Early National Signing Day 2019: Predictions, Rankings for Top Football Recruits

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney high-fives fans after an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. Clemson won 38-3. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Sean Rayford/Associated Press

The Clemson Tigers have dominated the recruiting trail for the class of 2020. 

Dabo Swinney's team already has commitments from two of the top three prospects in the 247Sports composite rankings, and it may add another key signature during the early signing period. 

The window, which lasts from Wednesday through Friday, will feature the two best uncommitted players making decisions about their respective futures. 

Plenty of other players will make their pledges in December as well, but only a few could change the complexion of the team rankings.


Early Signing Day Predictions

Justin Flowe, LB, Upland HS (Upland, CA) 

The top uncommitted player in the class of 2020 could stay in the Pacific time zone. 

Justin Flowe, who will announce his decision Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, listed Clemson and the Oregon Ducks in his group of finalists this year. 

However, the Tigers may be out of the mix after earning the commitment of 5-star linebacker Trenton Simpson in the last week. Clemson now has seven of the top 30 recruits as part of its haul. 

Since the Tigers have potentially closed up their recruiting at the position, Oregon and the USC Trojans may be the most likely destinations. 

Rivals' Adam Gorney believes Oregon is the favorite to land Flowe, despite a recent visit to USC. 

"He visited USC this past weekend, met the president of the university and had a great time. I still think, though, that Oregon is the team to beat here," Gorney said. 

If he prefers to stay on the West Coast, the 5-star prospect may be better off at Oregon, who already earned the pledge of linebacker Noah Sewell. 

If Flowe, Sewell and Kayvon Thibodeaux combine forces next season, the Ducks could have one of the best defenses in the nation. 

USC currently sits 81st in the team rankings behind a handful of Group of Five schools. Bringing in Flowe would be the best news Clay Helton receives for the class of 2020, but it is unlikely.

Prediction: Oregon 


Jordan Burch, DE, Hammond School (Columbia, SC) 

The No. 5 overall recruit is one of the more mysterious figures in the class of 2020. 

Unlike other prospects, Jordan Burch has not done many interviews about his future. He is scheduled to make his choice Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. 

According to 247Sports' Brad Crawford, there is no lean on where Burch will land. 

"Where Burch is leaning in the final 72 hours prior to his announcement remains a mystery," Crawford wrote. "He has played his recruitment close to the vest, doesn't give interviews and hasn't dropped any clues on social media outside of the ordinary Snapchat posts during visits this season." 

The Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks are among the programs in the mix with Clemson. 

Burch took a recent visit to Georgia, which ranks sixth with two top-20 prospects. They could gain ground since they are in the mix for two other top-10 players. 

If he commits to LSU, the Tigers would have four 5-star players, which would be second-best in this recruiting cycle behind Clemson.

If South Carolina secures Burch, it may improve its standing from No. 18 and get a cornerstone for the incoming freshman class. Helping the Gamecocks' cause is that he is a teammate of South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp's son.

Clemson could swoop in and earn his signature as well, which would hand the Tigers three of the top five overall players and the best three defensive linemen. No. 1 prospect and defensive tackle Bryan Breese is already pledged to the ACC side, as has No. 3 overall and top defensive end Myles Murphy.

Prediction: Clemson 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Recruiting information obtained from 247Sports.