Early National Signing Day 2021: Odds, Predictions for Top Football Recruits

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 10, 2021

Early National Signing Day 2021: Odds, Predictions for Top Football Recruits

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Many of the top high school football players in the Class of 2022 have been taking visits to schools around the country all season. Some have committed to a program, while others are still undecided. But soon, many of them will have an opportunity to make an official decision.

    The three-day early-signing period begins Wednesday, providing the top recruits with a chance to sign their national letters of intent with a college program. In recent years, many high school players have signed during this December window, rather than waiting until the traditional signing day in February.

    For many players, this will be a formality, as they'll honor their commitments and send in the paperwork to the schools they've already chosen. Some recruits could flip their commitments, but the most interesting part of the early-signing period will be watching to see where the undecided players sign.

    Here are predictions for some of the notable undecided recruits entering the early-signing period.

5-Star CB Jackson Will Decide to Go to USC After All

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    It wasn't a surprise when Domani Jackson committed to USC in January, considering he attends Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. It also wasn't too surprising when the 5-star cornerback decommitted last month, as the Trojans fired Clay Helton and had yet to hire their next coach.

    Now, Jackson is set to make his college decision on Wednesday, and he's deciding between only two schools: USC and Alabama. Could he end up with the Trojans after all, or will he join the Crimson Tide and bolster an Alabama program that has the top 2022 recruiting class in the nation, per the 247Sports Composite team rankings?

    While Jackson could end up going to Alabama, it's hard to imagine he won't stay close to home by recommitting to USC and signing with the Trojans. Lincoln Riley is likely going to make a huge recruiting push to provide a much-needed boost to USC's 2022 class, and there should be plenty of high school players excited about the Trojans' future.

    That's why after all this time, Jackson, who is the No. 7 overall recruit and No. 2 overall cornerback in the 2022 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings, will still end up playing for the Trojans.

    The 247Sports Crystal Ball currently gives USC a slight edge over Alabama to land Jackson.

Georgia Will Add Another Top Defender in 5-Star Safety Wilson

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Georgia's defense has been dominant throughout the 2021 season, which is how the Bulldogs won their first 12 games and secured a berth in the College Football Playoff. And with how well head coach Kirby Smart has fared on the recruiting trail, Georgia may stay strong on that side of the ball for many years to come.

    The Bulldogs may not be done adding top defensive recruits in the 2022 cycle, either. On Wednesday, 5-star safety Kamari Wilson will be deciding between four schools: Georgia, Florida State, LSU and Texas A&M. And there's a good chance he could end up signing with the Bulldogs.

    The 247Sports Crystal Ball believes Wilson will head to Georgia, as all eight of its expert predictions have him joining the Bulldogs. With how dominant their defense has been, it's hard to imagine Wilson wouldn't be intrigued by the idea of joining that unit.

    Because of that, Georgia will add another top defensive recruit when Wilson, who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., makes his decision during the early-signing period.

Alabama Will Land 4-Star WR Preston to Bolster Offense

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Shazz Preston is a 4-star wide receiver who attends St. James High School in Louisiana. He's considering staying in state with LSU.

    However, Preston still has several other schools in the mix, including Alabama, Georgia and Texas. So there's a chance he could leave Louisiana and play for a program other than the Tigers, even though the 247Sports Crystal Ball has them as the leaders to land Preston.

    But you can never count out Alabama head coach Nick Saban on the recruiting trail, and he's going to get another opportunity to meet with Preston at an official visit this weekend with the Crimson Tide, which will be his final meeting ahead of the early-signing period.

    Even though LSU may be the favorite, Alabama could move ahead with this final official visit. Because of that, the prediction here is that Preston will end up playing for the Crimson Tide, who will sway him in their direction just ahead of the early-signing period.