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Early Signing Day sees Alabama, Georgia, Miami at the top of the rankings

The rich get richer on the first day where high school recruits can sign with programs.

5-star safety recruit Caleb Downs visits Ohio State prior to the NCAA football game between the Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The old tradition of February and National Signing Day is a relic of year’s gone by now, as the real key day for high school commits to come to colleges is now the third Wednesday in December. The new Early Signing Day gives the new student-athletes a chance to enjoy the holidays knowing where they’ll be playing football next year, with most of the best talent taking advantage of the three-day window to make their commitments.

Players can choose to pass on this period as well and then sign during the first week in February if they’d like, but we’ll have a pretty good idea of how this is all going to shake out pretty soon here.

With some players still sending in NLI’s (National Letters of Intent not to be confused with the NIL Name Image and Likeness deals many are also receiving so they can paid in college for signing), here’s what we know so far.

Alabama has inked 27 commits and will once again have the No. 1 ranked class according to 247Sports. Six of those players are five stars, with 20 more listed as four-star talents. Nick Saban’s football factory continues to put together the best teams in the country, and staying ahead of the curve when it comes to NIL has helped this continue.

Perhaps the biggest surprise so far has been the success of Mario Cristobal and the Miami Hurricanes, who parlayed a 5-7 season into the No. 3 class overall. All but five of the 25 players are from Florida or Georgia, including prized five-star offensive tackle Samson Okunlola from Braintree, Massachusetts.

The No. 1 overall player in the class was Arch Manning, nephew of Eli and Peyton, and he signed with Texas as expected. He’ll be in the competition to be the starter for the Longhorns in 2023, and will early enroll to play in spring practice with his new team.

Here is the Top 10 according to 247Sports so far.

  1. Alabama (6 Five-stars)
  2. Georgia (1)
  3. Miami (3)
  4. Texas (4)
  5. Ohio State (1)
  6. LSU (1)
  7. Oregon (3)
  8. Oklahoma (2)
  9. Notre Dame (0)
  10. Tennessee (1)