Recruiting is the lifeblood of each college football program. That has been true for many years, however the recruiting itself—and the best way groups go about it—has modified significantly over the previous couple of years, particularly because the introduction of a December signing interval in 2017. Now in its fifth 12 months, the “early” signing interval has changed the standard February signing day as the principle time for many groups to scoop up their future gamers. The loosening of switch guidelines over the past three years has additionally resulted in additional participant motion: Groups are compelled to think about not simply highschool athletes but additionally gamers on different lively rosters. Each sorts of prospects performed a job on this 12 months’s Nationwide Signing Day.



The December signing interval is open via Friday, however the majority of the shifting and shaking occurred on Wednesday. (The second and third days of the signing interval not often see a lot motion.) Now that the mud has settled, listed here are a number of key takeaways from Nationwide Signing Day 2021.

Key Takeaways From Nationwide Signing Day 2021

1. Jackson State Picked Up This Yr’s No. 1 Recruit

Within the recruiting rankings period that goes again to round 2002, an FCS faculty has by no means landed a No. 1-ranked recruit, or something near it. Neither has a traditionally Black college.

That was true till Wednesday, when the Deion Sanders-coached Jacksonville State Tigers flipped Rivals’ No. 1 overall recruit, cornerback Travis Hunter, from his verbal dedication to Florida State. There will likely be countless hypothesis about what led Hunter to make the historic dedication to JSU, together with whether or not or not he inked a reputation, picture, and likeness deal that the varsity someway facilitated.

What’s clear proper now could be that Sanders has pulled off a coup simply as Jackson State will get set to play South Carolina State within the Celebration Bowl on Saturday—with the FCS nationwide championship on the road. The Tigers are 11–1 this 12 months, they usually’ve lined up an opportunity to complete the 12 months with simply concerning the greatest splash potential.

2. JSU’s Achieve Was Florida State’s Loss

On Tuesday, FSU announced a one-year extension for head coach Mike Norvell that retains him beneath contract in Tallahassee via the 2026 season. Norvell is 8–13 in two seasons at FSU, however the faculty was evidently impressed sufficient by his recruiting efforts and a powerful end in 2021 to maintain him on. Then on Wednesday morning, he lost offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to Oregon. And on Wednesday afternoon, he misplaced Hunter, his prized recruit, to a group coached by Sanders, a beloved Florida State alum.

A small group of FSU followers began a Twitter house known as “Hearth Mike Norvell,” and well over 6,000 people joined it at one point. For hours, Seminoles followers let their head coach have it and urged the varsity to can him. That appears unimaginable in the meanwhile, however it’s exhausting to think about a worse day for Norvell.

3. QB Transfers Had been Among the Largest Signings of the Week

Recruiting is a year-round recreation now, and gamers already on faculty rosters are a giant a part of it. One of many greatest will get of the week for any group was a type of gamers: quarterback Quinn Ewers, the No. 1 total participant in final 12 months’s class, who introduced he’d switch from Ohio State to Texas. Ewers was caught behind Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud in Columbus, however he’ll be in line to start out in Austin, which will likely be good for each his football career and his endorsement deals.

Former Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler, the preseason Heisman frontrunner who misplaced his job to freshman Caleb Williams, introduced he’d play for South Carolina subsequent 12 months, along with his star tight end, Austin Stogner. (Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer labored at Oklahoma whereas each Rattler and Stogner performed there.)

Ex-UCF QB Dillon Gabriel is widely expected to switch to UCLA, whereas Texas A&M seems to be ready to pick up former LSU QB Max Johnson. Different switch passers like Bo Nix (from Auburn) and Kedon Slovis (from USC) are nonetheless in the marketplace.

The QB musical chairs will proceed, and the way they settle will have an effect on the 2022 season at the very least as a lot as anything that occurs on the recruiting path.

4. Texas A&M Moved Nearer to Competing With the High of the SEC

The Aggies haven’t suffered from an absence of expertise, however that’s not the identical as signing the No. 1 recruiting class within the nation. For now, although, that’s precisely what Jimbo Fisher has pulled off: The Aggies sit first within the industry-consensus 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings. The Aggies’ 2021 class options 4 five-star prospects, together with No. 2 total participant Walter Nolen, a defensive sort out.

A&M anticipated to contend for a Playoff spot in 2021 and completed a disappointing 8–4 whereas losing an elite protection. However the Aggies did beat No. 1 Alabama, they usually may’ve been a number of wins higher if beginning quarterback Haynes King weren’t misplaced for the season after an harm in Week 2. For now, all Fisher can do is add as many reinforcements as potential. You may’t compete often with Nick Saban until you recruit like him.

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