Oregon is making waves as Bama rules signing day

Oregon made waves on Day 1 of the early signing period when five-star safety Peyton Bowen turned his commitment from Notre Dame to the Ducks — but that wasn’t the only big event Oregon had on Wednesday, as head coach Dan Lanning and his team turned heads. The staff moved from outside the top 10 in the class rankings to No. 6 overall.

The week didn’t start on the right foot, however, when five-star quarterback Dante Moore turned his commitment from Oregon to UCLA.

The Ducks quickly made amends and flipped ESPN 300 quarterback Austin Novosad from Baylor. The Ducks were also in a recruiting battle with USC and Ohio State for ESPN 300 defensive tackle Matayo Uiagalelei, the younger brother of former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and a prospect 65th overall. Oregon won that battle, too.

The Ducks also flipped to four-star running back Jayden Lemar from Washington and ESPN 300 cornerback Daylen Austin from LSU. In total, Oregon now has 12 commitments worth 300 ESPN.

The Ducks may have moved up the class ratings with all the action from today, but it’s the Alabama Crimson Tide that will finish at the top of the class ratings.

Alabama finished behind Texas A&M last cycle, and Coach Nick Saban ensured his program came out on top in the 2023 cycle. He turned over five-star offensive tackle Kaden Proctor of Iowa before the early signing period began.

Then Alabama got commitments from fellow five-stars Jaquavious Russaw and James Smith on Wednesday. Russaw is a No. 7 prospect overall and Smith a No. 10 prospect. Those two pledges, plus Proctor, give the Crimson Tide four five-star commitments in the category, more than any other program.

Saban was able to get these much needed recruits as well as hold on to recruits already committed to Alabama. ESPN 300 safety Tony Mitchell and five-star Caleb Downs were both trying to pull them away from Alabama, but both signed with the Crimson Tide.

Georgia started the day second in the standings behind Alabama, and while it was a good day for the Dogs, the tide could not have been at the top.

Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart made it interesting, despite getting a commitment from ESPN 300 cornerback Daniel Harris and ESPN 300 defensive end Damon Wilson on Wednesday.

Miami also attempted to move up the standings from its third-place position with the addition of ESPN 300 cornerback Damari Brown, who picked the Hurricanes over Alabama.

Michigan added two top 300 commitments on Wednesday in receiver Karmello English and cornerback Jyaire Hill. The Wolverines have been active in the transfer gate as well, securing commitments from Stanford University offensive linemen Miles Hinton and Drake Nugent, Arizona State offensive lineman Ladarius Henderson, and freshman Nebraska linebacker Ernest Houseman, among others.

Rival Ohio State managed to get a commitment from ESPN 300 defensive end Joshua Meekins, the 205th prospect and the Buckeyes’ needed position.

The Wolverines and Buckeyes have both created coaches who are solidified in this recruiting class, but some newer coaches at various programs have been trying to navigate the early signing period with only a few weeks of preparation.

New Auburn coach Hugh Freese managed to turn around ESPN 300 cornerback Cayenne Lee of Ohio State and defensive end Kildrick Faulk of Florida State and climb the rankings from outside the Top 40 to 29th overall.

Colorado coach Deon Sanders, who shocked the college football world in the 2022 tournament on his first signing day as Jackson State coach by turning over five-star cornerback Travis Hunter of Florida State, was trying to make another big day with the class of 2023.

He was able to add some big pieces — including his son, Shedeur Sanders, a Jackson State quarterback who officially committed Wednesday to play with his dad at Colorado.

Sanders was able to turn around ESPN 300 running back Notre Dame’s Dylan Edwards before the early signing period began, and ESPN 300 receiver Adam Hopkins added Wednesday.

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