National Signing Day 2021: Top Prospects and TV Schedule for Commitments

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IFebruary 1, 2021

National Signing Day 2021: Top Prospects and TV Schedule for Commitments

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    One of the most important days of the college football offseason is quickly approaching: national signing day.

    Set to take place Wednesday, national signing day isn't quite the spectacle it once was. That's because many top high school recruits now announce their college decisions and send in their national letters of intent during the early signing period, which occurs in mid-December each year.

    However, there are still some talented players who have yet to make their college decisions, as well as others who are committed but have yet to send in their paperwork. Some of them will make their decisions Wednesday, so it's still an important day for some college programs.

    ESPN's College Football Live will air a signing day special beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday on ESPN2, with coverage continuing on ESPNU at 5 p.m. ET.

    Here's everything else you need to know heading into this year's national signing day.

Commitment Schedule

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    9:10 a.m. ET: 4-star cornerback Avante Dickerson, Westside High School, Omaha, Nebraska

    10 a.m. ET: 3-star cornerback Dontae Balfour, Bradford High School, Starke, Florida

    11 a.m. ET: 4-star defensive tackle Tywone Malone, Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, New Jersey

    Noon ET: 4-star safety Terrion Arnold, John Paul II Catholic High School, Tallahassee, Florida.

    Noon ET: 4-star linebacker Trevin Wallace, Wayne County High School, Jesup, Georgia

    Noon ET: 3-star wide receiver Keon Coleman, Opelousas Catholic School, Opelousas, Louisiana

    1 p.m. ET: 3-star safety Juwon Gaston, Carver High School, Montgomery, Alabama

    Time TBD: 4-star RB LJ Johnson, Cy-Fair High School, Cypress, Texas

    Time TBD: 4-star linebacker Raesjon Davis, Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, California

    Time TBD: 4-star wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr., Walker High School, Walker, Louisiana


    Announcement info via 247Sports. Ratings per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Which Texas School Will Johnson Choose?

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Running back LJ Johnson is the highest-ranked recruit who is scheduled to announce his college decision on Wednesday. The 4-star back out of Cypress, Texas, is the No. 44 overall recruit in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, as well as the No. 4 running back.

    Johnson will be staying in Texas to play his college ball, but he's still deciding between a pair of in-state schools: Texas and Texas A&M. The 247Sports Crystal Ball has Johnson joining the Aggies, with all of their experts predicting he'll be heading to play for head coach Jimbo Fisher in College Station.

    However, it's possible that the Longhorns could make a late push and bring in Johnson. Texas has undergone a coaching change since the end of the 2020 season, hiring former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to lead its program. And considering Sarkisian had tremendous success working with the Crimson Tide's offense, that could be enticing for Johnson and other undecided recruits.

    It should be interesting to see whether Sarkisian and his new Longhorns staff have done enough to land Johnson, who many experts have predicted would be heading to the Aggies for quite some time. One of these Texas schools will be getting a boost to its backfield for the future, and we'll soon know which one it will be.

Can USC Keep Davis in State?

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    4-star linebacker Raesjon Davis is the top defensive player who will be announcing his college decision on national signing day. The 6'1", 215-pounder out of Santa Ana, California, is the No. 48 overall recruit in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and the No. 4 outside linebacker.

    Davis still has five schools that he's choosing from: LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Vanderbilt. However, the 247Sports Crystal Ball believes it's likely he'll be choosing the Trojans, as all of their experts have Davis staying in California to play his college ball for head coach Clay Helton.

    But it may not be a sure thing that Davis heads to USC. He was once committed to LSU, announcing his decision in January 2020, but he reopened his recruitment this past December. He also took a visit to Ohio State last weekend, so perhaps he could also still be giving strong consideration to the Buckeyes, who just appeared in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game this past season.

    It seems like it would be a surprise if Davis ends up choosing one of the schools other than USC. Still, surprises have happened on national signing day in the past, and perhaps he'll pull a swerve from the experts' predictions and choose one of the other programs on his list on Wednesday.

When Will Tuimoloau Make His College Decision?

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    There's no debate over who the best unsigned recruit in the 2021 class is. That's J.T. Tuimoloau, a 5-star defensive end out of Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, Washington, who is the No. 3 overall recruit in the class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

    However, don't expect to hear Tuimoloau announce his college decision on Wednesday. Or any other time in the near future, for that matter.

    Tuimoloau's father, Ponce Faletoi, recently told Brandon Huffman of 247Sports that the talented defensive recruit won't be making his college decision until "at least April," as he still plans to take visits leading up to then. However, Tuimoloau did cut his list of schools to five during the early signing period: Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Washington.

    Ohio State has appeared to be the front-runner, as the 247Sports Crystal Ball experts are all predicting Tuimoloau to sign with the Buckeyes. But given the fact that he's not making a decision for at least two more months, a lot could change between now and then.

    So while Tuimoloau's recruitment won't end on national signing day, this will be a situation worth monitoring as the college football offseason continues.