Early National Signing Day 2022: Dates, Top CFB Prospects, Odds and TV Schedule

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured Columnist IDecember 19, 2022

Early National Signing Day 2022: Dates, Top CFB Prospects, Odds and TV Schedule

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    Ferris State players hoist the NCAA Division II college football championship trophy after defeating Colorado School of Mines on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022 in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Emil T. Lippe)
    AP Photo/Emil T. Lippe

    For those college football programs not named Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU, the top priority has already shifted toward recruiting.

    Getting better in order to make a run for the College Football Playoff is paramount, so there's a huge spotlight on the early signing period for the class of 2022, which gets underway Wednesday.

    Most of the nation's top recruits have already committed to their respective schools, with two of the top five in the 247Sports composite rankings going to USC, two of the top 10 going to Alabama and three of the top 21 going to Texas, including the unanimous No. 1-ranked player in the country, Arch Manning.

    In fact, the first unsigned player in the top 50 is at No. 31, Matayo Uiagalelei, the 6'5" edge-rusher out of St. John Bosco in Bellflower, California.

    Rankings are a great way to evaluate talent, but they are not the be-all and end-all, so programs across the country are hoping to find their own diamonds in the rough to sign their national letters of intent for the 2023 cycle.

    Here's a look at what college football fans need to know heading into this year's early signing period.

Early Signing Period Key Information

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    ANNAPOLIS, MD - DECEMBER 16: The NCAA logo on the field at at Navy Marine Corps Stadium before the Division III Football Championship between the Mount Union Purple Raiders and the North Central Cardinals held on December 16, 2022 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

    Dates: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 9 a.m. ET

    TV Coverage: Early signing day coverage can be found on ESPN's broadcast schedule.

    Live Stream: 247Sports YouTube channel.

    Commitment Schedule: A list of the recruits who are scheduled to announce their commitments during the early signing period can be found at 247Sports.

Georgia on My Mind

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Georgia Bulldogs mascot, Hairy Dawg is seen against the LSU Tigers during the second half of the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 3, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
    Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

    The rich just keep getting richer.

    Georgia is No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll and the College Football Playoff rankings.

    And if that weren't enough, the Bulldogs also have the No. 2 recruiting class heading into Wednesday, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

    That's not surprising, but it's a signal that times are changing.

    For years, it was Alabama that held the top spot when it came to the recruiting trail. And the Crimson Tide currently hold the top spot.

    But now, thanks to a national championship and an undefeated season, Georgia will continue to draw the nation's best players, which will likely mean continued success.

    Head coach Kirby Smart has a plan for his future roster, and it seems to be working.

    He already has the No. 32 player in the 2022 class, cornerback AJ Harris out of Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama, committed as well as the No. 36 recruit, edge-rusher Samuel M'Pemba of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

    One of the many undecided players to keep an eye on is No. 73-ranked defensive lineman Jordan Hall from Westside HS in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Georgia is considered among his finalists along with Alabama, Florida and LSU.

Alabama Not Done Yet?

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    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 26:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on against the Auburn Tigers during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    While it's true that Alabama took a hit this season by missing out in the CFP, the No. 5-ranked team is not down and out.

    Head coach Nick Saban has his sights set on the future, and the incoming class might help him get back to the mountaintop.

    According to 247Sports, the Crimson Tide have the best recruiting class so far, so that should go a long way toward drawing interest on Wednesday.

    They've already secured the No. 10 quarterback, Eli Holstein from Zachary, Louisiana.

    Uiagalelei is strongly considering Alabama, and he would represent a great get for Saban.

    The Tide already have a number of 5-star and 4-star recruits committed, so they're in a great position even before early signing day begins.

The Fighting Irish Enter the Recruiting Ring

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    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 26:  Head coach Marcus Freeman of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during play against the USC Trojans in the first half at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Head coach Brian Kelly is gone. He left Notre Dame for LSU and left quite the recruiting legacy behind.

    Can his successor keep up the momentum?

    This is Marcus Freeman's first full cycle of recruiting and so far, it looks like he's holding his own.

    According to 247Sports, the 36-year-old has found success, getting top prospects from Texas to sign up like 5-star recruit Peyton Bowen, a safety out of Guyer HS in Denton.

    Notre Dame also secured two 4-star wide receivers out of the Austin area, Braylon James and Jaden Greathouse.

    Looks like the Fighting Irish, who currently have the sixth-best recruiting class, will do very well Wednesday.