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National Signing Day 2018: Tracking the Final Day of the Early Period

Anyone who isn’t signed by the end of Friday will have to wait until February. How many top recruits are still making up their minds?

Wednesday was packed with the sort of recruiting frenzy normally reserved for early February, as many of 2018’s top recruits took advantage of college football’s first-ever early signing period to end their recruiting processes before the new year. The back half of the three-day window for prospects to sign was noticeably quieter—many coaches and programs held post-signing day press conferences on Wednesday, recognizing that whoever hadn’t signed by then would still be on the board in January.

Who closed strong to end the early signing period? We tracked all of Day 3’s biggest news and talking points below. For a broader look at the impact of this week’s news, check out Chris Johnson’s winners and losers recap of the action so far and Andy Staples’s explanation of why this frenzy of mid-December activity is here to stay. If you want to go hour-by-hour through the first two days of signings, our Day 1 and Day 2 live blogs can help with that.

7 p.m. ET: Justin Rogers commits in style

• Dual-threat QB Justin Rogers signed his letter of intent for TCU on an awesome throne. Please let this become the new seating standard by next signing day.

• Remember a few hours ago when Bobby Brown said he wasn’t signing in the early period? The former Texas A&M commit is heading to Alabama after all:

3:45 p.m. ET: Terrace Marshall picks LSU

• In the final nationally televised commitment of the week, Parkway (La.) five-star WR Terrace Marshall announced his commitment to LSU over Texas A&M. Marshall could barely get through his prepared statement, breaking into tears multiple times as he thanked his family and friends. He’s the No. 11 overall recruit and the No. 1 receiver in the country, according to 247Sports.

1:30 p.m. ET: USC gets a QB a year early

• USC commit J.T. Daniels has announced he will graduate a year early and enroll in fall of 2018. The Mater Dei quarterback told 247Sports that Sam Darnold’s impending NFL draft decision didn’t impact his decision to head to college next fall.

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12:45 p.m. ET: Bobby Brown will wait until February

• Lamar (Texas) four-star defensive tackle Bobby Brown decommitted from Texas A&M this week in the wake of the coaching change in College Station, and after some speculation that he would sign before the early period was over, he tweeted that he will sit on his decision into the new year. Alabama and Oklahoma are expected to join the Aggies in the chase for Brown, the No. 17 recruit in Texas according to 247Sports.

12 p.m. ET: Morning observations

• Georgia Tech just flipped four-star James Graham from Virginia Tech, giving Graham an opportunity to play quarterback he wouldn’t have had in Blacksburg.

• Kansas gets a W in holding onto three-star Hahnville (La.) RB Pooka Williams, who led the state of Louisiana in rushing this fall. LSU and Nebraska made late pushes to get the all-purpose weapon.

• Willie Taggart’s 2018 class is up to five official signees after St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., the son of the former Patriots, Eagles and Falcons corner, sent in his paperwork after committing to FSU in April. Samuel had some high praise for Taggart.

• A couple surprising schools in the current top 25 of the 247Sports Composite team rankings, Maryland and Baylor, are reaping the rewards of sound head coach hires in recent years. The Terps sit at No. 18 with two of their three 247Sports four-stars officially signed on, as D.J. Durkin continues to build momentum heading into his third year in College Park. Maryland also landed a commitment from Bryon Cowart, who was deemed the No. 1 recruit in the 2015 class by Rivals but jumped from Auburn to a junior college this September, citing a lack of playing time on the Plains and the health of his mother.

Despite a one-win debut season at Baylor, Matt Rhule is clearly making in-roads in parachuting into unfamiliar recruiting territory after a successful run at Temple. The Bears sit 21st in the 247 rankings, with 21 signees already, including four-star DeSoto (Texas) athlete BJ Hanspard and the No. 1 player in the state of Arkansas, Earle dual-threat quarterback Gerry Bohanon.