Next week marks the sixth year of the early signing period as National Sign Day takes the college football world by storm on Wednesday, December 21st. With more than 20 head coaching vacancies, more and more players are making decisions well in advance of their December contract terms, rather than waiting until February.
The 2023 recruitment class had a full evaluation period and an official visit in the spring. Many of the 2021 and 2022 recruiting class experiences were not offered. This also meant faster adoption. The normal hiring process also meant that a familiar face was back in Alabama, the top of college football’s hiring mountain.
Heading into December’s National Signing Day, Crimson Tide holds the No. 1 spot. Can anyone catch Nick Saban and Alabama in the early signing period? Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders, starting with Tide’s accomplishments so far in the 2023 cycle.
Join us for Signing Day Live on Wednesday, December 21st at 9am ET on the 247Sports YouTube channel (starting at 11am at CBS Sports HQ). From live commitments to updated class rankings and everything in between, Signing Day Live will be your one-stop-shop for live coverage as the top programs in the country sign his 2023 class.
Early Contract Period: Who Takes First Place?
SEC West rivals Texas A&M have signed a generational class for the 2022 cycle, but Alabama is Alabama and Nick Saban is Nick Saban. How good is this class? His 17 players in the top 247, including an amazing 11 of his top 100 prospects, are heading to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Five-star EDGE Keyon Keely’s Monday commitment earned Tide the second No. 1 prospect at his position from the prep ranks, joining No. 1 safety Caleb Downs. What about junior college players? Well, Alabama has receiver Malik Benson and linebacker Justin Jefferson. Three of his players will make an official visit to the Top 25 this weekend as Alabama hunt for the No. 1 ranking.
Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs may not be #1 heading into their early contract terms, but they’re the #1 team in the country on the field, and that’s what matters. The Tide could be the #1 class for this cycle, but they won’t win the national title, which is music to the ears of Georgia fans. Alabama has 11 of his players in the top 100, and Georgia already has eight of them ahead, six of which are in charge of defense (brings a smile to Smart’s face). . The Dawgs will keep an eye on Smith and Lathau’s decisions this weekend while hosting his lineman for the top 100 defensive side at Jordan Hall. Home to the current John Mackie Award winner, Brock his Bowers keeps his fingers crossed for his two elites Deuce Robinson and Walker his Lions his tight end.
3. Our Lady
The Coach Prime Effect may not propel Colorado to top 10 status this cycle, but the recent buffing of top 247 running back Dylan Edwards has made an impact on Ireland’s current class. Still, losing Edwards didn’t affect Ireland’s place in the cycle much. Notre Dame retains his five players in the top 100, most of whom will be sacked in his 2023 season. For now, it’s about holding onto some of the major commits that others are pursuing, such as Drayk Bowen and Jayden Limar.
The Longhorns don’t have many top 247 prospects, but Texas’ do Have? Arch Manning is the No. 1 player in the country, which is a big reason why this class is in the top 5. His No. 1 player from Utah, his Tausili Akana horns are still in the mix and it’s no problem his Final Four-bound volleyball his team has his sister playing a big role. They will be hosting top 247 athlete Jelani McDonald this weekend and will look to deuce his Robinson decisions. But even with Manning, there might not be enough horses to get ahead of Alabama or Georgia.
If anyone can soar in the 3 to 5 range, it’s the Buckeyes. Despite losing quarterback commit Brock Glenn, they could do better if quarterback Lincoln Kienholtz flips out of Washington. Ohio State also leads his EDGE Damon Wilson of 5 Stars and is in the top 3 with another 5 Stars – Matayoui Agarerai. With Ryan Day’s new lease on (college football playoff) life, the Buckeyes are hoping December will be memorable with a pass rush victory next week.