The Latest on college football national signing day (all times Eastern):
Georgia and Ohio State both got some good news on signing day.
The Bulldogs look as if they will hold off Alabama in the race for the top recruiting class on Wednesday’s national signing day. Georgia flipped linebacker Quay Walker from his Alabama commitment and signed the four-star prospect.
According to 247 Sports’ composite rankings, coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs have locked up the No. 1 class. The Crimson Tide had seven straight No. 1 classes.
Meanwhile, Ohio State announced some good news of its own.
Beyond the signing of most of the top recruits he pursued, Urban Meyer says defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will be staying in Columbus. Meyer says Schiano had NFL and college job offers. There were reports the former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers heads coach would be leaving to become the New England Patriots defensive coordinator.
Meyer and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith also say they were close on a two-year contract extension for the coach.
Tanner McKee from California, the highest rated quarterback still uncommitted entering signing day, picked Stanford over Alabama, Texas A&M, BYU and Texas.
It was a boost for Stanford’s recruiting class on Wednesday’s signing day.
But the Cardinal will have to wait two years for the four-star McKee to suit up in the Pac 12.
McKee is a Mormon and will do a two-year LDS church mission before attending college.
This is a lighter national signing day than usual because the majority of prospects signed in December.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald made that point clear early Wednesday morning when he tweeted “6:34 a.m. … that’s a wrap on #NSD18 and #NUView18.”
Fitzgerald’s tweet came after he announced the early morning signings of offensive lineman Sam Stovall and defensive back A.J. Hampton.
The rest of Northwestern’s class had signed in December.
Most FBS teams filled the majority of their 2018 classes in December. The traditional February date — the first Wednesday of the month — has most teams just topping of their classes.
Signing day started on a bright note for new Nebraska coach Scott Frost, with four-star defensive end Caleb Tannor of Lithonia, Georgia, picking the Cornhuskers over Florida, Auburn, Mississippi and Mississippi State.
Frost has made up for lost time since Nebraska hired him in early December. Mike Riley’s class was imploding when he was fired and ranked No. 89 in the 247 composite team rankings. Frost is expected to finish with a class of 24 to 27 players that is expected to be in the top 25.
One of the big decisions Nebraska awaits is from four-star running back Maurice Washington of Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Christian. Washington is weighing offers from Nebraska and Arizona State, which is recruiting him as a defensive back.
Offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere from Tampa picked Ohio State over Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame.
Petit-Frere kept his choice quiet. He was one of the biggest mysteries among top remaining players. His last official visit was to Columbus, Ohio. It was a big get for the Buckeyes and Urban Meyer, who lost out on in-state tackle Jackson Carman in December.
Five-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. has committed to Alabama. The son of the former NFL player by the same name was considered the top unsigned prospect left to commit. The Tide beat out LSU and Miami and might have ensured a top-three overall class by landing Surtain.
It was quite a signing ceremony at American Heritage High School in Florida. Surtain’s teammate and fellow star cornerback, Tyson Campbell, announced he would sign with Georgia, picking the Bulldogs over Miami and Alabama.
Andrew Chatfield kicked it off at American Heritage. The four-star defensive end chose Florida over Miami, with the help of a Chuckie doll.
National signing day is huge on social media as colleges often tweet out a welcome announcement for each new player entering the program.
Definitely no time to have a Twitter account suspended but that’s exactly what happened to South Florida and Missouri on Wednesday morning.
The same thing happened the day before signing day to Texas, though the account was re-opened about an hour later. USF and Mizzou also had their accounts churning out welcome tweets within an hour of the shutdowns.
Accounts are often suspended for tweeting or retweeting copyrighted material such as images and songs.
Florida State and new coach Willie Taggart had some work to do to catch up with the other traditional powers on national signing day and the Seminoles got off to a nice start.
One of the first announcements of the day out of Tallahassee, Florida, on Wednesday was Florida State flipping star running back Anthony Grant from a Tennessee commitment.
Florida State could push to the finish with a top 10 class.
Georgia and Ohio State head into the national signing day with a chance to lock up the title of No. 1 class, while Alabama is closing fast along with traditional powers with new coaches.
Most FBS teams filled the majority of their 2018 classes during the new early signing period in December. The traditional February date has most teams just topping of their classes. Georgia had the top-ranked class, according to 247 Sports’ rankings, heading into Wednesday. Ohio State was second.
Alabama, which has won seven straight recruiting championships to go with those five national titles, still has a chance to sign a top-three class.
The top unsigned prospect is Patrick Surtain Jr., a cornerback from Florida whose father played in the NFL. LSU and Alabama are among his choices.
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