College Football Preseason Top 25 Ranking Post-2023 National Signing Day

David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 2, 2023

College Football Preseason Top 25 Ranking Post-2023 National Signing Day

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    Cam Rising
    Cam RisingBrian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The final signatures of the 2023 college football recruiting cycle have been inked, providing a useful landmark for an updated top 25.

    The B/R crew released an early ranking for 2023 after Georgia wrapped up its second straight national championship. Not much has changed since then, right?

    Counterpoint: Incorrect.

    The opening month of the offseason has been filled with noteworthy developments. Only a few highly rated prospects remained on the board for the winter signing period, but dozens of impact transfers headed to new programs. Several key players surprisingly passed up the NFL too.

    The order, while inherently subjective, considers the previous top 25 and personal views on the impact of recent changes.

Post-NSD Top 25

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    Sam Hartman
    Sam HartmanJulio Aguilar/Getty Images

    1. Georgia Bulldogs

    2. Alabama Crimson Tide

    3. Michigan Wolverines

    4. Ohio State Buckeyes

    5. USC Trojans

    6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    7. Clemson Tigers

    8. Penn State Nittany Lions

    9. Utah Utes

    10. Florida State Seminoles

    11. Oregon Ducks

    12. Washington Huskies

    13. LSU Tigers

    14. Texas Longhorns

    15. Tennessee Volunteers

    16. Oregon State Beavers

    17. Kansas State Wildcats

    18. North Carolina Tar Heels

    19. Tulane Green Wave

    20. TCU Horned Frogs

    21. South Carolina Gamecocks

    22. Oklahoma Sooners

    23. UTSA Roadrunners

    24. North Carolina State Wolfpack

    25. Wisconsin Badgers

Key NSD Commits

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    Although 5-star tight end Duce Robinson is still on the board, the remainder of 2023's top prospects signed Wednesday.

    Most notably, fellow 5-star and No. 19 prospect Nyckoles Harbor chose South Carolina. The athlete picked the Gamecocks over Maryland, Michigan and Oregon, providing the SEC school with a massive boost on the recruiting trail as the seventh-best signee in program history.

    Oregon recovered quickly after missing Harbor, landing 4-star cornerback Rodrick Pleasant. Not only is Pleasant a top-100 prospect, but the Ducks also pulled him from the Los Angeles area and away from USC.

    Sticking in the Pac-12, Arizona State signed 4-star quarterback Jaden Rashada. Although the No. 82 player had previously signed with Florida, the Sun Devils capitalized on an unexpected chance to land the ASU legacy. Rashada reportedly had a $13 million name, image and likeness deal collapse at Florida and reopened his recruitment.

    Tight end Walker Lyons completes the list of top-150 signees, heading to USC over Georgia, Stanford and Utah. Lyons will serve his LDS mission in Norway prior to enrolling in 2024.

Pac-12's Loaded QB Outlook

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    Michael Penix Jr.
    Michael Penix Jr.Tim Warner/Getty Images

    In a different reality, USC would be the runaway Pac-12 favorite. Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams isn't yet draft-eligible, while Oregon, Utah and Washington all could've lost their quarterbacks to the NFL.

    Every one of them stayed, however.

    The conference will be loaded with Williams as the headliner. Bo Nix turned in a phenomenal season with Oregon in 2022, Cam Rising led Utah to a second straight Pac-12 title and Michael Penix Jr. emerged as one of the nation's most productive passers at Washington.

    Oregon State returns Ben Gulbranson, who started in seven of the team's 10 victories last season. Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei may take over, but the Beavers have a solid option and a high-upside addition.

    Additionally, UCLA brought in Kent State transfer Collin Schlee after signing 5-star prospect Dante Moore.

    For good measure, both Arizona State (Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne and Rashada) and Colorado (Jackson State transfer Shedeur Sanders) added marquee players. Washington State also returns Cameron Ward, filling out a deep group of quarterbacks on the West Coast.

Usual Suspects Up Top

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    Brock Bowers
    Brock BowersPhoto by John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

    How could Georgia not be No. 1?

    The back-to-back national champions have to replace a bunch of starters again. Unlike last offseason, the main difference is that includes the quarterback after Stetson Bennett used up his eligibility.

    But the Dawgs, like second-ranked SEC nemesis Alabama, are undeniably built for long-term success.

    As usual, Big Ten powers Michigan and Ohio State will jockey for a College Football Playoff bid. Notably, 2023 is the final season of that outlook before fifth-ranked USC joins the conference with UCLA.

    Perhaps a surprise team like 2022 TCU is lurking, but early offseason rankings are likely to focus on this quintet.

    Rounding out the Top 10 are Notre Dame, Clemson, Penn State, Utah and Florida State. The only recent non-power is Florida State, although the program has a long history of success.

    All recruiting rankings from 247Sports.