The second day of signing is in the books, and almost all of the top prospects are now signed, sealed, and about to be delivered – if they aren’t already on campus. Here’s a look at the winners and losers from February’s signing day.
Alabama did nothing on the second day of the signing, and yet the Crimson Tide retained the top rank in the country and anything short of a full suspension — even if five-star Duce Robinson lands in Georgia — that they would remain the No. 1 rivals. com team recruiting rankings.
What an incredible run Nick Saban With Georgia winning back-to-back national titles, there is so much talk about the transfer portal and NIL. But here’s Saban, just recharging to avoid being pushed aside Kirby Smart, Deion Sander or anyone else right now.
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State of Arizona
The transfer portal was such an important and important focus for the coach in the first year Kenny Dillingham when the Sun Devils tied Colorado for most Portal signings and yet, when four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada became available, Arizona State ran up to him and landed him Wednesday.
The Pittsburg, Calif., quarterback was caught up in a NIL mess with Florida and got out of his national memorandum of understanding when ASU and TCU made him a priority. After a visit to Tempe and much deliberation — plus his dad’s connection to the school — the Sun Devils won when he joined Portal QBs Drew Pyne (Notre Dame) and Jacob Conover (BYU) in class.
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After a busy signing period in December, things have been quiet for Georgia’s Class of 2023, which appears to be in second place even if the Bulldogs finish with five-star Duce Robinson. But coaches kirby Clever and his staff landed a big four-star fullback Ellis Robinson in 2024.
He fits perfectly in Athens as an aggressive, physical, tough player who doesn’t back down. Alabama and many others were after former New Rochelle (NY) standout Iona Prep, who now plays at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy but Georgia won. And with four-star tight end Walker Lyons opting for USC, that could be more good news for Georgia and Robinson once he’s ready to make his choice.
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State of Mississippi
Don’t let it get lost amidst plenty of big five-star news Wednesday, the solid finish Mississippi State had for this class – as the Bulldogs may have added one of the biggest sleepers in the entire group.
Three-star high defensive tackle Jonathan Davis of Monticello (Miss.) Lawrence County was heavily pursued by Texas, Florida, Ole Miss and others down the stretch, but the Bulldogs were victorious. They also added Theodore, Ala., cornerback William James.
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The fact that Oregon coaches Dan Lanning and his associates went to Gardena, California. Serra and Rodrick Pleasant moved away from USC was one of the bigger recruiting coups of this recruiting cycle. Serra has sent so many top players to the Trojans and many have had great success.
Also, Pleasant was already so close to many USC commitments that it seemed like a foregone conclusion — until it wasn’t. Pleasant was a big win, but losing to South Carolina to five-star tight end Nyckoles Harbor hurts.
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It was a fight to the end, but South Carolina prevailed for five-star tight end Nyckoles Harbor, mostly holding off Oregon and Maryland as Washington (DC) standout Archbishop Carroll described the past few days as “chaos”. described.
However, the Gamecocks persevered and are now training Shane Beamer has a huge weapon on offense – and one with Olympic speed to work with. Harbor’s engagement was arguably the biggest story of the day, and another massive building block for Beamer and his staff as the Gamecocks rise in style.
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First year coach Alex Golesh gave his opening class in South Florida a nice finishing touch by adding three-star Corona (Calif.) Centennial quarterback Israel Carter, who was signed to Arizona State along with receivers JeyQuan Smith and Tyree Kelly.
Not only were these players added, but Carter and Smith spoke about Golesh as a recruiter and his vision for the program as he convinced them both to travel across the country to help the Bulls.
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It was a bit of a mixed bag for USC on signing day when longtime favorite Rodrick Pleasant picked Oregon against the Trojans, but the addition of four-star tight end Walker Lyons is huge for the Trojans offense.
The four-star Folsom, California company that once sided with Stanford was heavily pursued by Georgia, Utah and others, but USC was always on the back of their minds. He decided to pull the trigger on Wednesday after failing to give any indication he was ready to go for the past several weeks. Lyons will have a mission, but later the four-star hotel could be a big bonus for USC’s attack.
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The late signing phase
Doesn’t it feel like February’s signing day went the way of the dodo bird?
Some college coaches would prefer to only have signing day in February like in the old days, but now December has taken all the glitz and glamor with few latecomers having to make their decisions so late.
It feels unnecessary. Almost everyone makes their pick in December, then two other handfuls do at the All-Star events and a select few attend in January and make their final calls in February.
February could be revived if it becomes the only game in town again (or if the NCAA moves the early signing deadline to the summer), but for now it seems unnecessary and not nearly as important as the December signing deadline.
It’s not the biggest loss in the world, but four-star Kendrick Gilbert has been with the Boilermakers since the summer, he’s an in-state prospect and he survived the coaching change. But when it came to signing, the Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral view switched to Kentucky.
He had flirted with this program for months but never made the ultimate decision to bid his time until Wednesday. Purdue now has the penultimate class in the Big Ten, and it’s one of only two programs in the conference to join Rutgers without four-star commitments.
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It was a tough — but somewhat expected — day for Stanford, as the Cardinal lost talented three-star defenseman Cameron Brandt to Michigan and strong runner LJ Martin to BYU. The end of January was very productive for the cardinal as a freshman coach TroyTaylor takes over, but especially losing Brandt, a prospect from Chatsworth, California, Sierra Canyon, to the Wolverines wasn’t ideal.
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