- After a flurry of activity on Day 1, we’re tracking everything from the second day of the early signing period.
A wave of commitments and fax machine activity typically reserved for the beginning of February left many top teams with a large percentage of their recruiting class locked in after the first day of college football’s new early signing period. Perennial powers such as Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State opened predictably strong, while others such as Georgia and Texas continued their upward trajectory with a series of splash commitments.
What does the early signing period have in store for a follow-up? We’re tracking all the high-profile commitments, news and rumors of Thursday’s signing day action. If you need to catch up, here’s a full recap of Day 1.
4:05 p.m. ET: No. 2 tight end Luke Ford commits to Georgia
The rich get richer. Carterville (Il.) tight end Luke Ford, the second-best tight end and No. 49 overall recruit in the class of 2018 according to 247Sports, chose Georgia over Oklahoma and Alabama. Already 6'4'' and 248 pounds, Ford is today bigger than the average SEC tight end, and he moves surprisingly well for his size. This is another really good get for Kirby Smart's staff, which has put together the best recruiting class in the country by a widening margin. The Bulldogs have killed it particularly at the skill positions; they now have pledges from the number one dual-threat quarterback (Justin Fields), the number one (Zamir White) and number three running back (James Cook), and the number two tight end in Ford.
2:45 p.m. ET: Taggart optimistic in Tallahassee
• Florida State may be on the outside of the top 40 recruiting classes looking in, but Willie Taggart expects that to change soon.
Willie Taggart on FSU's recruiting class: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And we’re going to finish strong.”— Orlando Sentinel-FSU (@osfsu) December 21, 2017
The Seminoles sit at No. 44 in the 247Sports Composite rankings, with four class of 2018 players signed and five more committed. The jewel of the class so far is five-star DB Jaiden Woodbey.
• Meanwhile, farther south in the Sunshine State: Miami just made things official with Fort Meade four-star Cleveland Reed, the No. 10 guard in this year’s class.
12:45 p.m. ET: Who's still on the board?
• Parkway (La.) wide receiver Terrace Marshall, the No. 11 overall recruit in the 2018 class according to 247Sports, will announce his school on Friday, the final day of the early signing period. After that, it should be a long, eventful month and a half for the top-shelf recruits who have elected to wait until early February to sign. Assuming Marshall does make a decision this week, here’s a quick look at what your new top 10 list of the nation’s uncommitted prospects should look like on Christmas Day (all rankings via the 247Sports composite):
1. CB Patrick Surtain Jr., American Heritage (Fla.) — 5th overall
2. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Mater Dei (Calif.) — 12th overall
3. OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Berkeley Prep (Fla.) — 17th overall
4. WR Devon Williams, Antelope Valley (Calif.) — 21st overall
5. CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Helix (Calif.) — 25th overall
6. CB Tyson Campbell, American Heritage (Fla.) — 26th overall
7. QB Tanner McKee, Centennial (Calif.) — 32nd overall
8. S Kelvin Joseph, Scotlandville Magnet (La.) — 36th overall
9. OLB JJ Peterson, Colquitt County (Ga.) — 43rd overall
10. G Penei Sewell, Desert Hills (Utah) — 44th overall
• Andy Staples took some signing day questions in this week’s #DearAndy mailbag, including whether it’s safe for Georgia fans to buy into the hype about this stellar recruiting class. He also told Ohio State fans to un-clutch those pearls after word came out that Dabo Swinney lured Ohio’s top recruit away by questioning Urban Meyer’s longevity.
11 a.m. ET: All quiet
• This statistical breakdown of Day 1 of the early signing period shows why Thursday morning is off to a quiet start:
Average number of early signees at the Power 5 level yesterday— Max Olson (@max_olson) December 21, 2017
B1G: 18.9 (classes 75% full)
B12: 17.1 (68% full)
ACC: 16.8 (67% full)
SEC: 14.9 (59% full)
P12: 13.3 (53% full)
• There are some announcements coming, though: Carterville (Ill.) TE Luke Ford will choose between Illinois, Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama today.
Stay Tuned 💬 Signing at Carterville High School at 3 pm ‼️‼️‼️— L U K E F O R D™️ (@lukeredx97) December 21, 2017
9:30 a.m. ET: Dawgs open Day 2 at No. 1
• ESPN made an on-air ceremony out of bumping Georgia above Ohio State on its 2018 class rankings during yesterday’s signing day broadcast, and 247Sports followed suit a few hours later, but no matter how it happened, the Bulldogs came out of Wednesday with the consensus best group of incoming freshman in the country. There were no surprises with some of Kirby Smart’s biggest victories of this cycle, as top dual-threat QB Justin Fields and top running back Zamir White sent in their National Letters of Intent, and new commitments from top guard Jamaree Salyer and No. 2 tackle Cade Mays ensured that Georgia will soon have an O-line to match its feared defensive front in blue-chip talent.
• Playing catch-up from late-night commitments: Florida State landed four-star DB Jaiden Woodbey just eight days after the St. John Bosco (Calif.) product first received an offer from the Seminoles. Woodbey had been committed to Ohio State; instead, he becomes just the third Florida State recruit out of California since 2010, according to Tomahawk Nation. Given head coach Willie Taggart’s track record on the recruiting trail, this is far from the last surprise Florida State will pull between now and February.