The first Wednesday of every February.
Since 1981, that particular spot on the calendar marks the final day that college football teams are able to sign recruits. However, the reintegration of the early signing window, which commences in December, has re-purposed “The Big Day.”
Most programs do their heaviest lifting in late December. Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, for example, signed 22 of their 25 incoming recruits prior to February 5th.
That’s not to undervalue the importance of the official signing day. The majority of coaches around the country use the opportunity to work on the following year’s recruiting class. One reporter, when speaking with Saban, even assumed Wednesday wasn’t a busy day for the head coach. Saban quickly corrected him in a vintage manner.
Sportswriter- "Coach Saban #NSD2020 wasn't very busy for you…"
Literally Everyone- "Oh No." pic.twitter.com/JP6EdChy61
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) February 5, 2020
Fans, coaches and even players can now also officially assess the state of their football program’s future.
The Top Ten
According to 247Sports, the nation’s top 10 recruiting classes are as follows:
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Clemson Tigers
- LSU Golden Tigers
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Auburn Tigers
- Florida Gators
- Texas Longhorns
- Tennessee Volunteers
Seven of the 10 programs on the list reside in the Southeastern Conference. Of all the teams, Clemson secured the most 5-star recruits with five. Auburn stands as the only program on 247Sports’ rankings that failed to secure a 5-star signing.
Florida and Alabama respectively secured the signatures of seventeen 4-star recruits.
It’s hard to predict how much of an impact a recruit will have on a team in their very first season with it. Although, looking at a team’s positional depth chart can be an accurate indicator.
One of Alabama’s four 5-star recruits comes by the name of Bryce Young — a talented, mobile quarterback out of Santa Ana, CA. This will give returning quarterback Mac Jones something to think about.
Saban discussed the strengths of his recruiting class on Wednesday in added depth.
Georgia’s Kirby Smart will also be pleased with the players he will have incoming next season. As the top-ranked class in the country, the Bulldogs will be excited about the arrival of 5-star OL Broderick Jones. Jones has the raw ability to help an offensive line that allowed 15 sacks last term.
Smart described the excitement regarding his top-ranked recruiting class on National Signing Day.
Lastly, the reigning champions of college football. With many of their high-profile players like QB Joe Burrow and RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire declaring for the NFL draft, traditionally quite a few key roster spots should open for young stars. LSU closed out the recruiting window at No. 5 on 247Sports’ list. Four-star running back Kevontre Bradford out of Lancaster, TX could be in line for a featured role as a result.
Coaches around the league have changed the way they go about their business over the last few seasons as February looms. An excessive supply of publications and reports detailing the potential of recruiting classes can derail some players — or teams.
But one thing is true for all coaches across the nation; They’ll be excited to get to work with their recent recruits.
States that have historically had the highest percentage of their high school football players recruited by a Division I school:
5. South Carolina#NationalSigningDay pic.twitter.com/LXU7F8enZR
— NCAA Research (@NCAAResearch) February 5, 2020