Early National Signing Day 2021: Announcement Schedule, Predictions and More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 11, 2021

ATLANTA, GA  DECEMBER 04:  Georgia head coach Kirby Smart gestures from the sideline during the SEC Championship college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs on December 4th, 2021 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.  (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

National signing day isn't quite the spectacle it used to be. That date in February used to be when all the top high school football recruits in the country sent in their national letters of intent to their future colleges, either making a decision on their school or making their commitments official.

Now, many recruits do that during the early signing period, which occurs in mid-December. This year, that three-day period begins Wednesday, meaning a lot of the top high school players in the country will have signed with colleges by this time next week.

Some will still wait for traditional signing day in February, but it's unlikely to be a large number. Instead, next week's period will mark the most important dates of the 2022 recruiting cycle, especially because some undecided players will commit and sign at the same time.

Here's everything you need to know heading into this year's early signing period.


Announcement Schedule and Predictions

(Rankings via 247Sports)

5-star CB Domani Jackson (No. 7)
Decision: Wednesday at TBD
Considering: Alabama, USC
Prediction: USC

4-star DL Nyjalik Kelly (No. 84)
Decision: Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET
Considering: Florida State, Miami, Oregon
Prediction: Miami

4-star DL Quency Wiggins (No. 92)
Decision: Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET
Considering: Alabama, Florida, LSU
Prediction: LSU

4-star WR Samuel Mbake (No. 298)
Decision: Wednesday at noon ET
Considering: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
Prediction: Arkansas

4-star DL Anthony Lucas (No. 50)
Decision: Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET
Considering: Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, UCLA
Prediction: Texas A&M

4-star DE DJ Wesolak (No. 194)
Decision: Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET
Considering: Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Penn State, USC
Prediction: Missouri

4-star WR Shazz Preston (No. 43)
Decision: Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET
Considering: Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas
Prediction: Alabama

5-star S Kamari Wilson (No. 28)
Decision: Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET
Considering: Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M
Prediction: Georgia

4-star OL Kam Dewberry (No. 91)
Decision: Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET
Considering: Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M
Prediction: Texas A&M



USC had been struggling to land commitments during the 2022 recruiting cycle, and it had lost some from players who were previously part of its class. That's because the Trojans struggled this season, fired head coach Clay Helton and played much of the year under interim coach Donte Williams.

Now, Lincoln Riley is USC's head coach. And now that the former Oklahoma coach is at the helm, things should start improving for the Trojans on the recruiting trail.

It could happen as soon as the early signing period, as 5-star cornerback Domani Jackson is the top undecided player who will be making a college announcement on Wednesday. There are reasons to believe he'll be heading to USC, too.

Jackson attends Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, and he was previously committed to the Trojans. However, he decommitted in November, but that was before Riley had been hired.

Riley could convince Jackson to recommit to USC and to stay close to home for his college career. He's only considering one other school (Alabama), so if he decides not to play for the Trojans, it will be because he chooses to join the Crimson Tide.

Jackson isn't the only 5-star defender who will be announcing a college decision on Wednesday. Safety Kamari Wilson, who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, will be opting to play for one of these four schools: Florida State, Georgia, LSU or Texas A&M.

Georgia and Texas A&M have the Nos. 2 and 3 classes in the 2022 cycle, per the 247Sports' composite team rankings, as the schools are behind only SEC rival Alabama. But there's still the potential for movement at the top of those rankings.

The Aggies may be No. 3 right now, but they're still in the running for quite a few undecided recruits, some of whom won't make a decision until after the early signing period. But it's also possible that Texas A&M could land several top recruits next week.

Wilson could choose the Aggies, while numerous undecided 4-star recruits are considering them as well. So they may land enough commitments to push them above the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs.

But Alabama and Georgia aren't done adding to their respective 2022 classes, either. The Bulldogs are the 247Sports Crystal Ball favorites to land Wilson, while the Crimson Tide could bring in some talented players, such as 4-star wide receiver Shazz Preston.

So it should be exciting to see how these three SEC programs continue to battle it out on the recruiting trail and how the early signing period could impact their rankings.