National Signing Day 2022: Early signing period winners and losers, college football recruiting rankings

The early signing period for the 2023 college football recruiting cycle opened on Wednesday National Signing Day Spotlight. Throughout the day we saw the rich get richer as well as some teams rush to the finish line with a strong close while others with high hopes finish with a whimper.

In the end, there are some familiar faces at the top of the pile as well as a surprising newcomer we’re not all used to escalating as a talking point. It’s a rapidly changing college football recruiting landscape, especially in the new world where the NIL reigns supreme, so it shouldn’t be all that shocking to see some new power players jump into the game over the next few cycles.

However, let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers now that National Signing Day 2022 here in mid-December has come to an end.


Alabama: Everything is right with the world. The Crimson Tide are back at the top of the recruitment rankings with six impressive five-star prospects from 247Sports Composite’s generated industry ratings. Of the 27 recruits hired in total, 26 recruits are rated four stars or higher with only one superstar joining the squad. They held on to Caleb Downs, the No. 1 safety in the nation, landed the No. 1 EDGE in the country in Keon Keeley and turned over the No. 1 offensive tackle nationally from Iowa, Kadyn Proctor.

GeorgiaThe No. 1 team in the country and the defending national champion is firmly entrenched as the No. 2 team in the world rankings. The Bulldogs turned on running back Kieron Jones of NC State to close out their season, but the big news was snarling a sharp rush from Florida’s Damon Wilson, a player he thought Ohio State was a favorite for, but the Dogs’ late push was preserved. him in the southeast.

OregonDante Moore: After Dante Moore’s stellar QB lost his start to the week, many felt sad in Eugene. Dan Lanning wasn’t among them, however, as the Ducks’ second-year coach shut out in sheer fury by pulling five-star EDGE Matayo Uiagalelei and five-star safety Peyton Bowen, tipping the latter off Notre Dame. Bowen wasn’t the only Irish committer at Oregon State, as Lanning ended the day by getting Irish committment running back Jayden Lemar. For good measure, Baylor quarterback commits Austin Novosad and LSU cornerback commits Daylen Austin. Now, there was no more sadness in Eugene.

Auburn: Speaking of ups and downs, Hugh Freese’s dismissal to start his tenure at Auburn had a number of its own with Tigers peeling Top247 cornerback Kayin Lee away from Ohio State and Top100 EDGE Keldric Faulk away from Florida State. It all comes a day after Auburn defeated in its fourth junior college offense Elizavon Miller. The Auburn program had zero recruiting momentum under Brian Harsin, but things seem to be changing with Freese at the helm of the Plains.

Texas: On Saturday night, Keonilei Akana served the game point for the Texas women’s volleyball team, the Louisville champions who gave the Longhorns the NCAA volleyball title. On Wednesday, her little brother, Tausili Akana, the No. 1 prospect at Utah, awarded another ‘Horns’ with a commitment from the No. 35 prospect overall. Oklahoma was on top entering Akana today, but defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski never quit in pursuit of Akana, who had the slickest background of any draftee advertising in his native Hawaii. But more importantly, on Wednesday, Texas got a signed National Letter of Intent from the nation’s #1 recruit, Arch Manning, giving recruit Steve Sarkeesian the crown jewel of his entire time in Austin up to this point.

University of California: The Bruins didn’t land anyone on Wednesday that changed the landscape, which is a good thing because the whole complexion of Chip Kelly’s recruit really changed when Oregon’s Dante Moore flipped this week. He is the highest rated offensive commit in UCLA’s modern recruiting era, is the highest rated recruit Kelly has ever had and may have the best chance of any 2023 quarterback to start as a true freshman. For UCLA, having the No. 1 player in the Midwest a year before moving up to the Big Ten was significant for this program.


Our Lady: The Irish aren’t necessarily losers, in the grand scheme of things, but they haven’t forgotten signing day. It looked like they might hold on to Bowen, who eventually ended up turning Oregon around. Things got worse when the Ducks also flipped Lemar. Although this season was good for most of the year, Bowen’s loss was particularly painful.

OklahomaSpeaking of losses, sooner he hoped to serve as Bowen’s beneficiaries. Instead, they watched as there wasn’t even a hat on the table for Oklahoma while Bowen picked Oregon. To make matters worse, they were Akana’s supposed leaders only to see him turn down the Sooners in favor of rival Red River Texas.

USC: The Trojans have the third most five stars in this category (3). Problem is, they announced USC for December – 2021. Today? They missed longtime local target Uiagalelei, who chose Oregon State. That was a huge loss for a team that needed help on defense and was looking for the perfect replacement for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Tuli Tuipulotu.

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