1. One theme remained constant throughout: Georgia kept putting together one hell of a class.
The Dawgs entered the day No. 2 behind Ohio State, then added five-star CB Tyson Campbell, flipped a couple four-star linebackers, and added four-star WR Tommy Bush from Texas. That final signing was the one that really took this class from best in the country to “holy s***.”
Recruiting’s been covered for decades, but recruiting rankings really became a national thing around 2002. Here’s how the best recruiting classes have stacked up in the 247Sports Composite both by raw class score and average class score since then.
After the Early Signing Period, Georgia’s recruiting class had an average player score of 93.20 and a raw class score of 311.88 on the 247Sports Composite. Their surge on National Signing Day brought them to 323.3, or a few five-stars better than a class that could’ve ranked No. 1 in several recent years.
The Dawgs are lapping the SEC East, to say the last.
2. The day’s wildest moment:
This was one of the more unfortunate moments of the day, to say the least, featuring four-star WR Jacob Copeland. His mom, clad in Alabama and Tennessee gear, left after he picked Florida.
The good news is that she came back out, though!
And there are evidently no hard feelings.
What my mama did today was hilarious if you knew her personally that’s her job. PUT ON A SHOW! ♂️— Jacob Copeland (@JCope1era) February 7, 2018
3. Alabama’s streak is finally over.
This wasn’t all too surprising, given that Bama’s class was ranked sixth heading into Signing Day, and there weren’t too many targets left who could give the Tide a big boost. Still, 2018 marked the first time in seven years the Nick Saban didn’t ink the No. 1 overall class, and it’s Bama’s lowest-ranked class since 2007.
Some of the biggest misses included four-star receiver and Clemson signee Justyn Ross (the state of Alabama’s No. 1 prospect), Copeland, and Walker.
4. But the Tide did get the day’s highest-rated remaining recruit, Patrick Surtain Jr.
Surtain picked the Tide over LSU, Clemson, and Miami. LSU had long been considered his likely choice, making this a big miss for Ed Orgeron’s class.
5. Ohio State’s class would’ve ranked No. 1 in almost any other year.
6. Remember how everybody left the state of Texas last year?
Not the case this time, with Tom Herman’s Longhorns leading the way.
7. USC had a monstrous Signing Day.
The Trojans’ class was long on quality and short on numbers, so it added a whole lot of both, leaping to No. 4 in the final rankings.
The top 30 uncommitted recruits going into the day have all decided. Here's where they're going. Heck of a haul for USC. pic.twitter.com/Y4AtNWnivx— Max Olson (@max_olson) February 7, 2018
8. Fun announcements!
Olaijah Griffin picked USC via a huge confetti balloon burst open by his father, who happens to be rapper Warren G.
We saw a Chucky doll during four-star linebacker Andrew Chatfield’s commitment to Florida, continuing a Gator tradition started by Dominique Easley and Dante Fowler Jr.
When Bush announced he was signing with Georgia, it sounded like his crying niece wanted him to pick Texas instead.
During Walker’s flip to Georgia, he grabbed a Tennessee hat, then chucked it away. The uninitiated might have thought Walker would then reaffirm his Bama commitment, but — plot twist! — he then revealed a Georgia shirt.
And Tre’Shaun Harrison’s mom announced his commitment to Florida State by tomahawk chopping behind some cheerleaders.
IT'S OFFICIAL! Garfield's Tre'Shaun Harrison is heading to Florida State. The 4-star football standout chose FSU over Oregon, Tenn. & Utah. pic.twitter.com/rS8wuYkM57— Patrick Quinn (@PatrickQuinnTV) February 7, 2018
9. Tennessee didn’t have a fun day.
The Vols lost a pair of commits to Florida State, missed on a bunch of four-stars, were on the receiving end of Walker’s hat fake, had their logo on the head of Copeland’s disappointed mom, and saw linebacker Tennessee Pututau sign with Utah. That last part is a joke, yes. We’re joking among friends. Still, things in general are looking up for the Vols.
LSU also had a rocky day, missing on two critical signees (Surtain and QB Justin Rogers).
10. Clemson got five different states’ No. 1 prospects.
Dabo Swinney brought in a pound-for-pound behemoth, including the top-rated player each from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and South Carolina. Those are Ross, defensive end Xavier Thomas (technically not a Floridian, but he played his high school ball at IMG Academy), quarterback Trevor Lawrence, offensive tackle Jackson Carman, and receiver Derion Kendrick.
11. Penn State is back back.
In case the New Year’s Six games weren’t enough evidence, the Nittany Lions are now recruiting as well as they ever have.
12. The day’s best announcement by a school:
Austin Peay broke out NCAA 14 for each of its new players.
In @Coach_heals' create a class, the Govs have already added Garrett Bell as a bruising offensive lineman in our December signing period!#Elevate18#MissionPossible #BeAGovBeAChampion pic.twitter.com/pX1BicHOwa— Austin Peay Football (@AustinPeayFB) February 7, 2018
13. Shout out to some under-the-radar great classes!
14. Texas A&M closed out strong during Jimbo Fisher’s first NSD in College Station.
The Aggies entered in the 30s, with about a dozen players still on the board. They had a successful day, adding five four-stars, including defensive lineman Bobby Brown’s flip from Alabama and Foster, NSD’s top uncommitted QB who’ll actually suit up in 2018 (Stanford signee Tanner McKee is taking two years off for a church mission).
Fisher’s first class ended 17th overall, good for sixth in the SEC.
15. Where are your jokes about Herm Edwards’ first Signing Day now?
Ha! Arizona State’s class ranks No. 75 in the middle of Signing Day! Giggle! When will Herm stop joking on ESPN2 about wondering how to draft college players? Guffaw!
And then, after an afternoon flurry, the Sun Devils finished No. 36. That’s right around Todd Graham’s standards over the last few years and a respectable effort for a first-time college head coach. We still think this whole Edwards experiment is a bizarre idea, but the jokes should die down for a while.
16. If you wanna make jokes ... hey there, Michigan!
17. Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Notre Dame also had nice Signing Days.
Each added multiple new four-stars and hadn’t really been mentioned already in here.
18. How about Cincinnati and Princeton?
The Bearcats finished with the Group of 5’s best class, jumping to No. 47 after adding four-star Ohio tight end Leonard Taylor, while Princeton topped FCS with a class that included a recruiting win over Alabama.
19. Lol, some team Twitter accounts were briefly suspended.
Texas’ Twitter account went down the Tuesday before Signing Day, and USF’s, Missouri’s, and Georgia’s were out on Wednesday morning.
If you tried to go to Mizzou’s page to get NSD news on Signing Day morning, here’s what you saw:
Some of the issues had to do with with copyrighted music being used in videos, as a Missouri football staffer pointed out:
Twitter dinged us and probably every other football account for using copyrighted songs. Been using them for years, but they just started making claims in the last week+— Shawn Davis (@ShawnDizzle77) February 7, 2018
It wouldn’t be Signing Day without something breaking.