National Signing Day 2020: Ranking Top 25 Recruiting Classes Heading into NSD

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2020

National Signing Day 2020: Ranking Top 25 Recruiting Classes Heading into NSD

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    Situated between the Super Bowl and the NBA trade deadline, February's national signing day thrusts college football back into the spotlight for a quick moment.

    Most recruiting work for the 2020 cycle is complete, but a few dozen 4- and 5-star prospects remain on the board. Those decisions will be the most notable part of Wednesday's news.

    But before any of those players announce where they're going, let's reset the situation heading into signing day.

    Despite the low number of unsigned players remaining, there's still potential for movement within class rankings. This pre-NSD Top 25 provides a foundation to notice the biggest changes.

25-21. Kentucky, Stanford, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Florida State

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    25. Kentucky Wildcats

    Class size: 22 (six 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Justin Rogers is the seventh-ranked defensive tackle nationwide and No. 51 overall in the class. The 4-star prospect from Oak Park, Michigan, also took official visits to Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee but ended up choosing the Wildcats.

              

    24. Stanford Cardinal

    Class size: 21 (six 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Stanford traveled across the country to land 4-star offensive tackle Myles Hinton. The Atlanta-area prospect is the son of Chris Hinton, whom the Denver Broncos selected fourth overall in the 1983 NFL draft and traded to the Baltimore Colts as part of the package for No. 1 overall pick John Elway.

            

    23. Wisconsin Badgers

    Class size: 20 (five 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    As many would expect given Wisconsin's reputation, the best players in the class are offensive linemen. Trey Wedig and Jack Nelson are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 within the state, respectively and they check in at 82nd and 103rd overall.

             

    21. Arizona State Sun Devils

    Class size: 19 (seven 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Arizona State landed some impressive offensive talent in the 2020 haul. Led by wide receiver Johnny Wilson (No. 115 overall), the Sun Devils also signed 4-star running backs Daniyel Ngata (124) and DeaMonte Trayanum (284), as well as wideouts Elijhah Badger (139) and LV Bunkley-Shelton (166).

            

    20. Florida State Seminoles

    Class size: 23 (nine 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    After failing to sign a quarterback in the past two cycles, Florida State broke the problematic streak with 4-star Chubba Purdy. He's the brother of current Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy. The 'Noles also signed 3-star quarterback Tate Rodemaker.

20-16. Nebraska, South Carolina, North Carolina, Miami, Washington

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    20. Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Class size: 24 (10 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Scott Frost and Nebraska grabbed a quartet of 4-stars from Florida. The top prospect is outside linebacker Keyshawn Greene (No. 132 overall), followed by wide receiver Marcus Fleming (257), safety Henry Gray (265) and safety Jaiden Francois (271).

              

    19. South Carolina Gamecocks

    Class size: 21 (one 5-star, eight 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Although the Gamecocks landed a 5-star commitment in December, it still isn't official. Defensive tackle Jordan Burch, the No. 8 player in the class, elected not to send in paperwork during the early signing period. South Carolina is trying to hold off LSU.

            

    18. North Carolina Tar Heels

    Class size: 26 (nine 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    North Carolina did an admirable job with in-state recruiting, signing five of the top 10 prospects. While they're all 4-star talents, the prized addition is a borderline 5-star in defensive end Desmond Evans, who racked up 35 tackles for loss as a senior.

             

    17. Miami Hurricanes

    Class size: 21 (nine 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Miami has an enormous group of early enrollees. Led by top-100 defensive end Chantz Williams, the Hurricanes have already welcomed 13 members of their class to campus. Other notable enrollees include running backs Jaylan Knighton and Don Chaney Jr., who are ranked 105th and 114th, respectively.

            

    16. Washington Huskies

    Class size: 22 (one 5-star, nine 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    The state produced six top-300 prospects, and Washington signed three of them. Five-star defender Sav'ell Smalls (No. 29) is the key player, while 4-star guard Geirean Hatchett (206) and 4-star athlete Sam Adams II (283) complete the group.

15-11. Tennessee, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas, Michigan

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    15. Tennessee Volunteers

    Class size: 21 (12 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Not since 2014 have the Vols locked down local recruiting as well as they did in 2020. Six years ago, they signed eight of the state's top 10 prospects. After totaling 13 over the last five years, Tennessee inked six top-10 players in this cycle.

              

    14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Class size: 17 (one 5-star, eight 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    The Irish attracted superb offensive talent to South Bend. Tight end Michael Mayer (No. 31) earned a 5-star billing, while wideout Jordan Johnson (36), running back Chris Tyree (69) and offensive tackle Tosh Baker (99) all landed in the top 100.

             

    13. Penn State Nittany Lions

    Class size: 27 (11 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Penn State loaded up on linemen in 2020, signing five on offense and seven on defense. The highest-ranked linemen on each side of the ball are 4-star defensive tackle Cole Brevard (203) and 3-star offensive tackle Jimmy Christ (370).

             

    12. Texas Longhorns

    Class size: 17 (one 5-star, 11 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    As the Longhorns enter Sam Ehlinger's final college season, they've continued to sign quality potential replacements. Early enrollee Hudson Card is ranked No. 57 nationally, and summer arrival Ja'Quinden Jackson checks in at No. 73.

            

    11. Michigan Wolverines

    Class size: 26 (14 4-stars)

    1 Thing to Know

    Michigan leveraged defensive coordinator Don Brown's connection to Massachusetts in a big way. The Wolverines signed three of the state's top five prospects, including 4-star outside linebacker Kalel Mullings (151) and 4-star guard Zak Zinter (264).

10. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Class size: 23 (15 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Nate Anderson (No. 1 OG, No. 89 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    In addition to landing four 4-star offensive linemen, Oklahoma stocked its secondary with a quartet of 4-stars.

    The Sooners secured signatures from safety Bryson Washington (213), cornerback Kendall Dennis (330), cornerback Joshua Eaton (355) and defensive back Justin Harrington (No. 10 JUCO).

9. Oregon Ducks

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    Class size: 21 (three 5-stars, six 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Justin Flowe (No. 1 ILB, No. 6 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    Oregon has a relatively top-heavy class, but that talent is exceptional. The Ducks snagged a trio of 5-stars in Flowe, inside linebacker Noah Sewell (13)the brother of Oregon All-American left tackle Penei Sewelland cornerback Dontae Manning (30).

    Additionally, the Ducks signed two 4-star quarterbacks in Jay Butterfield (146) and Robby Ashford (290).

8. Auburn Tigers

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Class size: 25 (16 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Tank Bigsby (No. 4 RB, No. 39 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    Auburn loaded up on pass-catchers in the 2020 cycle. The Tigers added 4-star wideouts Kobe Hudson (110), Ze'Vian Capers (131), J.J. Evans (165) and 3-star Elijah Canion (526).

    Plus, they signed 4-star athlete Jeremiah Pegues, who is expected to play tight end alongside 4-star Brandon Frazier. Rising sophomore quarterback Bo Nix should have plenty of options by 2021.

7. Florida Gators

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    Class size: 24 (one 5-star, 16 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Gervon Dexter (No. 3 DT, No. 12 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    Clemson, Florida and Georgia all signed three of the Sunshine State's top 15 prospects. Only the Gators have an opportunity to sign a fourth, though Miami could prevent it from happening.

    Florida is a finalist for 4-star safety Avantae Williams (44). After backing off a verbal pledge to Oregon in December, he visited Miami and Florida in January and will announce his decision Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. ET, per Blake Alderman of 247Sports.

6. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Class size: 24 (two 5-stars, 12 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Jaylon Jones (No. 1 S, No. 21 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    For the second straight recruiting cycle, Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M landed a 5-star on both sides of the ball.

    Last year, it was offensive tackle Kenyon Green and defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal. This time around, the Aggies signed Jones (21) and wide receiver Demond Demas (25).

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Class size: 25 (three 5-stars, 14 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Julian Fleming (No. 1 WR, No. 3 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    During the early signing period, Ohio State landed a valuable signature in 4-star quarterback CJ Stroud. Ranked the No. 41 overall prospect, he's also the early favorite to replace Justin Fields if he declares for the 2021 NFL draft, as expected.

    The Buckeyes will also lose Gunnar Hoak, a Kentucky transfer in his final season of eligibility. Four-star classmate Jack Miller (333) will join Stroud in the quarterback competition.

4. LSU Tigers

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    Class size: 24 (three 5-stars, 14 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Arik Gilbert (No. 1 TE, No. 5 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    LSU's marquee additions are Gilbert, 5-star cornerback Elias Ricks (14) and 5-star receiver Kayshon Boutte (24). Meanwhile, 4-star quarterback Max Johnson has notable family connections.

    His father, Brad, was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns in Super Bowl XXXVII. Johnson's uncle is Mark Richt, the former head coach at Georgia and Miami.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Class size: 23 (four 5-stars, 15 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Kelee Ringo (No. 1 CB, No. 4 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    Georgia is hoping to keep 5-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones (11) and 4-star center Sedrick Van Pran (59) in the class.

    Though both committed prior to the early signing period, neither player sent in a national letter of intent. While a last-second flip isn't expected from either prospect, Georgia has needed to fight off Auburn for Jones and both Alabama and Florida for Van Pran.

2. Clemson Tigers

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    Class size: 23 (five 5-stars, 12 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Bryan Bresee (No. 1 DT, No. 1 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    Clemson may have found Trevor Lawrence's successor in 5-star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, the nation's No. 10 prospect.

    As a senior in high school, Uiagalelei completed 222 of his 344 attempts (64.5 percent) for 4,225 yards and 48 touchdowns to only two interceptions. He added 412 yards and eight scores on the ground.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Class size: 26 (four 5-stars, 18 4-stars)

    Top prospect: Bryce Young (No. 1 QB, No. 2 OVR)

    1 Thing to Know

    Alabama has an absurd amount of incoming defensive talent, and many of the elite prospects are already on campus.

    Among the early enrollees are 5-star defensive ends Will Anderson (17) and Chris Braswell (19), as well as 5-star athlete Drew Sanders (22). He's expected to play linebacker, potentially lining up next to 4-star inside 'backer Demouy Kennedy (38).

              

    All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.