Early National Signing Day 2022: List of 5-Star Recruits Committed to Each School

David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2022

Early National Signing Day 2022: List of 5-Star Recruits Committed to Each School

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    Malachi Nelson
    Malachi NelsonAP Photo/Ashley Landis

    One player does not single-handedly change the future of a college football team. Stack a couple of 5-stars in a strong class, though, and the odds of improvement jump quickly.

    Rankings aren't everything, sure.

    However, we have two decades of evidence to definitively say that stars matter. Additionally, 5-star recruits have the highest "hit rate" among players in college and even the NFL. They are, for good reason, the most coveted prospects in the country.

    In the 2023 recruiting cycle arrives, 34 players have earned a 5-star billing. And during the 2022 early signing period, the standout athletes are locking in their college destination.

    All recruit information is from 247Sports.

Complete List of 5-Stars

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    1. Arch Manning, QB, Texas

    2. Cormani McClain, CB, Miami (unsigned)

    3. Malachi Nelson, QB, USC

    4. Nicholaus Iamaleava, QB, Tennessee

    5. Zachariah Branch, WR, USC

    6. Caleb Downs, S, Alabama

    7. Jackson Arnold, QB, Oklahoma

    8. Francis Mauigoa, OT, Miami

    9. David Hicks, DL, Texas A&M (unsigned)

    10. Keon Keeley, Edge, Alabama

    11. Dante Moore, QB, UCLA

    12. Kadyn Proctor, OT, Alabama

    13. Damon Wilson, Edge, Georgia

    14. Peyton Bowen, S, Oregon

    15. Jurrion Dickey, WR, Oregon

    16. Nyckoles Harbor, ATH, Uncommitted

    17. Duce Robinson, TE, Uncommitted

    18. James Smith, DL, Alabama

    19. Anthony Hill, LB, Texas

    20. Samson Okunlola, OT, Miami

    21. Cedric Baxter Jr., RB, Texas

    22. Qua Russaw, Edge, Alabama

    23. Desmond Ricks, CB, Uncommitted
    Announcing on Dec. 22

    24. Rueben Owens, RB, Texas A&M

    25. Justice Haynes, RB, Alabama

    26. Adepoju Adebawore, Edge, Oklahoma

    27. Hykeem Williams, WR, Florida State

    28. Zalance Heard, OT, LSU

    29. Brandon Inniss, WR, Ohio State

    30. J'ven Williams, OT, Penn State

    31. Matayo Uiagalelei, Edge, Oregon

    32. AJ Harris, CB, Georgia

    33. Peter Woods, DL, Clemson

    34. Makai Lemon, WR, USC

    35. Johntay Cook II, WR, Texas

5-Star Leader: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 12: head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide before the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
    Justin Ford/Getty Images

    What's new, right?

    As the early signing window approached, the Crimson Tide owned the nation's top class. The commit list included safety Caleb Downs, edge-rusher Keon Keeley and running back Justice Haynes.

    Based on the rumors before this signing period, the expectation was Alabama would make a splash or two. It turns out the SEC powerhouse wasn't even close to finished.

    Shortly before Wednesday's drama, the Crimson Tide flipped offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor. Committed to Iowa since June, the country's second-ranked player at his position took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa last weekend and ended up joining Alabama's star-filled class.

    Nick Saban and Co. then landed 5-star teammates James Smith and Qua Russaw on Wednesday. The defensive linemen both played at Carver in nearby Montgomery.

5-Star Runner-Up: Texas Longhorns

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    Duce Robinson (L) and Arch Manning (R)
    Duce Robinson (L) and Arch Manning (R)Tim Warner/Getty Images

    Alabama jumped ahead because of Smith and Russaw, but Texas entered the early signing period atop the list.

    To date, the Longhorns have snagged a quartet of 5-star prospects: quarterback Arch Manning, linebacker Anthony Hill, running back Cedric Baxter Jr. and wide receiver Johntay Cook III.

    As you'd expect, Manning is the headliner. The nephew of former NFL stars Peyton and Eli, Arch is the nation's top-rated player. He officially visited Georgia, Alabama and Texas on successive weekends in June and committed to the Longhorns shortly after the trip.

    Hill is particularly notable because Steve Sarkisian and Texas managed to flip the in-state linebacker. Early in November, Hill backed off a pledge to Texas A&M in favor of the Longhorns.

    Baxter is a well-timed arrival for an offense that needs to replace star running back Bijan Robinson, and Cook will be expected to bolster a receiving corps that disappointed in 2022.