Ranking the Top 50 Early CFB Recruiting Signees

Brad Shepard@@Brad_ShepardFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2021

Ranking the Top 50 Early CFB Recruiting Signees

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Many of the top names in college football's 2021 recruiting cycle came off the board in the early signing period. Wednesday's national signing day will put the cap on a recruiting year in which programs couldn't host players on official visits, much of the relationship-building was done over Zoom or Skype and there were plenty of flips.

    Still, the usual suspects are toward the top of the recruiting rankings. Pretty much all of them were bolstered by having the vast portion of their classes signed in December's early period.

    These days, that's becoming the norm for the most part in recruiting.

    B/R previously ranked the top 25 offensive and defensive players in the 2021 class. This list merges those  but adds others, since it's focused on players who have already signed a national letter of intent.

    With the overwhelming majority of the nation's top players signed, sealed and delivered to their schools of choice, take a look at this year's top early signees who made things official in December.

50-46. Ingram-Dawkins, Salter, Williams, Green, Earle

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    Kaidon Salter
    Kaidon SalterCredit: 247Sports

    50. Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Gaffney, South Carolina (Gaffney HS) Defensive Tackle

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 298 pounds

    Status: Signed with Georgia

    1 Thing to Know: Ingram-Dawkins is the top-ranked player in the state of South Carolina and played for a traditional powerhouse program. According to SI.com's Brooks Austin, he put on nearly 60 pounds between his junior and senior season, which was a big reason why he exploded on teams' radars.

    49. Kaidon Salter, Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'1½", 185 pounds

    Status: Signed with Tennessee

    1 Thing to Know: The mobile signal-caller has stuck with the Vols through a coaching change, and he has experienced a frantic few weeks. After leading Cedar Hill to the state championship game, he packed his belongings and became an early enrollee in Knoxville.

    48. Mario Williams, Plant City, Florida (Plant City HS) Wide Receiver

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 178 pounds

    Status: Signed with Oklahoma

    1 Thing to Know: Lincoln Riley has done a great job recruiting receivers out of the Sunshine State. Williams hails from Plant City, which is less than four hours away from Hollywood, the home of fellow undersized pass-catcher Marquise Brown. Maybe Williams will be the next one to do well for himself in Norman and beyond.

    47. Nyland Green, Covington, Georgia (Newton HS) Cornerback

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 183 pounds 

    Status: Signed with Georgia

    1 Thing to Know: With his height and speed, Green has the ability to play safety or cornerback in college, although he was recruited to play the latter. It bears watching where he develops and winds up, especially considering UGA may need him to contribute right away because of its NFL losses and Tyrique Stevenson's transfer.

    46. JoJo Earle, Aledo, Texas (Aledo HS) Wide Receiver

    Height/Weight: 5'9½", 170 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    1 Thing to Know: One of the most explosive dynamos in the nation pulled a fast one on LSU when he flipped from the Bayou Bengals to hated rival Alabama on the first day of the early signing period, giving the Crimson Tide a huge weapon. Somebody must have shown him Jaylen Waddle's highlight tape.

45-41. Robinson, Bowman, Davis, McCord, Trotter

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    Billy Bowman
    Billy BowmanCredit: 247Sports

    45. Demeioun Robinson, Gaithersburg, Maryland (Quince Orchard HS) Weak-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 220 pounds

    Status: Signed with Maryland

    1 Thing to Know: The All-America Bowl selection is nicknamed "Chop" and is one of the top pass-rushers the Terrapins have ever reeled in. He is a major pull for a Mike Locksley-led program that is doing a terrific job of keeping difference-makers at home.

    44. Billy Bowman, Denton, Texas (Ryan HS) Wide Receiver

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 175 pounds 

    Status: Signed with Oklahoma

    1 Thing to Know: It may seem difficult to believe, but one of the top OU signees is high school teammates and buddies with one of Texas' top signees, Ja'Tavion Sanders. They led Ryan High School to a state title, and they'll battle each other in the Red River Rivalry.

    43. Derrick Davis Jr., Monroeville, Pennsylvania (Gateway HS) Safety

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 194 pounds 

    Status: Signed with LSU

    1 Thing to Know: Davis will team with Sage Ryan for the future of the position at "DBU" for the Bayou Bengals. The duo comprise two of the nation's top three safeties in the 247Sports composite rankings, and he is a big-bodied future star who could even grow into a linebacker.

    42. Kyle McCord, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (St. Joseph's HS) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 215 pounds

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    1 Thing to Know: The second of three consecutive prospects from Pennsylvania has another marquee teammate on this list (see: the next player). He will step right into the mix and battle C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller III for the starting gig in 2021.

    41. Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (St. Joseph's HS) Inside Linebacker

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 210 pounds

    Status: Signed with Clemson

    1 Thing to Know: Yes, you know the name. McCord's teammate at St. Joseph's High School is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, who was a four-time Pro Bowler and a one-time All-Pro.

40-36. Johnson, Smith, Brooks, McCarthy, Carter

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    Barrett Carter
    Barrett CarterCredit: 247Sports

    40. Jakailin Johnson, Saint Louis, Missouri (DeSmet HS) Cornerback

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 175 pounds

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    1 Thing to Know: Johnson's honor of becoming an All-America Bowl participant makes him the second DeSmet High School player in as many years to earn that distinction. He is the former teammates of Jordan Johnson, a standout receiver who was a freshman at Notre Dame this year.

    39. Clayton Smith, Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS) Weak-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 220 pounds

    Status: Signed with Oklahoma

    1 Thing to Know: Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is loading up on pass-rushers in the past two classes, trying to flip the script on Oklahoma's spotty defensive reputation. Smith actually pledged to the Sooners on the same day (May 15) as another top-50 player, Mario Williams.

    38. Jacorey Brooks, Bradenton, Florida (IMG Academy) Wide Receiver

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 185 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    1 Thing to Know: Brooks hopes to follow in the footsteps of Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jeudy and others in Bama's fraternity of Florida receivers. Brooks played at two high school powerhouses, finishing his senior season at IMG Academy with 16 catches for 305 yards and five touchdowns in five games. As a junior, he eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards while helping Miami's Booker T. Washington to a state title.

    37. J.J. McCarthy, La Grange Park, Illinois (IMG Academy) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 190 pounds

    Status: Signed with Michigan

    1 Thing to Know: McCarthy transferred to the nation's top high school program to throw the ball to Brooks and play with other stars as a senior, but he hails from Big Ten Country, coming from the Chicago suburb of La Grange Park. He'll head back to the Midwest to play for the Wolverines.

    36. Barrett Carter, Suwanee, Georgia (North Gwinnett HS) Outside Linebacker

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 220 pounds

    Status: Signed with Clemson

    Just how much does Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney love the Atlanta-area prospect's talent? He told SI.com's JP Priester: "He absolutely can play linebacker, no question about that. But we think he can play either safety, we think he could play Nickel/'Sam.' I mean, he's as dynamic a guy as we've signed."

35-31. Fidone, Brooks, Mondon, Shipley, Franklin

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    Thomas Fidone
    Thomas FidoneCredit: 247Sports

    35. Thomas Fidone, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Lewis Central HS) Tight End

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 225 pounds

    Status: Signed with Nebraska

    1 Thing to Know: The nation's second-ranked tight end, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, has all of the trappings to be an instant-impact playmaker for the Cornhuskers. He was also named the MaxPreps High School player of the year in the state of Iowa.

    34. Dylan Brooks, Roanoke, Alabama (Handley HS) Outside Linebacker

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 250 pounds

    Status: Signed with Tennessee

    1 Thing to Know: The top-ranked player in Tennessee's recruiting class signed with the Vols in the early signing period, but it remains to be seen if he will stay in UT's class after the school fired head coach Jeremy Pruitt. According to AL.com's Ben Thomas, Brooks has asked for a release from his letter of intent.

    33. Smael Mondon, Dallas, Georgia (Paulding County HS) Outside Linebacker

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 220 pounds

    Status: Signed with Georgia

    1 Thing to Know: Mondon is an extremely fast linebacker who has a high football IQ and could make an impact alongside Xavier Sorey and Nakobe Dean to give UGA an explosive, young offense. Smael's on-field play is going to make a lot of Georgia fans smile for years.

    32. Will Shipley, Matthews, North Carolina (Weddington HS) Running Back

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 198 pounds

    Status: Signed with Clemson

    1 Thing to Know: Shipley has an excellent chance to step right in and eat up some of the reps that will be vacated with Travis Etienne heading to the NFL. He is the nation's top-ranked all-purpose back and is going to be an exciting player to watch for an explosive, young Tigers team.

    31. Troy Franklin, Menlo Park, California (Menlo-Atherton HS) Wide Receiver

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 170 pounds

    Status: Signed with Oregon

    1 Thing to Know: Brandon Huffman of 247Sports is so high on Franklin's upside, he told Oregon Live's Andrew Nemec that he will be the star of the Ducks' 2021 haul. He even compared him to Alabama's Heisman Trophy-winning pass-catcher: "He reminds me so much of DeVonta Smith as a high schooler."

30-26. Rucci, Suimataia, Marshall, Silver, Maye

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    Nolan Rucci
    Nolan RucciCredit: 247Sports

    30. Nolan Rucci, Lititz, Pennsylvania (Warwick HS) Offensive Tackle

    Height/Weight: 6'8", 295 pounds

    Status: Signed with Wisconsin

    1 Thing to Know: Rucci's Big Ten roots run deep. His father, Todd, played for the Penn State Nittany Lions before becoming an eight-year veteran in the NFL. His brother, Hayden, will be his teammate with the Badgers, having signed with Paul Chryst's program in 2019.

    29. Kingsley Suamataia, Orem, Utah (Oren HS) Offensive Tackle

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 280 pounds

    Status: Signed with Oregon

    1 Thing to Know: Suamataia has drawn comparisons to Penei Sewell, who won the Outland Trophy while with the Ducks. According to 247Sports' Erik Skopil, he is close friends with the Sewell family. Suimataia will play with linebacker Noah Sewell for the next few seasons.

    28. Jason Marshall, Miami, Florida (Miami Palmetto HS) Cornerback

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 180 pounds

    Status: Signed with Florida

    1 Thing to Know: One of the nation's top cornerback prospects is heading north from Miami to play for the Gators along with fellow Palmetto defensive backfield mate Corey Collier. Marshall has incredible size, speed and instincts and is going to be the next great UF cornerback. He could start right away alongside Kaiir Elam.

    27. Keeshawn Silver, Rocky Mount, North Carolina (Rocky Mount HS) Strong-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 275 pounds

    Status: Signed with North Carolina

    1 Thing to Know: Silver is of the best jumbo athletes in the 2021 recruiting cycle, and he has said several times that he expects to play both football and basketball for the Tar Heels. If that's the case, the Rocky Mount native may wind up being a playmaker for both Mack Brown and Roy Williams.

    26. Drake Maye, Charlotte, North Carolina (Myers Park HS) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 210 pounds

    Status: Signed with North Carolina

    1 Thing to Know: Few bleed Carolina Blue like the Maye family. Their legendary status around the program will only grow if Drake Maye winds up being the star many expect. His father, Mark, was a quarterback for the Heels in the mid-1980s, and his brother, Luke, was a two-time All-ACC hoopster for UNC.

25-21. Adeyele, Edwards, Jackson, Ryan, McKinstry

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    Sage Ryan
    Sage RyanCredit: 247Sports

    25. Tunmise Adeyele, Katy, Texas (Tompkins HS) Strong-side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 245 pounds

    Status: Signed with Texas A&M

    1 Thing to Know: Adeyele committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes in April, but he rescinded that commitment four months later. He wound up choosing Texas A&M over Alabama and Florida and will team with Shemar Turner to give Jimbo Fisher one of the best defensive end duos in the cycle.

    24. Donovan Edwards, West Bloomfield, Michigan (West Bloomfield HS) Running Back

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 190 pounds

    Status: Signed with Michigan

    1 Thing to Know: The second-ranked player in the state led his West Bloomfield team to a state title as a senior with 257 rushing yards in a dominant 41-0 win. He had already moved into a dorm at Michigan as a mid-term enrollee prior to the state championship game, according to the Detroit Free Press' Jeff Seidel.

    23. Donovan Jackson, Bellaire, Texas (Episcopal HS) Offensive Guard

    Height/Weight: 6'4½", 308 pounds

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    1 Thing to Know: The nation's top-ranked guard prospect is keeping that Texas pipeline churning for the Buckeyes, who've thrived recruiting in the Lone Star State dating back to the Urban Meyer years. Jackson is a can't-miss standout who could help fortify Ohio State's front when the stars from the 2020 group head to the NFL.

    22. Sage Ryan, Lafayette, Louisiana (Lafayette Christian Academy) Safety

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 193 pounds

    Status: Signed with LSU

    1 Thing to Know: Ryan is one of the nation's top defenders and the second-ranked safety in the class. He was named the 2A Offensive Player of the Year after tallying 1,074 yards and 19 touchdowns on only 81 touches, according to the Advocate. He is a four-time state champion.

    21. Ga'Quincy McKinstry, Pinson, Alabama (Pinson Valley HS) Cornerback

    Height/Weight: 6'0½", 180 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    1 Thing to Know: The elite cornerback, nicknamed "Kool-Aid," played with Auburn quarterback Bo Nix at Pinson Valley High School and is a dynamic athlete. The mid-term enrollee has already suited up for the Crimson Tide after being in Tuscaloosa for mere weeks, but not for Nick Saban. He is playing hoops for Nate Oats' upstart basketball team.

20. Shemar Turner, Texas A&M

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    Credit: 247Sports

    DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS) Strong-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'3½", 282

    Status: Signed with Texas A&M

    What to Know

    Shemar Turner is a big-bodied defensive lineman who continues the trend of elite front-seven trench men committing to play for Aggies defensive coordinator Mike Elko.

    He played at powerhouse DeSoto High School, and once he learns to play the position consistently, he'll be one of the highest-upside linemen in the class.

    Turner is winning awards at the local and national level, having recently been selected as the Bobby Dodd National Lineman of the Year by the Atlanta Touchdown Club. He also earned Trench Warfare's Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) QB Hunter of the Year Award, according to TexasAgs.com.

    He could wind up being a jumbo defensive end used like DeMarvin Leal, and the Aggies won a hard-fought battle to keep him home over Alabama and Georgia.

19. Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Denton, Texas (Ryan HS) Athlete (Weak-Side Defensive End)

    Height/Weight: 6'3½", 220 pounds

    Status: Signed with Texas 

    What to Know

    Ja'Tavion Sanders' collegiate position is so difficult to pinpoint that he didn't make B/R's list of the top 25 offensive or defensive players.

    But no matter what position he plays, there is no question he's among the nation's top 20 players. He starred both ways along with Oklahoma signee Billy Bowman for the Ryan High School state champion powerhouse program from Denton, Texas.

    While he played as a receiver in high school, he likely projects as a pass-rushing defensive end or outside linebacker in college. He committed to the Longhorns when Tom Herman was the coach, and he was expected to get after quarterbacks.

    With Steve Sarkisian at the helm, there's an outside possibility he could play tight end. Heck, play him both ways. He's that good.

18. Sam Huard, Washington

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Bellevue, Washington (Kennedy Catholic HS) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 190

    Status: Signed with Washington

    What to Know

    Several of the prospects in this recruiting class have family ties to their chosen schools or conferences (see: Drake Maye and Nolan Rucci). Another one is the son of a former NFL star (Jeremiah Trotter Jr.).

    But none of them have a last name that means as much to his program of choice than Sam Huard.

    His father, Damon, and uncle, Brock, are both legendary Huskies quarterbacks who played for a while in the NFL. Though neither were stars in the pros, they certainly were on the collegiate level.

    The youngest Huard has the potential to be even better than both of them. He's the nation's top-ranked pro-style signal-caller, and he has the pedigree, boasts the skill set and grew up around the game. It'll be fun to see what he can do in Seattle.

17. Ty Thompson, Oregon

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Gilbert, Arizona (Mesquite HS) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 215 pounds

    Status: Signed with Oregon

    What to Know:

    Ty Thompson may be ranked a little higher on this list than on any of the other national sites, but his upside is too great to keep down lower. 

    He may wind up being the best pure passing quarterback in the class, and he is going to be a star for head coach Mario Cristobal's program, which desperately needs a difference-maker right away in 2021. Tyler Shough, Anthony Brown and Jay Butterfield will be in the mix, but so will Thompson.

    The Mesquite, Arizona, product was named the Maxwell Football Club Offensive Player of the Year after leading his prep team to a state title, and he can make every throw on the field. Once he adds some strength and learns the system, he's going to be a star for the Ducks.

16. Xavian Sorey, Georgia

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Bradenton, Florida (IMG Academy) Outside Linebacker 

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 214 pounds

    Status: Signed with Georgia

    What to Know

    There is not a purer, more explosive athlete at linebacker in the 2021 class than Xavian Sorey, who has superstar written all over him and could be an instant-impact star along with Nakobe Dean at Georgia.

    He chose the Bulldogs in the early signing period, picking them over Alabama and Florida in a hotly contested SEC recruiting battle. It's going to be fun to watch him mature in one of the top young linebacking corps in the country.

    Between him and Smael Mondon, the Bulldogs 'backers in this class can cover some ground sideline-to-sideline, and Sorey is polished, ready to play and comes from the top prep program in the country.

    He's a good bet for immediate reps in 2021.

15. Damon Payne, Alabama

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Belleville, Michigan (Belleville HS) Defensive Tackle 

    Height/Weight: 6'3½", 297 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    What to Know

    Belleville defensive tackle Damon Payne will go down as someone who got away from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Rather than stay in-state, he's heading to Tuscaloosa to join head coach Nick Saban.

    Saban can go anywhere in the country, flash the script A and his national championship rings and get a prospect's attention. Payne could be one of the next in a long line of star defensive linemen for a group that is stacked in the 2021 class.

    Payne's high school team entered the season ranked first in the state, but it lost in the semifinals to Donovan Edwards' West Bloomfield team that eventually won the state title. It probably still hurts for Payne, but he will put it behind him and could get on the field right away as a true freshman in Tuscaloosa.

    He's that good.

14. Maason Smith, LSU

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Houma, Louisiana (Terrabonne HS) Defensive Tackle

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 316 pounds

    Status: Signed with LSU

    What to Know

    One of the biggest coups of the early signing period was LSU head coach Ed Orgeron convincing Houma standout defensive tackle Maason Smith to stay home and play for the Bayou Bengals. 

    Smith is the top-ranked overall player on Rivals.com, and he had offers from virtually every school in the nation. The nation's No. 1 player on the 247Sports composite rankings, Korey Foreman, wanted to team up with him, but that ultimately didn't happen.

    Instead, both stars stayed home and will play for their respective state schools.

    Smith told DawgNation's Jeff Sentell that most of the schools that recruited him wanted to start him as a 5-technique, but he wanted to be a 3-technique "because tackles are a lot more athletic than guards usually."

    "I think I can create a really big mismatch rushing a guard opposed to rushing a tackle," he told Sentell.

13. James Williams, Miami

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Opa Locka, Florida (American Heritage HS) Safety 

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 218 pounds

    Status: Signed with Miami 

    What to Know

    There isn't a more college-ready defender in the secondary in this year's class than safety James Williams, who's heading to a program that knows how to develop players at his position.

    He's going to team with Avantae Williams to give Miami head coach Manny Diaz a formidable duo on the back end of the defense for years to come. 

    Three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain coached Williams in high school, and he has the ability to do everything for the Hurricanes on defense. He's even big enough to line up on the second level the way Isaiah Simmons did for Clemson, but he is fast enough to be a force in coverage, too.

    Williams told Andrew Ivins of 247Sports that Miami's decision to hire Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed wound up being a huge factor in his recruitment, as it gives him the opportunity to "learn from the greatest." The upside is extremely high for the newest star in Miami.

12. Terrence Lewis, Maryland

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Opa Locka, Florida (Miami Central HS) Inside Linebacker

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 200 pounds

    Status: Signed with Maryland 

    What to Know

    Much like James Williams, Terrence Lewis hails from Opa Locka, Florida, and he likewise has the potential to be a superstar in college. He's going to have every opportunity to shine right away in Maryland.

    It's going to be fun to watch him team with fellow Floridian Branden Jennings (who flipped from Michigan) and Demeioun Robinson to give head coach Mike Locksley some elite playmakers in the front seven.

    Lewis had a puzzling recruitment that was devoid of major interest from the big three in Florida, and he committed to Tennessee and then-coach Jeremy Pruitt during the Vols' barrage of pledges in the early stages of Zoom recruiting. But he never seemed like a lock to stay with UT.

    He wound up signing with the Terrapins in the early signing period, and he has the speed and athleticism to be an excellent player in college.

11. Brock Vandagriff, Georgia

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Bogart, Georgia (Prince Avenue Christian School) Quarterback

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 205 pounds 

    Status: Signed with Georgia

    What to Know

    The Georgia Bulldogs got an elite prospect in Brock Vandagriff, but he almost didn't stay at home and play for Kirby Smart's powerhouse program.

    He's been one of the highest-recruited quarterbacks for the past few years, and he was originally committed to Oklahoma. But he changed his mind in early 2020 and instead decided to be a Dawg.

    Vandagriff may not be able to play right away as he recovers from a torn PCL in his right knee. Although he isn't expected to need surgery, Georgia's athletic staff "decided that extensive rehab and wearing a brace until fully cleared is the best way to repair the ligament," according to SI.com's Brooks Austin.

    Regardless, Vandagriff should be able to be brought along slowly as JT Daniels is "the man" in Athens in 2021.

    He was recently named the National Quarterback Club's High School Quarterback of the Year, so there are a lot of reasons to love the skills he will bring to the Bulldogs.

10. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Steilacoom, Washington (Steilacoom HS) Wide Receiver

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 190 pounds 

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    What to Know

    Ohio State is getting the nation's top-ranked receiver, one who gets comparisons to Pittsburgh Steelers and former USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and could be an instant-impact player.

    But Emeka Egbuka may be even better than that.

    Greg Biggins of 247Sports believes Egbuka has more long-term potential and upside than any receiver who has come out of the West in the past decade. That is some high praise, but there's no question he has all of the traits needed in an elite receiver.

    He is big and physical enough to go over the middle and can sprint away from defensive backs, too.

    It's going to be even better for the Buckeyes if he can convince fellow Washington native J.T. Tuimoloau to join him in Columbus.

9. Tommy Brockermeyer, Alabama

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Fort Worth, Texas (All Saints Episcopal HS) Offensive Tackle

    Height/Weight: 6'6¼", 283 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    What to Know

    There's no question Tommy Brockermeyer comes from a football family, and it's one that was dyed in the wool burnt orange until this year.

    His father, Blake, played on the offensive line for the Longhorns before heading to the NFL. His brother, Luke, is a linebacker for Texas as well. But Tommy and his brother, top-ranked center James, are heading to Tuscaloosa to play for the national champions.

    Brockermeyer will team with JC Latham to provide a formidable duo anchoring the future of the Crimson Tide's offensive line.

    It could be a while before Brockermeyer lives up to his massive expectations. A torn labrum cost him his entire junior season, and the COVID-19 pandemic kept him out of the spring before his senior season started. Getting in a strength and conditioning program like the one at Alabama will be huge. 

8. Leonard Taylor, Miami

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Miami, Florida (Miami Palmetto HS) Defensive Tackle

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 265 pounds 

    Status: Signed with Miami

    What to Know

    Leonard Taylor bucked the trend for the "Palmetto Five."

    Playing for the powerhouse program in Miami, he and teammates Jason Marshall, Savion Collins, Corey Collier Jr., Brashard Smith considered playing college football together, or at least the Florida Gators hoped they would.

    Marshall and Collier decided to head to the Florida Gators, and Taylor held Dan Mullen's program in high regard, too.

    But Taylor decided to stay home and play for the 'Canes along with Smith, who is going to be an electrifying star on offense. Though Collins hasn't committed yet, he could go to Florida, too.

    Taylor is going to be a star in the ACC, though. The nation's top-ranked defensive tackle can get after quarterbacks from the interior of the line, is big and physical enough to be a force and is athletic enough to play right away.

7. Dallas Turner, Alabama

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Saint Thomas Aquinas HS) Weak-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 245 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    What to Know

    There is no bigger powerhouse in the state of Florida than St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and that includes IMG Academy.

    Dallas Turner is the latest in a long line of superstars to come out of the school, and he led them to a record 12th state title this year. They beat Orlando Edgewater and Turner's future teammate at Alabama, Christian Leary, back in December.

    It's going to be fun to watch Turner develop under the top defensive-minded coach in all of college football. Players largely go to 'Bama these days because it's an NFL pipeline, but battling for the national title every year is a nice byproduct, too.

    Turner is an aggressive playmaker on defense, and he could play defensive end or outside linebacker for the Crimson Tide. He likely projects as a rangy, pass-rushing linebacker much like Will Anderson Jr. was in 2020 as a standout freshman. Turner could be next.

6. TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Hopewell, Virginia (Hopewell HS) Running Back

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 195 pounds

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    What to Know

    If you want an instant-impact prospect for a national champion contender, look no further than TreVeyon Henderson, who is going to get major run with the Buckeyes now that Trey Sermon is heading to the NFL.

    The Virginia native was second only to Tristan Leigh in the state's top players, and he is one of the most complete running backs in years. He's exactly the kind of player whom Ohio State head coach Ryan Day needs to anchor his backfield.

    While Master Teague is probably going to be the starter as an upperclassman in Columbus, Henderson is a game-breaker who can catch passes out of the backfield, is big and fast enough to be an every-down back and possesses a high on-field IQ.

    He is an elite playmaker and a competitor who is going to be a star in the Big Ten.

5. Jack Sawyer, Ohio State

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington North HS) Strong-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 248 pounds 

    Status: Signed with Ohio State

    What to Know

    Jack Sawyer basically grew up in the shadow of the 'Shoe, so it's no wonder that he committed to play for the home-state Ohio State Buckeyes.

    He decided to skip his senior season of high school football to train and prepare to enroll at Ohio State early, according to ESPN.com's Tom VanHaaren.

    With Tyreke Smith and Zach Harrison back on campus, Sawyer has the opportunity to get some reps as a true freshman, even if he doesn't start. He's too big and polished to stand on the sideline for long, though.

    Sawyer is a good defender who may not be as explosive as some prospects, but he is steady and strong. He has a bright future with the Buckeyes, his childhood favorite.

4. Amarius Mims, Georgia

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Cochran, Georgia (Bleckley County HS) Offensive Tackle 

    Height/Weight: 6'7", 315 pounds

    Status: Signed with Georgia

    What to Know

    While Amarius Mims' 247Sports profile lists him at the above measurables, his high school coach recently told the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Chip Towers that he's actually 6'8" and 340 pounds. 

    Mims, who was at the center of the recruiting investigation that resulted in Tennessee firing head coach Jeremy Pruitt, is the type of player around whom you can build an offense. It isn't out of the question that the mid-term enrollee could start at the all-important left tackle spot next year.

    The Bulldogs shifted Jamaree Salyer inside to guard during the last part of the season, and he is probably an NFL prospect there. That clears a spot for Mims to start as a true freshman protecting JT Daniels' blind side.

    Mims is big and strong, albeit raw. But once he gets in a weight program, he's quickly going to become a dominant college player.

3. Caleb Williams, Oklahoma

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Washington D.C. (Gonzaga HS) Quarterback 

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 210 pounds

    Status: Signed with Oklahoma

    What to Know

    Take one glance at Oklahoma's depth chart, and you may wonder why Caleb Williams, the nation's top-ranked quarterback, is heading to Norman.

    However, Spencer Rattler will be a redshirt sophomore next year, which means he could turn pro after the 2021 season. Even if he doesn't, there's a strong chance Williams could have two or even three years under center playing for one of the nation's best quarterback-molders in Lincoln Riley.

    Williams is enrolling early at Oklahoma and has physical traits comparable to Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Jordan Love. He has a big arm, good enough size and and can make things happen with his feet.

    With Tanner Mordecai and Chandler Morris transferring, the backup job is his if he comes in and performs. You'd better get to know the Washington, D.C., native's name, because he's going to be special.

2. JC Latham, Alabama

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Bradenton, Florida (IMG Academy) Offensive Tackle 

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 305 pounds

    Status: Signed with Alabama

    What to Know

    A few years ago, JC Latham expected to be a hot college prospect as a defensive lineman. But after a few of his teammates on the offensive line suffered injuries, he flipped to that side, according to Bama Insider's Andrew Bone.

    Two years later, Latham is one of the best players in the nation.

    As a sophomore, Latham helped lead Catholic Memorial (in Waukesha, Wisconsin) to a Division 3 State Championship. Then he transferred to IMG, where he switched positions and developed into a future can't-miss NFL star. 

    He will develop as well as anybody at Alabama, and it isn't out of the question for him to start as a freshman. He's going to be one of the best prospects in the nation.

1. Korey Foreman, USC

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Corona, California (Centennial HS) Strong-Side Defensive End

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 265 pounds

    Status: Signed with USC

    What to Know 

    There were fewer more hotly contested recruiting battles in the nation than the one for Korey Foreman, who is the nation's top-rated player in the 247Sports composite rankings for good reason.

    He is big, fast and can get after quarterbacks with the best of them. That's why teams from all over the nation coveted his signature.

    When he signed with USC and stayed home, it was the biggest recruiting win of head coach Clay Helton's time with the Trojans.

    Foreman was once committed to Clemson and considered the Tigers until the end, but he ultimately chose USC over head coach Dabo Swinney's team, LSU, Georgia and Arizona State. He is almost guaranteed to come in and get immediate reps, and he could be one of the top players in the country right away.

    All stats courtesy of CFBStats and Sports Reference. Recruiting rankings via 247Sports' composite rankings unless otherwise noted.

    Follow Brad Shepard on Twitter at @Brad_Shepard.


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