2022 National Signing Day winners & losers: Texas A&M, Oregon highlight college football recruiting rankings


The traditional National Signing Day for the Class of 2022 is in the books, and after the chaos that was the early signing period in December, the movement on the first Wednesday in February was pretty much all chalk. And much like December, there were familiar faces at the top of the college football recruiting landscape. 

Now that the key commitments have been made and the 2022 recruiting classes are wrapping up around the country, let’s have a look at who came out as the biggest winners and losers of the traditional National Signing Day. 

Winners

Texas A&M: A generational group got even better on Wednesday as the Aggies built the highest-rated recruiting class in 247Sports history, breaking Alabama’s record from just one year ago. Landing Shemar Stewart, a five-star prospect from Florida who ranked in the top 10 overall nationally, will pair nicely with Walter Nolen, Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy and Anthony Lucas. The Aggies weren’t done, however, as they also pulled in four-star safety Jacoby Mathews out of Louisiana. Though five star LB Harold Perkins signed with LSU, the one-time Aggie pledge decommitting didn’t deter Jimbo Fisher from signing an historic class.

Oregon: Dan Lanning, entering his first year as coach at Oregon, wrapped up a solid class that provided a nice preview of the future for the Ducks. Flipping four-star RB Jordan James from Georgia was big. Getting Dave Iuli to sign with the Ducks after Miami made a late surge was big. Then adding three of the top four players from the state — Justius Lowe flipped from Utah and the Ducks kept Emar’rion Winston and Trejon Williams on board — was a nice way to end things. Nothing was bigger, though, than rallying to get four-star cornerback Jahlil Florence — another Oregon commit who had opened up his recruitment — to sign after USC tried to secure him late.

Georgia: The national champions weren’t the national champions during the early signing period — they were coming off a loss in the SEC Championship Game to Alabama. But everything changed in Indianapolis for Kirby Smart, who called off the dogs who doubted his work by leading the program to its first national title in 40 years. The Bulldogs signed the majority of their class in December, but the champs could hold their head high after James flipped as they kept four-star DL Christen Miller in state to start the day. Did we mention Georgia is the national champs?

LSU: Sure, losing out on in-state standouts TreVonte’ Citizen (Miami) and Mathews was a bummer. However, the Tigers did pull in the No. 1 linebacker in the country in the former Texas A&M commit Perkins. He was the highest-rated recruit left uncommitted in February, so pulling him out of Texas was a huge feather in the cap for Brian Kelly, who may use that cap for dancing next year.

Losers

Washington: After building top-five classes in the Pac-12 the past four years, Washington is 11th in both the regular recruiting and overall rankings in the conference. While the Huskies flipped Tristan Dunn, an in-state four-star from Arizona State, losing offensive lineman Vega Ioane to Penn State was a big blow after he was committed to the Huskies for six months. Theoretically, the Huskies could still land hometown standout Josh Conerly Jr., the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country who won’t decide until March, but they’ve really scuffled with in-state recruiting. First-year Washington coach Kalen DeBoer knows what he needs to do.

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Florida: Trust me, Florida fans, it will get better under Billy Napier. But the Gators were left at the altar by a number of players on Wednesday, most notably Citizen, who they felt they had a great shot with the 247Sports Crystal Ball pointing in their direction. They also lost out on four-star DL Caden Story (Clemson) as well as Matthews. Still, to finish in the top 20 has to be encouraging, even if the end of the stretch run was cruel.

Arizona State: It’s all bad at Arizona State right now. Dunn was a nice pickup in summer when they pulled in the four-star from Washington, but his flip to the hometown Huskies this week ensured the Sun Devils would finish behind Washington in the Pac-12 rankings.  With four assistant coaches having either resigned or been let go amid an NCAA investigation into improper visits during COVID-19 restrictions, it was tough for Herm Edwards to recruit in this class. That was never more evident than on Wednesday, which also saw defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce, a key piece of the investigation, resign from his position to explore NFL opportunities.





2022-02-03 05:21:00

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