Early National Signing Day 2018: Day 1 Recruit Commitments and Reaction

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Early National Signing Day 2018: Day 1 Recruit Commitments and Reaction
Alabama helmets lay with confetti after overtime of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Georgia Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta. Alabama won 26-23. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Alabama continues to crush the recruiting cycle. 

The defending champions crushed the early national signing day on Wednesday, landing 5-star running back Trey Sanders, 5-star offensive tackle Evan Neal and defensive end Antonio Alfano. Sanders is ranked as the No. 5 overall recruit in the nation and the top player at his position, while Neal comes in at No. 20 overall and is the fifth-ranked offensive tackle. Alfano is the No. 28 player overall and No. 3 at his position.

The Crimson Tide currently sit atop 247Sports’ composite team rankings for the class of 2019, which is par for the course in the Nick Saban era. 

And Sanders expects to hit the ground running in Tuscaloosa:

For good measure, the Crimson Tide also flipped 4-star safety Jordan Battle from Ohio State. Oh, and they also added Tua Tagovailoa‘s younger brother, 4-star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa:

They even got the top kicker prospect in the country, Will Reichard:

It wasn’t all fun and games for the Crimson Tide, however, as the top safety recruit in the country, 5-star Daxton Hill, flipped his commitment from Alabama to Michigan:

Alabama also has Georgia nipping on its heels in the class of 2019, as the Bulldogs landed their fifth 5-star recruit on Wednesday, with inside linebacker Nakobe Dean committing to Georgia. He joined the top recruit in the nation, defensive end Nolan Smith, alongside 5-stars in center Clay Webb, defensive tackle Travon Walker and wideout Dominick Blaylock.

Dean’s recruitment came down to the wire, as Chad Simmons of Rivals noted:

Ultimately, however, the Bulldogs got their man.

As for the No. 2 prospect in the land, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux officially signed with the Oregon Ducks.

Over in Norman, the Oklahoma Sooners have fielded the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. So it was only fitting that the program would also add the top quarterback in the country on Wednesday when Spencer Rattler officially signed with the school.

The Ohio State Buckeyes haven’t had a vintage recruiting cycle, likely in part to Urban Meyer‘s decision to leave the team, though they did land the No. 4 overall recruit in the class of 2019, defensive end Zach Harrison. That decision earned the seal of approval from Nick Bosa, who could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft:

South Carolina got a major boost to its recruiting class when 5-star defensive lineman Zacch Pickens committed to the Gamecocks. And he might play more than just defense for the team:

As for some of the notable 4-star players, Arizona State landed a pair of twins, USC brought aboard a two-sport star, North Carolina nabbed a quarterback and Florida won the chase for the Lakeland Trio:

It was a busy day in college football, with a large number of players taking a step forward in their football careers. And yet when the dust settled, a familiar theme emerged: Alabama won the day. 

Yet again.

The early signing period runs through Friday, though, so plenty could still happen.

                      

Note: All commitments and recruiting ranks via 247Sports’ composite rankings.

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