Early National Signing Day 2021: Dates, Announcement Schedules and More
The coaching carousel in college football has seen a lot of activity over the past few weeks. Among the head coaches in new positions are Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma to USC), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame to LSU) and Mario Cristobal (Oregon to Miami).
Now, these coaches will have an opportunity to bolster their new programs' 2022 recruiting classes. The early signing period begins Wednesday and runs through Dec. 17, a window in which high school recruits can sign their national letters of intent to join a college program.
For some top recruits, it will just be a formality, as they have already committed to schools and won't waver. Others could flip their commitments and sign with a different college than expected. Meanwhile, some players have yet to decide on schools and will use the opportunity to make their announcements and sign their NLIs all at once.
Here are the most important things to know heading into next the early signing period.
Early Signing Period Announcement Schedule
4-star DL Nyjalik Kelly (Dillard High School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida): Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. ET
4-star WR Samuel Mbake (North Cobb High School, Kennesaw, Georgia): Dec. 15 at noon ET
4-star OL Kam Dewberry (Atascocita High School, Humble, Texas): Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. ET
4-star DL Anthony Lucas (Chaparral High School, Scottsdale, Arizona): Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. ET
5-star S Kamari Wilson (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida): Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. ET
4-star DL Quency Wiggins (Madison Prep Academy, Baton Rouge, Louisiana): Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Announcement times via 247Sports.
Can Riley Keep 5-Star CB Jackson in California?
Domani Jackson committed to USC on Jan. 23 but decommitted on Nov. 14 after the Trojans fired Clay Helton and struggled under interim head coach Donte Williams. But Jackson made that decision before USC had hired Lincoln Riley, which may change some things.
A 5-star safety out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, Jackson will be making his college choice Wednesday, and he's only still considering two schools: Alabama and USC.
It seems that Riley is doing all he can to try to convince Jackson to recommit to USC.
"Lincoln Riley has been blowing my phone up and that's been impressive," Jackson recently said, per Greg Biggins of 247Sports. "With all that he has going on, for him to take all this time to reach out to me shows me a lot."
The Trojans have only four commits in their 2022 class, so Jackson, who is the No. 7 overall recruit and the No. 2 cornerback in the class, per the 247Sports composite rankings, would provide a much-needed boost. He could be the first talented player in a wave of recruits who decide to come to USC now that Riley is there.
Will Georgia Land 5-Star Safety Wilson?
Kamari Wilson is another talented defensive back who has yet to make a college decision. The 5-star safety will be choosing a team Wednesday, and he's still considering four programs: Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M.
While Wilson could pick any of those schools, the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are all trending in the same direction. All eight analysts believe that Wilson will decide to play at Georgia, which already has 247Sports' No. 2 class in the 2022 cycle.
Wilson would become the fourth 5-star recruit in the Bulldogs' 2022 class. Georgia's defense has been the best in the country this season, and by adding recruits such as Wilson, it could stay that way for quite some time.
"I love their defense and how they play aggressive," Wilson said in October, per Kipp Adams of 247Sports. "They are fast and physical. I would love to play in a defense just like that."
And it's highly possible that Wilson will do just that by picking Georgia over his other three finalists.
Texas A&M Could Make Class Even Stronger
Jimbo Fisher has been highly successful during the 2022 recruiting cycle, which is why Texas A&M has 247Sports' No. 3 class, behind only SEC rivals Alabama and Georgia. And the Aggies likely aren't done adding top recruits.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball is projecting Texas A&M to land four undecided 5-star recruits: linebacker Harold Perkins (247Sports' No. 5 overall recruit in the 2022 class), defensive lineman Shemar Stewart (No. 9), tackle Kelvin Banks (No. 15) and cornerback Denver Harris (No. 17).
Even if the Aggies don't sign all of those players, they already have four 5-star recruits in their 2022 class, so they are in great shape.
Will it be enough for Texas A&M to pass Alabama and/or Georgia in the class rankings? That may depend on how the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs fare during the early signing period. Either way, Fisher is bringing in another talented group of recruits to help the Aggies continue to improve.