Montgomery (Ala.) Carver teammates James Smith and Jaquavious Russaw took visits to Auburn. Florida tried to get involved. Georgia was seriously in the mix for a while, but in the end it was Alabama that won out for both of them. There were no games played or surprises as the Crimson Tide landed two of the best in-state players and defensive linemen who could have a major impact. On Tuesday, Alabama flipped five-star offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor from Iowa and the Tide also kept four-star corner Tony Mitchell, who flirted hard with Texas A&M and Auburn.
It was Flipmas for new coach Hugh Freeze as the Tigers flipped elite four-star defensive end Keldric Faulk from Florida State, where he had been committed to since July, and things got perked up after he visited both the Seminoles and the Tigers this past weekend. Four-star cornerback Kayin Lee also flipped and he had been committed to Ohio State since June. Those were two big ones and the day before signing day Auburn also loaded up by landing pledges from QB Hank Brown and JUCO OL Izavion Miller and JUCO DL Quientrail Jamison-Travis.
The big fish for Georgia on Wednesday was beating Ohio State for five-star defensive end Damon Wilson, but there were other positives on what was a relatively quiet day for the Bulldogs’ standards. Three-star RB Kyron Jones was committed to NC State but flipped to Georgia late, four-star cornerback Daniel Harris came back in the fold and picked the Dawgs over Penn State and after flirting with Auburn, Colorado and others, four-star Bo Hughley stuck with Georgia.
There were bigger storylines throughout the day, but Maryland had a nice finish by flipping local prospect Neeo Avery from Ole Miss along with three-star athlete Tamarcus Cooley, who had been pledged to NC State since July 4. In the days leading up to Wednesday, the Terrapins also landed commitments from talented three-star defensive ends Dylan Gooden and Rico Walker.
Landing Malachi Coleman was enough to make this list. He was committed to Nebraska previously and getting a guy like him back in the fold after a coaching change is hard enough, especially after Colorado coach Deion Sanders and others made a run at him. But that’s just what first-year coach Matt Rhule did as the high four-star athlete from Lincoln (Neb.) East re-committed to Nebraska on Wednesday. The Huskers also flipped three-star DT Vincent Carroll-Jackson from Syracuse.
Arguably no team had a better signing day than Oregon as the Ducks landed five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei, who picked them over USC and Ohio State and unexpectedly got five-star safety Peyton Bowen, although as of Wednesday evening his paperwork had not shown up in Eugene and there was a reported disagreement among his family about which school he should pick. Four-star quarterback Austin Novosad was also a major pickup from Baylor as he visited this past weekend following Dante Moore’s flip to UCLA, and four-star cornerback Daylen Austin flipped from LSU to the Ducks. Add in three-star Solomon Davis and it was a phenomenal day.
In the days leading up to Wednesday, Texas A&M had a big finish by flipping four-star quarterback Marcel Reed from Ole Miss, three-star linebacker Taurean York from Baylor and four-star tight end Jaden Platt from Stanford. It was a relatively quiet signing day for the Aggies, but they did land three-star linebacker Chantz Johnson and four-star athlete Micah Tease, who had been committed to Arkansas since the summer.
How did former five-star Travis Hunter’s YouTube page go from 72,000 followers to more than 102,000 in one day? Simple. Hunter said on social media during the height of signing day that if he got over 100,000 he would announce his next school after transferring out of Jackson State. The leading contenders: following coach Deion Sanders to Colorado or going to Georgia.
First-year coach Deion Sanders talked a big game heading into signing day, and Colorado could still do a ton of work in the transfer portal, but it was a pretty humdrum day – although the news got a little brighter later in the evening when the Buffaloes learned they had landed Travis Hunter.
Still, Malachi Coleman picked Nebraska after visiting Boulder last week and four-star edge/OLB Tausili Akana did the same. After trying to get five-star WR Hykeem Williams late he stuck with Florida State. There seems to be major traction with five-star corner Cormani McClain, but we’ll see where that goes.
The loss of four-star running back Jayden Limar to Oregon was telegraphed days ago as it was clear the Ducks were going to win out, especially after the Lake Stevens, Wash., standout visited Eugene again last weekend. It still hurts. Notre Dame did everything it could to hang on to five-star safety Peyton Bowen and the Irish still might, but he did announce a flip to Oregon, and as of this writing it seems like Oklahoma might have a say in this as well.
Rarely does Ohio State make this list, but it was a pretty tough day as the Buckeyes lost out on top targets. Matayo Uiagalelei went to Oregon. Damon Wilson picked Georgia. Kayin Lee flipped to Auburn. As of this writing, four-star DB Jayden Bonsu hadn’t signed. A week or so ago, five-star Keon Keeley picked Alabama over the Buckeyes. Rarely does Ohio State not get its way, but this was one of those times.