The advent of an early signing day in December has drastically altered the recruiting landscape in college football. No longer is the first Wednesday of February the watershed day when the vast majority of major recruits put pen to paper on their national letters of intent.
However, that doesn’t mean there is a lack of significant prospects that delay an early decision or important calls being made by fast-rising recruits that finalize their school choice on the previous day that dominated the calendar. And those decisions will impact the outlook for the successes and disappointments from this year’s recruiting cycle.
So with programs — especially those with new coaching staffs — given a second bite at the apple in recruiting, a look at the winners and losers of this year’s two combined signing days.
It’s remarkable what the Aggies have done in finishing with the consensus No. 1 class. The group is notable for its diversity among positions. QB Connor Weigman addresses a significant need. He is joined on offense by receivers Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall. Defensive linemen Walter Nolen and Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy lead that side of the ball. The late signing period brought further reinforcements with DL Shermar Stewart. Jimbo Fisher’s haul is the story of signing day as it represents a major step in Texas A&M being able to go toe-to-toe with Georgia and Alabama on and off the field.
The Nittany Lions are another program in need of major recruiting successes to reach the top of their conference. James Franklin delivered with one of the school’s best classes since his arrival in 2014. Ranked comfortably in the top 10, the highlight of the group is QB Drew Allar, who Franklin pulled from the state of Ohio. Five-star DL Dani Dennis-Sutton should provide immediate help along with RB Nicholas…