This is not your father’s National Signing Day. To say the least.
For most of the first two decades of the 21st century, the first Wednesday in February was a veritable college football holiday. National Signing Day was a day in which (insert your school’s name here) added shiny new players who you just knew would be the final pieces needed for a run at the national championship. Now? Thanks to the Early Signing Period in December, not so much.
From ESPN.com ($):
In December, 274 of the ESPN 300 prospects signed their national letter of intent with their respective schools. Among the 26 prospects who didn’t sign, 15 are committed to a school, while 11 are uncommitted and unsigned.
That total number of recruits to sign in December has gradually increased each year that we’ve had the early signing period. In December 2017, when the Class of 2018 first experienced an early signing period, 221 recruits signed. That went up to 260 in the previous class and 14 more for this time around.
According to the 247Sports.com composite, a whopping 92 of the Top 100 2020 high school prospects put pen to paper on Dec. 18. Of those eight still unsigned, three are five-star recruits:
It’s widely expected that Jones, who canceled a visit to Auburn last week, will follow through with his verbal commitment and sign with Georgia.
When it comes to Burch, though, there’s some concern that he could flip. Specifically, a late-January visit to the reigning national champions has some thinking that LSU will win out in the end. Clemson has also been in the mix for the top-rated player in the state of South Carolina, although they are a longshot at best.
That five-star drama should be over relatively early as Jones is expected to make his announcement at nine a.m. ET Wednesday, Burch at noon.
As for the rest? Below are the remaining Top 100 players who have yet to sign:
- No. 44 — Avantae Williams, S
- No. 59 — Sedrick Van Pran, C (committed to Georgia)
- No. 61 — McKinnley Jackson, DT
- No. 62 — Alfred Collins, DE
- No. 66 — Xzavier Henderson, WR (committed to Florida)
- No. 75 — Jahmyr Gibbs, RB (committed to Georgia Tech)
While not verbally committed, Williams and Collins are seen as virtual locks to sign with Florida (HERE) and Texas (HERE). Alabama is a heavy favorite to land Jackson, who is scheduled to announce his decision at 9:30 a.m. ET.
At the moment, Van Pran will announce at 10 a.m. ET. Collins will make the Longhorn faithful wait until 3:50 ET to put his Herbie Hancock on a National Letter of Intent.
One final note as to how far National Signing Day has fallen off the radar: ESPN will air just three hours of coverage this year. From 3-4 p.m. ET. And then from 9-11 p.m. ET. On ESPNU.
As they say, there’s your sign.