The early signing period has taken away some of the intrigue surrounding National Signing Day, which means there is less teeth gnashing and fingernail chewing going on among fans.
About two-thirds of the major college prospects signed in December, meaning a lot of the hard work already has been done by coaching staffs. Still, simple math (truthfully, the kind appreciated by most fans – of any sport) will tell you that if two-thirds of the prospects already are signed, that leaves a third still out there. And there is a lot of prime talent available, including four five-star prospects.
Here’s a quick rundown of what SEC teams can expect Wednesday on National Signing Day. (Note: All references to rankings are from 247Sports’ composite rankings.)
Tuesday night ranking: 6th
The one recruit to watch: 4-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart, from La Mesa (Calif.) Helix
The skinny: Alabama has had the No. 1 recruiting class for seven consecutive years, but barring some kind of miracle, it ain’t happening again. Still, it’s almost certain to be a top-five class. Taylor-Stuart, from the same San Diego-area high school that produced Reggie Bush and Alex Smith (and Bill Walton), made his final official visit to Alabama, but conventional wisdom is he stays home and plays for USC. But the Tide definitely has a shot. Alabama also is in the hunt for, among others, four-star WR Jaylen Waddle, four-star LB J.J. Peterson, four-star WR Jacob Copeland and four-star DE Malik Langham, and is the favorite for four-star WR Justyn Ross, who is the state’s top prospect. For the first time in a long, long while, though, there aren’t a lot of slam dunks left on the board for the Tide.
Tuesday night ranking: 57th
The one recruit to watch: 3-star DE Caleb Okechukwu, from Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College Prep
The skinny: New coach Chad Morris signed just eight prospects in December, and it seems likely the Hogs will have the weakest recruiting class in the league this cycle. Okechukwu came in on the final visit weekend, and Arkansas is battling Syracuse for his signature. Three-star LB Jaylen Moody, three-star ATH Aaron Brule and three-star S Joseph Foucha are others to watch on NSD.
Tuesday night ranking: 10th
The one recruit to watch: 4-star WR Justyn Ross, from Phenix City (Ala.) Central
The skinny: The Tigers signed 15 in December and have eight commitments, meaning that if there are no defections, there isn’t much mystery. Ross is a national top-50 prospect who also is the No. 1 recruit in the state of Alabama this cycle, but he seems likely to pick Alabama. If the Tigers can somehow land Ross ….
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