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Miami had a full class worth of decommitments in 2016. Don't worry too much about early recruiting rankings

A class of just the Hurricanes' decommits would have ranked 22nd in the country.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If there's any lesson we've learned in the recent sped-up recruiting cycle, early commitments don't mean all that much. And it's more important to land high quality players early than a high quantity of players.

It's been less than two weeks since 2016 recruits signed with their new schools, but 2017 recruiting has been happening for months — even years — now. Ohio State and Miami have 11 and 10 commits, respectively, and are two of the teams off to the fastest starts. Thirteen schools have at least five commits.

Early commitments have become more common as offers have come earlier in the cycle, but they also mean recruits are making decisions before having all of their potential offers in.

Last year's Miami class is a clear example of how early class results can be misleading. The Hurricanes had 20 players committed on April 14, 2015, and only 11 of them actually ended up signing with the program.

Player Commitment date First commitment Final school
Michael Pinckney 6/21/2014 Miami Miami
Jack Allison 6/23/2014 Miami Miami
Shaquille Quarterman 6/24/2014 Miami Miami
Dionte Mullins 7/4/2014 Miami Miami
Sam Bruce 7/8/2014 Miami Miami
Ahmmon Richards 7/22/2014 Miami Miami
Zach McCloud 11/17/2014 Miami Miami
Joseph Jackson 1/25/2015 Miami Miami
Amir Rasul 1/25/2015 Miami Florida State
Cedrick Wright 1/25/2015 Miami Miami
Devin Gill 1/26/2015 Miami Michigan
Tyler Byrd 2/3/2015 Miami Tennessee
Evan Hinson 2/13/2015 Miami South Carolina
James Wiggins 2/13/2015 Miami Cincinnati
McArthur Burnett 2/16/2015 Miami Florida
Greg Simmons 2/18/2015 Miami Nebraska
Deion Jackson 2/24/2015 Miami Undecided
Joshua Uche 3/10/2015 Miami Michigan
Jaquwan Nelson 3/21/2015 Miami Syracuse
Zack Moss 4/1/2015 Miami Utah
Total with Miami N/A 20 11

Miami had a unique situation last year, with Al Golden's hot seat, Golden's firing, a long interim coaching tenure and Mark Richt's eventual hiring, but throughout the process, the Hurricanes best exemplified a system in which early commits don't actually mean all that much.

Overall, Miami had 25 decommits in 2016. Of those, 22 came before those recruits' senior seasons even started. Some decommitted, while others lost their offers. Here's the list, from State of the U's Cameron Underwood.

Player Original commitment date What happened? Final school
Chauncey Gardner 6/8/2013 Decommitted Florida
Dredrick Snelson 7/12/2014 Decommitted UCF
Ahmmon Richards 7/22/2014 Decommitted, recommitted Miami
Zach McCloud 11/17/2014 Decommitted, recommitted Miami
Amir Rasul 1/25/2015 Decommitted Florida State
Keyshon Camp 1/25/2015 Decommitted Pitt
Devin Gil 1/26/2015 Decommitted, dropped by Miami Michigan
Tyler Byrd 2/3/2015 Decommitted Tennessee
Evan Hinson 2/13/2015 Dropped by Miami South Carolina
James Wiggins 2/13/2015 Dropped by Miami Cincinnati
McArthur Burnett 2/16/2015 Decommitted Florida
Isaiah Johnson 2/16/2015 Decommitted Washington State
Greg Simmons 2/18/2015 Decommitted, dropped by Miami Nebraska
Deion Jackson 2/24/2015 Dropped by Miami Undecided
Joshua Uche 3/10/2015 Decommitted Michigan
Jaquwan Nelson 3/21/2015 Dropped by Miami Syracuse
Zack Moss 4/1/2015 Decommitted Utah
James Pierre 5/18/2015 Decommitted North Carolina
Reginald Henderson 6/2/2015 Decommitted, dropped by Miami Middle Tennessee
Izon Pulley 6/2/2015 Decommitted Illinois
Walvenski Aime 6/10/2015 Decommitted Florida State
Jawaan Taylor 8/22/2015 Decommitted Florida
Jawon Hamilton 11/22/2015 Dropped by Miami UCF
Desmond Phillips 11/25/2015 Dropped by Miami Toledo
Latrell Williams 1/17/2016 Decommitted Tennessee

Incredibly, that class of decommitted players would rank 22nd in the nation, according to the 247Sports class calculator — right behind Miami's current class at No. 21.

While Miami's case might have been extreme — though it's a good warning sign that shows how unpredictable college football's coaching carousel is — it's not unique to have players leave after committing early, either after they've been reevaluated by the staff, or after they leave. Michigan, for instance, pulled the offer of its longest-committed player, plus others who had been committed for a long time.

Early commits don't even last at quarterback, the position many classes are built around. Take last year's quarterbacks class: 17 of the top 18 2016 quarterback recruits were committed by July of 2015, but four of them are now at different schools, and four dropped out of the top 18 in the rankings.

Whether it's due to commits finding greener pastures later, or coaches reevaluating recruits they've offered, the current recruiting rankings are unlikely to look like way next February.