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National Signing Day 2018: Predictions for Top Recruits Before CFP Championship

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2018

Footballs sit on the field during warmups before an NCAA football game between Auburn and Georgia, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The college football recruiting process has a different feel to it this year due to the early signing period last December.

Despite announcements from plenty of top class 2018 recruits, there are still a wealth of top prospects waiting to make their respective college commitments.

College Football Playoff National Championship finalists Alabama and Georgia are in the running for a few of the players that remain unsigned, but they aren't the only big-name programs ready to make more splashes.

Below is a look at a few of the top uncommitted recruits and where they might end up.

                

Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)

The highest-ranked recruit left on the open market is defensive back Patrick Surtain Jr. 

The corner, who is the son of 11-year NFL veteran Patrick Surtain, still has a month left in the recruiting process before he chooses between Alabama and LSU.

LSU has a pedigree of producing defensive backs for the next level, with Jamal Adams and Tre'Davious White being the latest success stories.

Alabama's developmental resume speaks for itself as well with Marlon Humphrey being the latest first-round pick to come out of the Crimson Tide secondary.

The Crimson Tide will have plenty of voids to fill in the defensive backfield after the national championship, with all four starters potentially departing for the NFL draft.

Surtain is set to take an official visit to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on January 12 with a trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, coming a week later.

He admitted during practice for the Army All-American Bowl that the competition for his signature is close between the SEC rivals.

"It's very close," Surtain told Sam Spiegelman of SEC Country. "It's a close race between both those schools. Both schools are recruiting me hard. Both schools have great defensive backs coaches: Corey Raymond and Coach [Derrick] Ansley. Both have great coaching staffs. It's hard a race between those two."

LSU has a younger stable of corners and just picked up a commitment from Kendall Joseph during the Army All-American Bowl, while Alabama has already locked up three corners from the class of 2018.

Prediction: LSU

            

Tyson Campbell, CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)

Surtain's teammate Tyson Campbell is also eyeing up SEC schools at the back end of his recruitment.

Campbell is set to visit Alabama alongside Surtain on January 19. Before he heads to Tuscaloosa, he'll visit the Crimson Tide's CFP National Championship opponent Georgia on January 12.

The corner has Clemson, Miami (FL) and Ohio State still interested in him, but they've appeared to take a back seat to the pair of SEC powers.

Regardless of whether he opts for Alabama or Georgia, Campbell will join a loaded class of recruits at his position.

Campbell could go either way, and there might be a chance if he joins up with Surtain if the right factors fall into place at Alabama.

Prediction: Georgia

             

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Florida)

One of the most coveted offensive linemen yet to sign with a school is Nicholas Petit-Frere, who has narrowed down five schools as finalists.

Notre Dame, Michigan, Stanford, Auburn and Florida State are on the chase for the 6'6" offensive lineman, who played at the Under-Armour All-American Game on Thursday in his home state.

One factor that could flip the process is the hiring of assistant Greg Frey at Florida State. Frey, who was previously at Michigan, could help the Seminoles land the in-state product although Petit-Frere admitted Frey's new job won't affect his recruitment too much.

"He's a very good coach, but I'm going to still go through the process," Petit-Frere said, per Rodney Page of the Tampa Bay Times.

Notre Dame may be the ideal option for any lineman given the amount of professional products the Fighting Irish have produced, but right now all the candidates appear to be in play with Petit-Frere.

Prediction: Notre Dame

             

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Recruiting information obtained from 247Sports.com.

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