It can get lost in bowl season and holiday shuffles, but Wednesday was the first day that recruits for the class of 2023 could sign with their favorite schools.
Recruits have three days in December to sign with the schools before the traditional signing day in February. Most players choose to sign during the early signing period, but there will still be players signing on in February, especially as teams sort out who will be on their rosters in 2023 thanks to the transfer portal.
Here’s what you need to know to keep up with what happened on Wednesday. For more in-depth employment news and analysis, go to Rivals.
Oregon is making waves with 7 new commitments
Oregon made headlines on the first day of the early signing period by acquiring six new minor league commitments and a high-profile transfer. Of those six additions, two are five-star and four are committed to different schools when the day began.
The headliner for that group was former Notre Dame All-Star, Peyton Bowen. Bowen has been committed to the Irish for nearly a year, but he pulled off a stellar signing day at a party on Wednesday morning. Bowen put on his Notre Dame cap before quickly taking it off and announcing for Oregon.
Soon after, another five-star Oregon State was announced. This time it was Matayo Oyagalele, a defensive end from California. Uiagalelei was thought to lean toward Ohio State or USC at various points during his recruiting, but ended up signing with Oregon State.
Earlier Wednesday, Oregon announced the signing of four-star quarterback Austin Novosad, who was committed to Baylor. The Ducks lacked a QB in the class of 2023 after five-star prospect Dante Moore flipped to UCLA this week.
The news did not stop there. Two other four-stars will be flipping for Oregon as well – cornerback Dylan Austin and running back Jayden Lemar. Austin was committed to LSU while Limar was another Notre Dame pledge.
Although not a move, three-star wide receiver Solomon Davis committed to Oregon State on Wednesday to make it six additions in 2023.
The cherry on top came Wednesday night when Ajani Cornelius – one of the most sought-after players in the transfer portal – was next announced for Oregon. Cornelius, an offensive lineman from the University of Rhode Island, chose Oregon over Ohio State, Tennessee and Nebraska.
Oregon State reaches 28 commitments in Dan Lanning’s first full recruiting cycle as Ducks head coach. For these efforts, Oregon State is as high as #8 in the Rivals team rankings as of the time of writing.
Alabama is ahead of Georgia, Texas and Ohio
Alabama has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country again.
The Crimson Tide signed 27 players Wednesday to lead the Rivals recruiting rankings for the third time in five years.
Alabama signed three five-star players in its class, including offensive tackle Kaden Proctor. The Iowa native was verbally committing but on Tuesday flipped to Alabama. The 6-foot-8, 335-pound Proctor is the No. 14 player in the country and the No. 1 offensive tackle in the Class of 2023.
DB Caleb Downs and DE Keon Keeley are the other two five-star Tide players. Kelly is the No. 8 player at Florida while Downs is the No. 1 player at Georgia.
Alabama also had commitments Wednesday afternoon from fellow four-star high school seniors in Jaquavious Russaw and James Smith. Two defensive linemen announced their decisions at a signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon. Rousseau is the No. 3 player in the state while Smith is behind him at No. 5.
The Tide also signed four-star players after they lost to Texas in the Arch Manning lottery. Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan both made their commitments to the Alabama official on Wednesday. Holstein is the No. 10 pro-style QB, according to Rivals while Lonergan ranks No. 12.
There are some familiar faces behind Alabama in the rankings, too. Georgia ranks second in the nation while Ohio ranks fourth behind Texas. The Bulldogs signed 25 players on Wednesday, including five-star DE Samuel M’Pemba and 19 four-star recruits.
The Buckeyes’ class of 20 includes two five-star wide receivers to continue their exceptional run from wide poles. Carnell Tate and Brandon Ennis lead the Ohio State class after making a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes in June. Inniss and Tate are the two top wide receivers in the class of 2023, according to Rivals, and Ohio State also signed the No. 14 receiver in the class in Noah Rogers.
Arch Manning makes it official, signing with Texas
Arch Manning is officially the Texas Longhorn. A highly regarded QB recruit signed his Letter of Intent as part of Texas’ No. 3 recruiting class.
Manning’s signing had been long anticipated. Manning’s family was clear that there would be no drama surrounding his draft and his verbal commitment to the Longhorns was very strong. He is also expected to catch up early in January with Texas State to get a head start during spring practice.
The nation’s highest-ranked recruit joins Anthony Hill as five-star members of UT’s recruiting class. Hill is the No. 4 player in the state of Texas and the No. 1 linebacker in the country.
Texas also signed 12 four-star players in the class, and Manning was one of three players from Louisiana, along with high school classmate William Randle. The tight end with three stars is the 28th player in his position.
The Longhorns have made strengthening their offensive line a priority during the recruiting cycle as well. Texas signed five offensive linemen on Wednesday out of 10 offensive positions.
Miami has a top 5 class, but the top recruit doesn’t sign
Miami may have struggled on the field in the first year under Mario Cristobal, but the program has been amassing a great deal of talent behind the scenes.
Four-star defensive back Damari Brown became the 25th player to commit to Miami’s class of 2023, which currently ranks fifth in the Rivals’ team rankings. There are three five-star prospects in that group, including airline workers Francis Mawegwa and Samson Okunlola, both of whom signed their letters of intent on Wednesday.
Overall, Miami has six Rivals 100 team commitments and commitments from 11 of the top 50 players from Florida.
It was a massive effort in Cristobal’s first year on staff, but the biggest headline of the day surrounding Miami came from a committed player who didn’t sign his letter of intent.
Cormani McClain, the No. 3 player in the class as a whole, didn’t sign on Wednesday under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Even his high school expected him to attend the signing ceremony, but his mother announced that McClain would not be signing Wednesday.
McLean was considered a Florida lean when he initially pledged to Miami. There were also reports that Alabama was in hot pursuit. It was reported that Deon Sanders and Colorado took a late shot into the heart of McLean, one of the best players in the country.
TCU has its first top 20 class in seven years
The first playoff attempt in school history appears to have paid off in TCU’s recruiting path.
The Horned Frogs ended the first day of the early signing period with a recruiting class of No. 19 in the Rivals team rankings. While that ranking may not seem all that exceptional, it marks TCU’s highest ranking in Rivals’ rankings since the 2016 recruiting season.
TCU’s class of 2023 includes 24 commitments and eight four-star recruits. Wide receiver Cordale Russell is the No. 34 strongside receiver in the country and defensive end Avion Carter is the No. 25 strongside recruit in the class.
All but three UC recruits are from Texas.
TCU has also been successful in Gate Transfer. The Horned Frogs snagged commitments from former Alabama players JoJo Earle and Tommy Brockermeyer earlier in the month and picked up commitments from LSU’s Jack Bech and Florida’s Avery Heim the next.
Earl missed the start of the season with a foot injury before returning to play in eight games. He had 12 catches for 155 yards and two catches in 2022. Bech had 16 catches for 200 yards after getting 43 catches for 489 yards in 2021.
Hugh Freese and Auburn make the ground. The Tigers are up to No. 16 in the Rivals team rankings after receiving 10 new commitments in the past 10 days. Two of those came on Wednesday when four-star defensive tackle Kildrick Faulk flipped from Florida State and four-star cornerback Kane Lee flipped from Ohio State. Both are important pickups for Freeze.
Nebraska kept Lincoln Malachi Coleman Homepage. The state isn’t exactly the most fertile recruiting region, so it was pivotal for new Huskers head coach Matt Rule to get the signing of Coleman, the 65th player in the country. He did just that, securing Coleman’s commitment while holding off a late payment from Deion Sanders and Colorado. Nebraska has had 13 commitments since hiring Rhule and Coleman is the crown jewel of the group.
Texas A&M closed strong by upsetting several committed forecasts in the past few weeks. A&M turned on four-star athlete Mika Teese from Arkansas, four-star tight end Jaden Platt from Stanford, four-star quarterback Marcel Reed from Ole Miss, three-star linebacker Torrian York from Baylor, and quarterback Robin Owens II from Louisville. . . A&M reached No. 14 in the Team Rivals rankings.
Utah has the highest ranked recruiting class in the Rivals era. The first Rivals team rankings came out in 2002. Utah’s highest ever team ranking was No. 25 in 2017. As of this writing, the Utes are ranked No. 20 for the class of 2023. The Utes have 20 commitments and eight are rated as four stars. That includes bringing back John Randle Jr., who signed with the Utes on Wednesday over Kansas State.
Top 20 recruiting class in competitors
1. Alabama (27 commitments, 3 5 stars)
2- Georgia (26, 2)
3- Texas (22, 2)
4 – Ohio State (20, 2)
5- Miami (25, 3)
6. LSU (25, 1)
7. Notre Dame (24.0)
8- Oregon (28, 2)
9. Clemson (26, 0)
10- Oklahoma (24, 1)
11. Tennessee (25, 1)
12- Florida (20, 0)
13. USC (20, 2)
14. Texas A&M (18, 2)
15. Penn State (23, 0)
16. Auburn (19, 0)
17. Michigan (23, 0)
18- Arkansas (20, 0)
19. TCU (24, 0)
20. Utah (20, 0)
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