Winners and losers from National Signing Day
Another National Signing Day is wrapping up and as we look back on another hectic day there were definitely some teams that won some battles and others that lost some. Here is a look at the Winners & Losers from the first day of the early signing period.
It was supposed to be a quieter day for Alabama, but the Crimson Tide were flipping players as well as early in the morning as three-star defensive end Keanu Koht from Vero Beach, Fla., changed from LSU to Alabama and then later in the day whispers started that longtime LSU wide receiver pledge JoJo Earle was leaning toward flipping to the Crimson Tide as well.
The Earle news was especially surprising since there had been rumors Texas, Texas A&M and others were getting more involved and the Aledo, Tex.,, star receiver did not plan to sign this week because of his team’s playoff run. But Alabama flexed its muscle late and convinced him to flip. The Crimson Tide is also working on three-star OL Jaeden Roberts, who backed off his Auburn pledge earlier Wednesday.
What a busy day for LSU - both good and bad - but on balance the Tigers have to be pretty happy with how things turned out. The No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class, defensive tackle Maason Smith, picked LSU over Georgia. The Tigers also landed four-star DB Damarius McGhee and flipped four-star WR Malik Nabers from Mississippi State among other moves, and then closed the day out by landing four-star RB and former Auburn commit Armoni Goodwin.
But it wasn’t all roses. Koht and Earle flipped to Alabama and Earle especially hurts since he’s so dynamic.
The entire month of December has been so incredibly good for Ole Miss and coach Lane Kiffin as the Rebels flipped four-star QB Luke Altmyer from Florida State, flipped three-star DB Brandon Buckhaulter from Mississippi State, flipped four-star tight end Hudson Wolfe from Tennessee and those are only the highlights before a very productive signing day as well.
On Wednesday, Ole Miss flipped three-star in-state DB MJ Daniels from Mississippi State and beat out Virginia Tech, Auburn, Arkansas and Miami for three-star DB Markevious Brown. Four-star WR and former Florida State pledge Malik McClain announces Friday and - guess what - Ole Miss is trending for him, too.
MICHIGAN'S OFFENSIVE RECRUITING
There was a lot of smoke around four-star running back Donovan Edwards going to Georgia and that would be understandable with its excellent running back history, but Michigan held off the Bulldogs and landed the state’s top skill player.
The other big news on offense for the Wolverines was that they held off another SEC power in Alabama to keep four-star receiver Xavier Worthy. The Fresno (Calif.) Central star visited Tuscaloosa recently and then had a top two heading into Wednesday but Michigan fended off the Crimson Tide and that’s huge since Worthy is such an athletic and dynamic receiver.
Very talented four-star quarterback Miller Moss signed with no surprises and fellow four-star Jaxson Dart picked the Trojans over Arizona State, BYU and UCLA to solidify one of the best quarterback classes in the country. Dart had an insane senior season stats-wise and his recruitment took off, so getting him in the USC class - especially after four-star QB Jake Garcia decommitted - was a massive recruiting win.
The Trojans also landed do-it-all three-star receiver Joseph Manjack, who wavered between signing early and waiting until February but the Houston (Texas) Tomball recruit signed with USC. And of course, five-star Korey Foreman signed, but is not expected to announce his choice until Jan. 2.
This is the first time Jackson State has made a list like this on signing day, but it’s also the first time the Tigers have flipped a Georgia commit on signing day. Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna C.C. four-star cornerback De’Jahn Warren had been committed to the Bulldogs since the summer but flipped to Jackson State on Wednesday. New coach Deion Sanders was on ESPN2 and Jackson State was trending on Twitter. Overall, a good day for one of the most interesting stories in college football right now.
If everyone stayed in this Mississippi State class, it would be an amazing haul. But LSU pilfered the group with WR Malik Nabers and LB Navonteque Strong flipping on or near signing day and then the in-state battleground recruit, three-star DB MJ Daniels, flipping to Ole Miss on Wednesday.
Houston (Texas) North Shore three-star offensive lineman Jaeden Roberts backed off his Auburn pledge and is expected to flip to Alabama. That was the only major bit of bad news, but four-star Terrence Lewis, once considered an Auburn lean, now has Maryland and Tennessee high on the list and Ole Miss and others could be making a play for four-star LB Trevin Wallace.
On signing day, #StopSteele was trending on Twitter, a sign that many Auburn fans don’t want Kevin Steele hired as coach, Oregon announced it will be meeting on Mario Cristobal’s contract, oh, and former four-star RB Mark-Antony Richards announced he’s transferring. Long day.
THOSE IN ATTENDANCE AT EDWARDS CEREMONY
This is of course lighthearted, but wow did it look cold in West Bloomfield, Mich., for Edwards’ announcement that he was picking Michigan over Georgia, Notre Dame and others. There was snow on the ground, the wind looked like it was going, there was snow or sleet falling. Edwards was wearing a huge white winter jacket, the reporters were shivering and it looked like a place where hot coffee should be served.