The early signing period for the 2024 college football recruiting cycle has seen its share of surprises, flips, and impactful moves. As we evaluate the winners and teams that missed out during this period, it’s essential to consider the entire recruiting process, not just signing day itself.
Signing Day Winners
1. Oregon Ducks: Already possessing a top-five class, Coach Dan Lanning made significant additions during the early signing period. The Ducks managed to flip ESPN 300 receiver Ryan Pellum from USC, a notable achievement against a conference rival. Additionally, they secured ESPN 300 receiver Jeremiah McClellan from Ohio State, bolstering their receiving corps. With key transfers, such as Dillon Gabriel and Dante Moore, Oregon appears well-equipped for the future.
2. Auburn Tigers: Auburn has made substantial progress in recruiting, currently ranking eighth in the nation. Coach Hugh Freeze’s efforts include flipping ESPN 300 receiver Perry Thompson from Alabama, a significant in-state victory. Auburn also secured five-star receiver Cameron Coleman from Texas A&M and five-star defensive end Jamonta Waller from Florida, strengthening both sides of the ball.
3. Texas Tech Red Raiders: Under Coach Joey McGuire’s leadership, Texas Tech has improved its recruiting efforts. The standout addition is five-star receiver Micah Hudson, a significant win for the program. The Red Raiders also secured ESPN 300 defensive end Cheta Ofili and ESPN 300 offensive lineman Ellis Davis.
4. Nebraska Cornhuskers: Coach Matt Rhule made strategic moves during the 2024 recruiting cycle, securing five-star QB Dylan Raiola from Georgia. Raiola’s commitment is crucial as Nebraska seeks to address its quarterback needs. The Cornhuskers also signed ESPN 300 offensive line recruits Grant Brix and Preston Taumua, along with ESPN 300 tight end Carter Nelson, providing valuable depth.
Teams That Missed Out
1. Texas A&M Aggies: A coaching change disrupted Texas A&M’s recruiting efforts, leading to the loss of eight prospects, including five-star receiver Cameron Coleman to Auburn. This setback significantly affected their class, which currently ranks 21st, contrasting with their No. 1 class in 2022.
2. Florida Gators: Although Florida held onto five-star quarterback D.J. Lagway, they lost nine recruits during the recruiting process, including ESPN 300 safety Xavier Filsaime to Texas. Florida also lost five-star defensive lineman Jamonta Waller and four-star DE Amaris Williams to Auburn. While still a strong class, the Gators missed out on some key prospects.
Questions Moving Forward
1. When will Jordan Seaton sign? Five-star offensive tackle Jordan Seaton committed to Colorado but has not yet signed his national letter of intent. His decision is eagerly anticipated, as Seaton’s talent could significantly impact Colorado’s offensive line.
2. Does Florida State have a ‘closing’ problem? Florida State experienced late flips of top recruits, raising questions about their ability to close deals. Despite a strong class, improving their closing skills remains a priority.
3. What happens with DT Dominick McKinley? ESPN 300 defensive tackle Dominick McKinley, committed to Texas A&M, is delaying his signing to assess his options amid the coaching change. LSU and Texas are vying for his commitment, and his final decision will unfold over the next month.