Why 2020 College Football National Signing Day Will Still Have Big Impact

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 4, 2020

Why 2020 College Football National Signing Day Will Still Have Big Impact

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    National signing day may not come with the fanfare that it once did, but there are still a handful of players whose commitments will have a massive impact for whichever programs they choose.

    Since the early signing period was implemented for college football in 2017, more and more players have continued to commit far ahead of national signing day. That has led to fewer scheduled announcements, making what used to be a massive spectacle across the country a bit less exciting.

    That isn't to say there isn't a ton of talent still available, though. There are four players in 247Sports' Top 100 who have yet to commit, and some who have committed could flip to different schools.

    Wednesday is bound to have plenty of drama, and a few key players could be right in the thick of it.

Zachary Evans, RB

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    Although it's unclear whether 5-star running back Zachary Evans will make a decision on national signing day, any hint he may provide Wednesday would be massive news in the recruiting world.

    Evans is one of the few remaining 5-star recruits yet to make an official commitment. While he originally signed a letter of intent to play for Georgia, he was granted an unconditional release and is now weighing his options on where to play at the next level.

    There's still no clear picture as to where Evans will land. He visited Tennessee and Ole Miss in January, but Texas A&M and LSU, where he also has visited, could likewise be attempting to lure him.

    Evans is one of the more explosive playmakers in this year's recruiting class. Over the past three seasons, he ran for 4,867 yards and 76 touchdowns. His ability to make defenders miss and his acceleration when he finds a lane is rare, particularly for someone as young as him. 

    Evans' dramatic recruitment may continue for a while longer since he likely won't sign a letter of intent on national signing day. But fans can keep their fingers crossed that he will drop some kind of hint Wednesday. 

Broderick Jones, OT

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    The Georgia Bulldogs have had top-tier offensive tackles such as Isaiah Wynn and Andrew Thomas over the past few seasons. Kirby Smart may be getting another blue-chip recruit at the position Wednesday. 

    Broderick Jones is a 5-star offensive tackle and the No. 11 overall player in the 2020 class. He's been a hard commit to play for Georgia since April 2018, but he's still been taking a handful of visits. Jones went to visit Arkansas and Illinois along with Georgia in January.

    However, Jones made headlines late last week when he canceled his planned visit to Auburn, per Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports. That cancelled trip suggests Jones has made up his mind and will likely stick with Georgia.

    We'll know for sure Wednesday, but it sounds like Jones will be playing in Athens in the near future.

McKinnley Jackson, DT

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    Few big-time recruits are truly up in the air at this point, but there are no guarantees as to where McKinnley Jackson is going. 

    Jackson, a 4-star recruit, is the top-ranked player from Mississippi and a top-10 defensive tackle. He has yet to commit anywhere, but based on his visits, it's safe to say that he'll be playing on Saturdays in the SEC.

    All four of Jackson's visits were to SEC schools: Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn and LSU. The Aggies were the most recent to host him on Jan. 31, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're the front-runners in the Jackson sweepstakes.

    247Sports' Crystal Ball Predictions list Alabama as the clear favorite, with LSU just behind. Wherever Jackson goes, his commitment will be one of the most exciting ones on national signing day.

Alfred Collins, SDE

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    Texas is a high school football powerhouse, and one big-name recruit may be staying in the state and playing for the Longhorns next season.

    Strong-side defensive end Alfred Collins is a top-10 player in Texans and the second-best player at his position. The 4-star Collins has received offers from Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama, among others. The 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions project him to sign with Texas.

    Collins took a visit to Austin in October, and he would be a massive addition for Texas' already solid recruiting class. The Longhorns have the 11th-best recruiting class in the country and the second-best in the Big 12. Collins would also be the third-best player in the Texas class, behind only 5-star running back Bijan Robinson and 4-star dual-threat QB Hudson Card

    At 6'5" and 284 pounds, Collins already comes into school with the physical frame and athletic ability to compete at a high level. It will take some time for him to get acclimated to the next level of competition, but Longhorns fans should be excited about the future if Collins commits there Wednesday.

Jordan Burch, DT

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    Although 5-star defensive tackle Jordan Burch committed to South Carolina during the early signing period, he might send shockwaves in the recruiting world by flipping his commitment on national signing day.

    According to Lou Bezjak of The State, Burch will be making his official commitment at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday. He made an unofficial visit to LSU at the end of January, which suggests he might be getting cold feet about playing for the Gamecocks.

    If Burch is considering a switch, a lot of big-time programs will have a chance at landing him. At the time of his prior commitment, Burch said LSU and Clemson had finished as his second and third choices, respectively, per Billy Embody of Geaux 247. Alabama and Georgia were also previously in the mix.

    The 6'5", 275-pound Burch is considered the top player in the state of South Carolina and the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country. A two-sport athlete, Burch helped lead his team to the South Carolina 3A state championship as a senior.

    The Gamecocks may still land Burch. But if he flips his commitment, it would wind up being one of the biggest stories of national signing day.