Top 10 College Football Recruiting Classes After Day 1 of NSD
The College Football offseason is upon us as Nation Signing Day opened up Wednesday. Many top programs gained commitments from some of the nation’s best high school football players. Every year we see multiple huge announcements from these high school players on where they will be playing college football at.
With Day 1 of the 2023 Early Signing Period completed, let’s take a look at the top 10 classes, according to 247Sports.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama and Nick Saban find themselves at the top of the rankings once again — what a surprise.
On Wednesday’s National Signing Day, Alabama signed 27 prospects, which included six five-stars and 14 top 100 prospects. Caleb Downs, the sixth-ranked overall prospect and the No. 1 safety, and Keon Keely, the 10th-ranked overall player and the No. 1 edge were the top two gets for Saban.
Alabama also managed to flip longtime Iowa commit Kadyn Proctor. Proctor, an Iowa native, is the 12th-ranked overall player and the second-ranked offensive tackle in this year’s class. It comes to show that Saban will always reload in the recruiting ranks, even after a down season in the eyes of Alabama fans. Alabama should keep the number one spot for the 2023 college football recruiting class.
2. Georgia Bulldogs
As Georgia prepares for the College Football Playoffs, Kirby Smart has once again pulled together a tremendous recruiting class. The Bulldogs signed 26 total players Wednesday and are still waiting on two other players to sign. Out of the 26 players, Smart collected two five-stars and 10 top-100 players in the rankings.
The top three players that Georgia signed all play on the defensive side of the ball. Damon Wilson is the highest-rated recruit for Georgia this signing period. Wilson, the 13th-ranked player, and the second-ranked edge will be the headline of the class. Samuel M’Pemba, the 36th-ranked player will join Wilson on the edge. Lastly, Georgia added some talent on the back end of their defense with AJ Harris, the 32nd-ranked player in the nation.
3. Texas Longhorns
Steve Sarkisian has quickly gotten Texas back to a powerhouse in recruiting in only his second year at the school. The Longhorns signed 24 total commits and landed four five-stars, which is the most out of any college football team. Seven of the 24 players who signed their letter of intent Wednesday rank in the top 100.
The biggest get for Texas this recruiting cycle has to be their quarterback of the future, Arch Manning. Yes, the nephew of NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning. Manning is rated as the top overall player in the country. With Quinn Ewers still at school, it looks like a redshirt is pending for Manning this upcoming season. Texas also flipped five-star linebacker Anthony Hill from Texas A&M last week.
4. Miami Hurricanes
Mario Cristobal has put together a great class after his first season at Miami. The ‘Canes have seen commitments from 29 players in this year’s recruiting class. Out of the 29 players, Cristobal has collected pledges for three five-stars and five top-100 players.
Miami solidified its future in the trenches during Wednesday’s National Signing Day. Francis Mauigoa, the nation’s top tackle, and eighth-ranked prospect, and Samson Okunlola, the 20th overall player, signed their letter of intent to play at “The U”. One thing of concern for Miami is seeing their top-ranked recruit push back their signing. Cristobal might have to fight for Cormani McClain, the nation’s top-ranked cornerback and the No. 2 overall recruit, to sign with Miami. Rumor is that Colorado has been in touch with the highly touted defensive back.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
It is shaping up for Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes to once again have the top recruiting class in the Big Ten. In the early signing period, the Buckeyes signed 19 players, but it only included one five-star. Ohio State has once again loaded up its receiving room this recruiting class by signing Brandon Inniss, the 29th-ranked player, and Noah Rogers, the 45th-ranked player.
Even with Ohio State signing another top-five class, the Buckeyes saw a major loss in the 2024 class. The top-ranked player, quarterback Dylan Raiola has backed off his commitment. It seems that Matt Rhule and Nebraska could be the major competition for the Buckeyes to land his services.
6. LSU Tigers
Who said Brian Kelly can’t recruit? After hitting the transfer portal most of last season, Brian Kelly has put together a nice class in his first full offseason in the Bayou. In this year’s class, LSU has seen 29 players commit to the Tigers. The Tigers have gained commitments from five players in the top 100 of the 2023 class.
The lone five-star Kelly has signed is offensive tackle Zalance Heard, who is ranked as the 28th ranked player in the nation. Dashawn Womach, an edge rusher who’s ranked as the nation’s 37th-ranked player, and wide receiver Shelton Sampson Jr., the 43rd-ranked player are the other top players the Tigers have signed for this year’s recruiting class.
7. Oregon Ducks
Dan Lanning has Oregon as the top-ranked recruiting class in the Pac-12 after today’s events. The Ducks saw 25 players sign their letter of intent with three more players still needing to sign. Jurrion Dickey, the second-ranked wide receiver and the nation’s 15th overall player, and edge rusher Matayo Uiagalelei, the 31st-ranked player, are the two five stars that Oregon has signed.
Dickey and Uiagalelei are the only top-100 players Oregon have officially signed so far. Oregon also flipped a five-star safety, Peyton Bowen, from Notre Dame on Wednesday. However, it seems like Bowen did not sign on National Signing Day.
8. Oklahoma Sooners
Brent Venables did not have the ideal first season in Norman. The Sooners finished .500 with a 6-6 record, but an ugly 3-6 record in Big 12 play. However, Venable still managed to put together a top-10 class. The Sooners signed 24 plates which consisted of two five-stars and seven top-100 prospects.
Oklahoma managed to find their quarterback of the future in Jackson Arnold, the fourth-ranked quarterback, and seventh-ranked player. Additionally, Venables locked up edge rusher Adepoju Adebawore, the 25th overall player.
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame saw 24 players sign their letter of intent to play in South Bend next year. The Irish landed four players inside the top 100 in the early stages of Signing Day. However, Freeman saw five-star safety Peyton Bowden de-commit to sign with Oregon earlier in the day.
Offensive tackle Charles Jagusah, the 49th-ranked player, is the highest commit so far for Freeman and the Irish. Freeman also landed the services of the nation’s fifth-ranked running back Jeremiyah Love. Even with Bowden de-committing, Freeman should have Notre Dame finalize a top-10 class with the possibility of moving into the top five with a late push.
10. Tennessee Volunteers
Josh Heupel led Tennessee to a promising season in his second season in Knoxville. With Tennessee, at one point, getting inside the top three of the College Football Playoff rankings, Heupel has carried that momentum into his recruiting. The Volunteers signed 15 players Wednesday, with two top-100 players.
Undoubtedly, quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava, the fourth-overall recruit, is the headliner for the Volunteer recruiting class. Tennessee fans are hoping Iamaleava can replace Hendon Hooker sooner than later. Along with Iamaleava, edge rusher Caleb Herring, the 75th-ranked player, is the only other top-100 player.
There is still plenty of talent on the open market. We should still see plenty of big-time commitments and surprises in the upcoming days and weeks. However, right now, these 10 schools are leading the way with the best 2023 college football recruiting class.