Early National Signing Day 2021: Dates, Top CFB Prospects, Odds and TV Schedule

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 13, 2021

Early National Signing Day 2021: Dates, Top CFB Prospects, Odds and TV Schedule

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    College football programs around the country have been pursuing the top high school players in the Class of 2022 for months, and some of them for years. And those recruiting efforts may pay off soon.

    On Wednesday, this year's Early Signing Period will begin, when a 72-hour window opens for high school players to sign their national letters of intent and lock in their college decisions. In recent years, many recruits have utilized this opportunity, rather than waiting for traditional national signing day in February.

    At this point, top high school players are at different stages in the recruiting process. Many have already made commitments to schools and their NLIs will be a formality. However, some could also flip their choice and select a different program, while others will decide on their destination later this week.

    Here's everything you need to know heading into this year's Early Signing Period.

Early Signing Period Key Information

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    Dates: Wednesday, Dec. 15-Friday, Dec. 17

    TV Coverage: Early signing day coverage can be found on ESPN's broadcast schedule.

    Live Stream: ESPN app

    Commitment Schedule: A list of the recruits who are scheduled to announce their commitments during the early signing period can be found at 247Sports.

Alabama Looks to Add More 5-Star Recruits to Top Class

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    Not only is Alabama the top team in the country as the No. 1 seed for the College Football Playoff, but it's also having tremendous success on the recruiting trail. Its 2022 class is the best in the country, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

    During the Early Signing Period, the Crimson Tide may further strengthen a 2022 class that already features three 5-star recruits and 16 4-stars. That's because there are several top recruits who are considering committing and signing with the team.

    Domani Jackson, a 5-star cornerback who is the No. 7 overall recruit in the class (per the 247Sports composite rankings) will decide between USC and Alabama on Wednesday. Daylen Everette, a 5-star cornerback and the No. 29 overall recruit, decommitted from Clemson last week, and the 24Sports Crystal Ball now has the Crimson Tide as the favorite to land him when he signs this week.

    Alabama also has a chance to land a top offensive recruit, as 4-star wide receiver Shazz Preston will be announcing his next destination on Wednesday. He's also considering Georgia, LSU and Texas, but he opted to take his final official visit to meet with the Crimson Tide over the weekend.

    While it's possible Alabama could miss out on these top recruits, it wouldn't be surprising to see them sign with the powerhouse program.

Could Florida End Up Landing 5-Star Safety Wilson?

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    Last week, Kamari Wilson announced he would be signing on Wednesday and would be choosing from a list of four schools: Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M. However, a fifth program has worked its way into the mix just ahead of the Early Signing Period.

    The 5-star safety from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, is now also considering Florida, after visiting the Gators over the weekend. They had been recruiting him for a while, but it seems his interest has increased since Dan Mullen was replaced by Billy Napier as head coach.

    On Friday, Wilson tweeted that he had a "great time" during his trip to Gainesville, but will the Gators' late push be enough to pass the other four programs that are still in the running?

    With four SEC schools in the mix, his decision could have a big impact on the conference's defensive landscape down the line. He's the No. 28 overall recruit and the No. 2 safety in the 2022 class, per the 247Sports composite rankings, and has the potential to be a big-time player in the future.

Texas A&M May Have to Wait to Strengthen Class

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    Per the 247Sports composite rankings, Texas A&M has the No. 3 class in the 2022 cycle, behind only SEC rivals Alabama and Georgia. But the Aggies have a chance at passing both, depending on which top recruits they can land.

    However, several of Texas A&M's top uncommitted targets won't be signing this week, so it may take a bit longer before it's clear how the Aggies' 2022 class will stack up with the other top ones in the rankings.

    Harold Perkins, a 5-star linebacker and the No. 5 overall recruit in the class, isn't announcing his college decision until Jan. 2. Shemar Stewart, a 5-star defensive lineman and the No. 9 overall recruit, won't announce his choice until Feb. 2. But the 247Sports Crystal Ball currently has Texas A&M as the favorite to land both players.

    So, the Aggies will still be pushing to land these two defensive standouts after the Early Signing Period. They may get some commitments later this week, but they could be getting an even greater boost to their class once the calendar turns to 2022.