Early National Signing Day 2021: All 5-Star Recruits Committed to Each School

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2021

Early National Signing Day 2021: All 5-Star Recruits Committed to Each School

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Stars matter. And, in particular, 5-stars matter.

    Over the last 15 years, the popularity of recruiting rankings has exploded in college football. During that time, every single Football Bowl Subdivision champion has earned that national title following a few years of elite recruiting.

    Not only does landing a top-rated prospect offer hope for team success in the immediate future, but that commitment also provides credibility for a coaching staff. If a coveted player picks a certain program, others see the school as a realistic destination, too.

    Sure, a 5-star talent might not develop as hoped. However, signing these prized prospects is a major boostand at least 14 programs, pending last-moment changes that could happen, are primed to receive that lift in the 2022 early signing period.

    The following list highlights the 29 players with a 5-star billing who have signed or announced their commitments so far.

The Breakout Team: Texas A&M

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    If you want to keep up with Alabama, dominating the recruiting trail is a necessary start. Texas A&M is doing exactly that.

    Headlined by No. 2 overall prospect Walter Nolen, the Aggies secured commitments from a quartet of 5-stars. Nolen is a 6'4", 325-pound defensive tackle who racked up 93 tackles with 28 for loss and 17 sacks as a senior in high school.

    Additionally, the Aggies have a verbal pledge from wide receiver Evan Stewart (No. 6 overall) and signatures from defensive lineman Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy (No. 16) and quarterback Connor Weigman (No. 19). Brownlow-Dindy recently flipped from Oklahoma after the departure of Sooners coach Lincoln Riley to USC.

    Texas A&M is hoping it's not finished yet, either.

    Uncommitted linebacker Harold Perkins (No. 5), defensive lineman Shemar Stewart (No. 9) and cornerback Denver Harris (No. 17) remain on the board for the Aggies.

Schools with Multiple 5-Star Commits

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    Alabama (3)

    Successful in-state recruiting is paramount, and Alabama brought in both 5-stars from the Yellowhammer State. Edge-rusher Jeremiah Alexander (No. 8) and running back Emmanuel Henderson (No. 30) are committed to the Tide, along with Ty Simpson (No. 24), a quarterback from Tennessee.


    Georgia (5)

    Georgia's class includes a pair of elite in-state prospects with athlete Malaki Starks (No. 14) and defensive lineman Mykel Williams (No. 26). A pair of Florida cornerbacks, Jaheim Singletary (No. 21) and Daylen Everette (No. 29), and defensive end Marvin Jones Jr. (No. 22) round out the quintet.


    LSU (2)

    No program has a fence around in-state blue-chip prospects like LSU, which hasn't lost a Louisiana 5-star since 2014. Offensive tackle Will Campbell (No. 32) and quarterback Walker Howard (No. 34) are set to continue the trend in 2022.


    North Carolina (2)

    As the Tar Heels brace for the departure of Sam Howell, two arrivals will fortify the line of scrimmage. Defensive lineman Travis Shaw (No. 4) and offensive tackle Zach Rice (No. 11) are the top players from North Carolina and Virginia, respectively.


    Ohio State (2)

    Ohio State is padding the back seven of its defense. Two in-state talents, linebacker C.J. Hicks (No. 12) and safety Sonny Styles (No. 13), are tied to the Buckeyes.

Best of the Rest

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    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables left to replace Riley at Oklahoma, and cornerback Daylen Everette (No. 29) backed off his pledge shortly thereafter. As a result, quarterback Cade Klubnik (No. 18) is the lone 5-star in the class.



    Not only did Florida sign safety Kamari Wilson (No. 28), the Gators kept him from SEC East rival Georgia. Wilson gave UF a 5-star signee for the third straight recruiting cycle.


    Florida State

    The departure highlighted below may haunt Mike Norvell's tenure, but the Seminoles didn't strike out in the 5-star department. They landed safety Sam McCall (No. 31), a one-time Florida commit.


    Jackson State

    Deion Sanders and lower-division Jackson State pulled off an iconic steal in the early signing period. The head coach swiped Travis Hunter, the No. 1 overall recruit in the cycle, from his 21-month to Florida Statewhich is Sanders' alma mater.



    This is, physically and metaphorically, a big commitment for Kentucky. Kiyaunta Jackson is a 6'8", 340-pound offensive tackle, and he's the program's first 5-star signee since 2006.



    Not only is cornerback Will Johnson (No. 20) a local prospect, he's a Michigan legacy. His father, Deon, played in the secondary for the Wolverines in the early 1990s and won a Rose Bowl.



    Missouri beat out SEC powers Alabama and Georgia for wide receiver Luther Burden, the No. 3 prospect in the cycle. Thanks to Burden and six 4-star commits, the class is ranked 12th nationally and would be Missouri's first top-25 haul since 2015.


    Notre Dame

    In the last decade, Notre Dame has produced several big-name linebackers. Jaylen Sneed (No. 35) could be the next in line following Manti Te'o, Jaylon Smith and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.


    Penn State

    Starting quarterback Sean Clifford will return for a sixth year, but he'll have new competition next season. Drew Allar (No. 27), who threw for 4,443 yards, rushed for 415 and totaled 57 touchdowns in his senior year, is joining the Nittany Lions.



    Steve Sarkisian's debut season ended with an awful 5-7 record, but his first recruiting year is approaching a strong finish. Offensive tackle Kelvin Banks (No. 15) is the featured piece of the Longhorns' class, which ranks fifth nationally.



    Running back Raleek Brown (No. 33) followed Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC. Brown had been committed to Riley and the Sooners since early February.


    All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.