The first “early signing period” in college football has begun and despite before-it-even happened criticism from numerous college coaches, the first day seemed to go well.
It went especially well for Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who signed six – count ’em, six – five-star players on Wednesday. The Bulldogs signed three of the nation’s top 10 players (Clemson did the Bulldogs one better, signing four of the top 10).
The other SEC schools did well, too, even Alabama, where coach Nick Saban was (as usual) perhaps the most vocal critic of the new NCAA rule.
Three SEC teams are in the top 10 in the consensus national recruiting rankings: Georgia at No. 1, Alabama at No. 6 and Auburn at No. 10. Florida (14th), LSU (15th), South Carolina (16th) and Texas A&M (18th) are in the top 20.
There are numerous big names still available, including seven five-star prospects (four of whom reside in the SEC footprint, including three players from Florida).
Of the 20 five-star recruits who have signed or are committed, seven have chosen SEC schools (including, again, six to Georgia). Six have chosen Big Ten schools and five have selected ACC schools, with one each headed to the Big 12 and Pac-12.
The early signing period runs through Friday, and there are expected to be a handful of “name” players choosing schools on Thursday and Friday. Still, there will be intrigue on National Signing Day, as there is every year.
Here’s a quick team-by-team look at the number of signees from Wednesday.
Alabama: 14 signees, including one five-star recruit and 10 four-star prospects
Arkansas: 7 signees, including two four-star prospects
Auburn: 15 signees, including 11 four-star prospects
Florida: 13 signees, including seven four-star prospects
Georgia: 19 signees, including six five-star recruits and 11 four-star prospects
Kentucky: 20 signees, including two four-star prospects
LSU: 17 signees, including nine four-star prospects
Mississippi State: 15 signees, including four four-star prospects
Missouri: 15 signees
Ole Miss: 14 signees, including two four-star prospects
South Carolina: 19 signees, including four four-star prospects
Tennessee: 11 signees, including four four-star prospects
Texas A&M: 8 signees, including four four-star prospects
Vanderbilt: 15 signees, including three four-star prospects
Of note: Arkansas’ two four-star signees are noteworthy – one because of his name (linebacker Bumper Pool) and one because of where he was when he signed his letter of intent (quarterback Connor Noland was at the Colosseum in Rome).
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) December 20, 2017
(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)
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