National Signing Day 2020: Top 10 classes, takeaways from early signing period

Sporting News

College football's early signing period opened Wednesday, and the best programs in the nation restocked with four- and five-star talent for 2020.

Recruits have a 72-hour period to sign to their school of choice, and several teams got a head start on putting together a five-star class.

Here is a look at the top 10 classes, according to 247Sports.com, and one big takeaway for each of those classes.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

SIGNING DAY WINNERS & SURPRISES:
Clemson, Ohio State, SEC powers clean up with top 2020 classes

National Signing Day 2020: Top 10 recruiting classes

1. Clemson

Five stars: QB DJ Uiagalelei, DE Bryan Bresee, DE Myles Murphy, RB Demarkcus Bowman, CB Fred Davis II, DT Demonte Capehart

One big takeaway: Tajh Boyd had C.J. Spiller. Deshaun Watson had Wayne Gallman. Trevor Lawrence has Travis Etienne, and DJ Uiagalelei (St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif.), the top quarterback in the 2020 class, the No. 1 quarterback in this class will settle in at the college level with Demarkcus Bowman (Lakeland, Lakeland, Fla.). Uiagalelei will have a year to learn behind Lawrence, too, something that didn’t happen with his predecessors. This is Dabo Swinney’s best class yet.

2. Alabama

Five stars: QB Bryce Young, DE Chris Braswell, ATH Drew Sanders

Big takeaway: The Crimson Tide won’t have the top class for the second time in three years, but Alabama lured away the other blue-chip quarterback from the West Coast in Bryce Young (Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.). The fact Steve Sarkisian pulled Young away from USC is ironic, and it gives Alabama depth at the position that could face life after Tua Tagovailoa this offseason. Braswell (St. Frances Academy, Baltimore) should be an impact player on defense.

3. Ohio State

Five stars: WR Julian Fleming, T Paris Johnson

One big takeaway: The beat goes on with Ryan Day. The Buckeyes have the best class in the Big Ten again, which is significant knowing Michigan briefly took that away last year. Day brought in Julian Fleming (Southern Columbia, Catawissa, Pa.), the best receiver in this year’s class. He’s not the only big-time receiver. Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Rockwall, Rockwall, Texas), Gee Scott Jr. (Eastside Catholic, Sammamish, Wash.) and Mookie Cooper (Pattonville, Maryland Heights, Mo.) give the Buckeyes a loaded quartet to build around for the next quarterback – who could be four-star quarterback Jack Miller (Chaparral, Scottsdale, Ariz.) or C.J. Stroud (Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), who committed Wednesday.

MORE: Full list of early signing day commitments

4. LSU

Five stars: CB Elias Ricks, TE Arik Gilbert, WR Rakim Jarrett

One big takeaway: Call it the Joe Brady effect. Five-star targets Arik Gilbert (Marietta, Marietta, Ga.) is a huge out-of-state get, and Elias Ricks (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.) will continue the trend of big-time cornerbacks landing in Baton Rouge. The Tigers added four-star tackle Marcus Dumervil (St. Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and four-star linebacker Phillip Webb (Lanier, Buford, Ga.) on Wednesday. Ed Orgeron took advantage of the spoils of winning a SEC championship and converted it into the Tigers’ best class since 2014. The only big misses was losing five-star receiver Rakim Jarrett (St. John's College, Washington, D.C.), who flipped to Maryland; and Jermaine Burton (Calabasas, Calabassas, Calif.), who flipped to Georgia.

5. Georgia

Five stars: LB Mekhail Sherman, T Broderick Jones

One big takeaway: Kirby Smart continues to hammer Georgia and Florida, and that landed a potential replacement for Andrew Thomas in 6-5, 275-pound tackle Broderick Jones (Lithonia, Lithonia, Ga.). The biggest get for the Bulldogs was Mekhail Sherman (St. John’s College, Washington D.C.). The Bulldogs reeled in another elite class, but they are competing with Alabama and LSU. On Wednesday, Georgia added a speedster in Arian Smith (Lakeland, Lakeland, Fla.) and flipped Burton from LSU. The receiving talent will not be an issue in the near future.

6. Texas A&M

Five stars: WR Demond Demas

One big takeaway: Jimbo Fisher reeled in a second straight top-five class, and he did that by bringing in two big-time playmakers at receiver in Demond Demas (Tomball, Tomball, Texas) and Muhsin Muhammad III (Myers Park, Charlotte, N.C.). The quarterback in this class is Haynes King (Longview, Longview, Texas), a dual-threat quarterback with gaudy statistics. Fisher has upgraded the overall talent at Texas A&M and is competing on this front with the other SEC powerhouses. When will that translate on the field?

7. Auburn

Five stars: RB Tank Bigsby

One big takeaway: Yet another SEC school in the top 10, and the Tigers built this class around a much-needed impact running back in Tank Bigsby (Callaway, Hogansville, Ga.). He should be a welcome addition in the running game with sophomore quarterback Bo Nix next season. Auburn landed four-star tight end Jeremiah Pegues (Oxford, Oxford Miss.), four-star linebacker Desmond Tisdol (Wilcox County, Rochelle, Ga.) and four-star safety Eric Reed (Calvary Baptist Academy, Shreveport, La.) on Wednesday. Gus Malzahn has maintained top-10 recruiting classes throughout his tenure at Auburn. This class is no exception.

8. Florida

Five stars: None

One big takeaway: Dan Mullen loaded up with another four-star heavy class, but the most-hypd player is already practicing with the team. Dual-threat quarterback Anthony Richardson (Eastside, Gainesville, Fla.) is a home-town hero who could get in the mix with Kyle Trask and Emory Jones for what should be an exciting quarterback competition this spring. Mullen landed seven in-state players with a ranking of four stars or higher.

9. Oklahoma

Five stars: None

One big takeaway: This is the lowest-ranked class among the College Football Playoff teams, but Lincoln Riley continues to bring in top-10 classes to Norman. This one emphasized the offensive line, and he brought in the top two guards in Nate Anderson (Reedy, Frisco, Texas) and Andrew Raym (Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow, Okla.). The Sooners brought in four offensive linemen with a four-star ranking or better, and that is good news for incoming running backs Seth McGowan (Poteet, Mesquite, Texas) and Jase McClellan (Aledo, Aledo, Texas).

10. Texas

Five stars: RB Bijan Robinson

One big takeaway: Bijan Robinson (Salpointe, Tucson, Ariz.) is the marquee player in another top-10 class for the Longhorns, and Hudson Card (Lake Travis, Austin, Texas) is the next big quarterback from that quarterback pipeline. Tom Herman has elevated the recruiting with the last three classes, but this one fell off the top spot in the Big 12 and out of the top five. Texas will need to win more games in 2020 to keep that momentum moving in the right direction.

What to read next