Which teams should, shouldn't be excited about the Early Signing Period?

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

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Nkobe Dean
Nkobe Dean (

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With the start of the Early Signing Period just days away, recruiting classes across the country are beginning to take their final shape. Some hauls stack up better than others, however, and now has a look at both ends of the spectrum. Below are there programs that should be excited about the week to come and three that should be decidedly less so.

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It’s good to be king and the defending national champs are just that. Alabama currently holds the nation’s No. 1 class, so no team will benefit more from the Early Signing Period. Add in the fact that the Tide are still alive for five-star prospects Nkobe Dean, Trey Sanders and Evan Neal along with four-stars Jordan Battle and Noa Pola-Gates, and it seems the class could receive yet another boost before the week is over.

Tide commits Daxton Hill, Christian Harris, Keilan Robinson and Christian Williams aren’t expected to sign in the early period, but the bulk of Bama’s impressive haul will sign letters of intent this week.


Georgia's impressive recruiting run under Kirby Smart rolls on, as the Bulldogs enter the Early Signing Period with the nation’s third-ranked class and the top average star ranking. Five-stars Clay Webb and Nolan Smith headline the UGA class and are both expected to sign this week. Georgia should sign the majority of its class during the upcoming window, which becomes more impressive when you consider it is still in play for five-stars Trey Sanders and Evan Neal. Even if Smart and company miss out on both, however, the week ahead should be a monumental one for the program.


Oklahoma expects nearly its entire class to make things official this week, which should excite Sooner fans to no end. OU currently has the No. 5 class when it comes to average star ranking and the No. 10 haul overall. If everything goes according to plan, OU will have an extremely beneficial Early Signing Period, as EJ Ndoma-Ogar seems to be the only committed prospect on the fence about signing. Of course, there’s always the possibility for a surprise or two in the world of recruitment but it’s hard to imagine the week ahead turning out to be anything but positive for Lincoln Riley’s program.



The Illini have just 10 total commits and an average star ranking under 3.0. That sort of recruiting haul is bad news for a program coming off a 4-8 season. Illinois has not been to the postseason since 2014, and current head coach Lovie Smith is 9-27 in his three seasons at the helm. Illinois landed a solid recruiting class a year ago, but it looks as though repeating that success will be difficult. The team’s current haul ranks 13th in the Big Ten, leaving little reason for celebration in Champaign.


Nobody knows how the Chris Klieman era at K-State will unfold, but that doesn’t change the fact that Wildcat fans don’t have much of a reason to be excited by this week’s Early Signing Period. Not only do the Wildcats have just seven players ranked higher than two-stars committed, but Klieman remains the head coach at North Dakota State until he coaches the program in the FCS title game on Jan. 5. Klieman and his still-developing staff will see the player pool narrow when the signing period closes, making salvaging the 2019 class a bit more difficult. K-State’s class is currently ranked last among Power Five programs.


The Bruins’ inclusion here is, in part, the product of unmet expectations. Still, things aren’t exactly going swimmingly in Westwood. Most figured Chip Kelly’s name recognition alone would help sell the Bruins on the recruiting trail, but that hasn’t been the case thus far. Of course, the team’s 3-9 finish certainly didn’t help matters either. It’s clear that the Bruins need help from a talent standpoint, and the Pac-12’s ninth-rated class probably won’t provide enough of that. Kelly and company have just 13 committed players, two of which rank higher than three stars