College Football National Signing Day (Full Updates, 12/20)

Published by: Bear Acuda

The early signing period for college football’s national recruiting day is underway, running from Wednesday to Friday. During this time, high school athletes are signing their national letters of intent, committing to their chosen colleges for at least the upcoming year.

This year’s build-up to signing day has been somewhat subdued, yet there’s potential for surprises. Notably, five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola switched his commitment from Georgia to Nebraska, and there are ongoing speculations about other top recruits, such as safety K.J. Bolden, receiver Jeremiah Smith, and quarterback D.J. Lagway.

Currently, Georgia leads the 2024 class rankings, with close competition following. Most teams are expected to secure the bulk of their recruits this week, though the recruitment process is far from complete. Athletes who don’t sign by Friday will have another chance on the next national signing day, starting February 7, 2024.

Bleacher Brothers will keep you updated on the latest breaking news throughout the Signing Day (Early Period). As of noon ET, here are the schools with the Top 300 recruits for the 2024 class:

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  • Georgia: 19 recruits
  • Oregon: 15 recruits
  • Ohio State: 14 recruits
  • Florida State: 13 recruits
  • Alabama, Texas, and Florida: 12 recruits each

Remaining Top Prospects in Yet to Commit:

 As the current recruiting cycle nears its end, there are still a select few uncommitted talents in the ESPN 300. Out of the entire list, only 11 athletes remain undecided about their college destination. The following are some of the highest-ranked prospects still available:

  • ATH Aaron Butler: Ranked 71st overall
  • WR Gatlin Bair: Ranked 77th
  • S Zay Mincey: Ranked 84th
  • ATH Daniel Hill: Ranked 134th
  • ATH Braylon Burnside: Ranked 166th

Notable Signings:

  • 5-star DB KJ Bolden Flips From FSU to Georgia

KJ Bolden | Ranked No. 16 in ESPN 300

Committed to: Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia’s New Defensive Backfield Toy: This high school football standout joins a secondary looking to get back to global dominance at the collegiate level. Bolden should make an immediate impact, thanks to his impressive range and knack for generating turnovers. He’s optimally suited as a deep safety, capable of correcting errors and thwarting touchdown attempts. His agility and fluidity also make him competent as a slot defender or outside corner. Bolden also played offense and special teams in high school. However, defensive coordinators might prefer to preserve his energy for defense, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia’s special teams coach leveraged his skills in return plays, especially after he scored on two kickoff returns during his senior year.

Scouting Report: As a defender, his speed consistently shines in games, and his instincts are matured. Currently, he has a leaner build and will likely need to gain mass to enhance his effectiveness in open-field tackling. Despite this, he exhibits surprising physicality for his size, capable of delivering impactful hits. In his senior year, he notched four interceptions but was even more prolific on offense, scoring 15 touchdowns. There’s also potential for him to play as a wide receiver at the college level due to his ability to swiftly gain yards and elude defenders in open space.

  • Analyzing Miami’s New Recruit: JoJo Trader 

JoJo Trader | Ranked No. 18 in ESPN 300 

Committed to: Miami Hurricanes

Miami’s Key Addition: With the signing of JoJo Trader, a top-20 overall talent, the Hurricanes are adding a player with remarkable abilities and adaptability. Trader’s skill in playing both inside and outside receiver positions, coupled with his excellent hands and quick acceleration, promises significant early contributions in Coral Gables. His commitment is a strategic win for the Hurricanes and coach Mario Cristobal, especially in retaining a sought-after South Florida talent. Fan’s of the South Beach Football Club will be very pleased with this Signing Day gem.

Scouting Insights on Trader: Trader stands out for his exceptional catching abilities, considered among the best in his class. His notable body control and ability to effortlessly catch passes extending beyond his frame make him a reliable target. He has a knack for making difficult catches in tight spaces and smoothly transitioning upfield. Trader’s quick acceleration and refined route running skills enable him to consistently gain separation from defenders. He is particularly skilled at transforming short passes into significant gains, making him a valuable asset for the Miami offense.

  • Auburn’s New Acquisition: Jamonta Waller 

Jamonta Waller | Ranked No. 19 in ESPN 300 

Committed to: Auburn Tigers

Auburn’s Gain with Waller: The Auburn Tigers have secured Jamonta Waller, the highest-rated player from Mississippi and the fourth-ranked defensive end in his class, adding to an already impressive Signing Day. Initially committed to Florida, Waller is an ideal fit for Auburn’s edge position. He is set to play as a stand-up outside linebacker, primarily focusing on pass-rushing, but also possesses the ability to drop back into coverage.

Analyzing Waller’s Strengths: Waller, with a height of 6-2 and weight of 230 pounds, is a formidable presence on the edge. His rapid acceleration and explosive start, coupled with his refined pass-rushing techniques, enable him to overpower opposing tackles. While he may not have the ideal height, his arm length and range are significant advantages. These attributes help him maintain distance from blockers and effectively tackle quarterbacks from behind. Additionally, Waller’s robust build allows him to utilize power and leverage to his benefit, further enhancing his effectiveness on the field.

  • Five-Star QB D.J. Lagway Commits to Florida 
  • D.J. Lagway | Ranked No. 17 in ESPN 300 
  • Committed to: Florida Gators

Florida’s Future at Quarterback: The Florida Gators are set to receive a significant boost in their quarterback position with the signing of D.J. Lagway. As the second-ranked dual-threat quarterback in his class, Lagway comes off an impressive season, boasting a completion rate of over 70% for 4,604 yards and 58 touchdowns. His abilities extend to the ground as well, where he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and scored an additional 16 touchdowns.

Evaluating Lagway’s Capabilities: A multi-sport athlete, Lagway brings a combination of size and skill to the Gators, standing at 6-3 and weighing 225 pounds. His arm strength is notable, as he can swiftly and accurately deliver the ball with significant downfield power. Lagway’s physical build, particularly in his upper body, makes him a formidable presence when he exits the pocket. His aggressive playing style, coupled with adequate speed, solidifies him as a genuine dual-threat quarterback.

  • The rich get richer: Alabama Crimson Tide Boosts Defense 

Jaylen Mbakwe | Ranked No. 2 in ESPN 300 

Committed to: Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama Strengthens Defense: The Alabama Crimson Tide fortifies its defensive lineup, particularly in the cornerback position, with the signing of Jaylen Mbakwe. Mbakwe’s arrival is timely, as Alabama is set to bid farewell to two potential first-round NFL draft picks, Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry. As the second-ranked player in the ESPN 300, Mbakwe’s addition is a significant gain for the team.

Overview of Mbakwe’s Talents: Standing at 6 feet, Mbakwe is known for his remarkable speed, clocking a 10.46 in the 100-meter dash, coupled with exceptional skills in ball handling. His ability to swiftly change direction and transition on the field is notable, along with his rapid recovery speed. Mbakwe demonstrates not only talent as a receiver with sharp instincts for tracking the ball in the air but also shows a readiness to contribute to run support, a vital skill for his role at Alabama.

  • Auburn Secures Dynamic Receiver Cameron Coleman 

Cameron Coleman | Ranked No. 6 in ESPN 300

Committed to: Auburn Tigers

Auburn’s New Addition: The Auburn Tigers have successfully recruited Cameron Coleman, formerly committed to Texas A&M. Known as “Mini-Megatron,” reminiscent of the famed receiver Calvin Johnson, Coleman brings a remarkable combination of size and speed to the team. Ranked as the top receiver and the sixth overall recruit, Coleman is among the most athletically impressive receivers recently seen.

Evaluating Coleman’s Skills: Standing at an imposing 6-foot-4 and weighing 185 pounds, Coleman is not only large and fast but also remarkably agile for his size. He excels in aerial battles, consistently winning jump balls, and is adept at making catches in tight coverage. His ability to leap and reach over defenders, combined with his excellent coordination and body control, makes him a formidable vertical threat on the field. Although he may require some fine-tuning technically, Coleman’s natural talent is expected to make him a key player for big plays from his very first game at Auburn.

  • Texas Tech Secures Top Talent in Micah Hudson 

Micah Hudson | Ranked No. 13 in ESPN 300 

Committed to: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech’s New Addition: The Red Raiders have secured their most highly-rated recruit since the inception of the ESPN 300 era. Hudson, a standout as the second-highest recruit from Texas and the nation’s fifth-ranked wide receiver, is expected to be an immediate key player for the team. His exceptional skills suggest a smooth transition to college football.

Overview of Hudson’s Abilities: Hudson presents as a well-rounded athlete with a broad skill set. He may not be singularly elite in any one aspect but excels in various areas. Known for his speed, he poses a significant threat in deep-field plays. Perhaps his most notable skill is his route running. Hudson executes his breaks with precision, effectively creating space from defenders. He’s adept at handling congested areas, possesses the strength to shrug off tackles post-catch, and excels at high-point catches with his impressive ball-handling skills. His agility allows him to evade tackles and consistently advance the ball, making him a valuable asset for moving the chains.

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Other significant Signing Day acquisitions:

  • Top-rated DE (Rivals.com) Armondo Blount flips from FSU to Miami
  • ESPN 300 DL LJ McCray signs with Florida
  • Oregon flips 4-Star WR Ryan Pellum from USC
  • 4-star wide receiver DayDay Farmer flipping from UCF to West Virginia.
  • Perry Thompson, No. 44 in ESPN 300, signing with Auburn.
  • Texas A&M commit Dominick McKinley, a 4-star defensive tackle, postponing his signing until February.
  • 4-star wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan flipping from Ohio State to Oregon.
  • Oregon signing 4-star defensive end Elijah Rushing, the No. 5-ranked DE in the class.
  • Clemson adding 4-star offensive guard Elyjah Thurmon.
  • Vanderbilt welcoming 3-star quarterback Whit Muschamp, son of Georgia defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
  • Notre Dame signing 3-star safety Kennedy Urlacher, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher.
  • UCF adding 4-star running back Frankie Arthur, brother of former NFL star Adrian Peterson.

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