Signing Day 2023: Alabama And Texas On The Rise For 2024, While Florida And USC Face Decline

As National Signing Day for the 2024 college football recruiting cycle unfolds, the excitement continues with signatures still to be secured, announcements in the pipeline, and the promise of surprises on the horizon. While the dust settles, it’s time to assess which college football programs are trending upwards and which ones might be facing a downturn in their recruiting fortunes.

Instead of the usual Winners and Losers format, we’re taking a comprehensive look at the trajectory of these programs as they close out their 2024 recruiting cycle, with the transfer portal also playing a significant role in shaping their rosters.

Our assessment heavily considers the results from the 2023 season. In simple terms, are we bullish on this program, or are we bearish?

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 2

Alabama, a perennial powerhouse, might seem like a predictable choice, consistently ranking in the top echelons of recruiting classes. However, this year, there’s a sense of upward mobility in their class rankings. The Crimson Tide surged from No. 3 to No. 2 in the class rankings during the week, no small feat given the late stage in the recruiting cycle.

While they didn’t clinch the top spot this year, they did manage to secure commitments from 4-star running back Kevin Riley and 4-star athlete Aeryn Hampton. Additionally, they welcomed the reclassification of 5-star receiver Ryan Williams to the 2024 class, bolstering their ranks. This class includes elite cornerbacks, 5-star Jaylen Mbakwe and 4-star Zabien Brown, who will fortify the secondary. With promising talents like quarterback Julian Sayin in the mix, Alabama’s future looks bright.

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 16

Florida Gators fans might not be thrilled with the direction their program is heading, especially on Signing Day. Despite retaining elite talents like quarterback DJ Lagway and defensive lineman LJ McCray, the Gators suffered significant losses. Four-star linebackers Amaris Williams and Adarius Hayes flipped to other schools, and earlier in the week, 5-star safety Xavier Filsaime committed to Texas.

The Gators’ class, once ranked No. 10, now sits at No. 15. They’ve fallen behind in the state’s “Big 3,” trailing Miami and Florida State, and rank seventh in the SEC. The 2024 class, combined with losses in the transfer portal, paints a challenging picture for the Gators as they face a demanding 2024 schedule.

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 6

Texas Longhorns fans have much to be excited about, especially concerning the safety position. They successfully recruited 5-star safety Xavier Filsaime, keeping him in-state rather than losing him to Florida. Additionally, they secured elite safety Kobe Black and landed Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba through the transfer portal.

The Longhorns also added 4-star transfer wideout Matthew Golden and retained 5-star wideout Ryan Wingo despite late advances from other schools. With a class that includes five 5-star prospects, Texas is poised for success as they navigate the challenging terrain of the SEC under Coach Steve Sarkisian.

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 20

USC, once known for its glitzy allure, is facing challenges. Despite having a roster filled with highly-ranked players, including 5-stars, the Trojans are experiencing an exodus of talent. Several former 5-stars and high-rated 4-stars are leaving the program. This raises questions about player development and team cohesion.

With a recruiting class ranked at No. 20 and a transfer class ranked at No. 36, USC’s approach seems different from what fans might have expected. As they transition to the Big Ten, they are focusing on building a tougher team, led by players like offensive lineman Jason Zandamela and edge rusher Kameryn Fountain. However, the road ahead, especially with a challenging schedule, looks uncertain.

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 4

Oregon Ducks are securing their future at the quarterback position with Dillon Gabriel and Dante Moore for 2024 and 2025. This strong foundation allows them to make attractive additions to their receiving corps. They successfully flipped coveted wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan from Ohio State and 4-star receiver Ryan Pellum from USC.

Moreover, they convinced transfer offensive tackle Matthew Bedford to join them. Oregon’s recruiting class boasts two 5-star defensive linemen and a promising lineup. With Coach Dan Lanning bringing an SEC feel to the program, Oregon fans can look forward to a bright future, especially as they transition to the Big Ten.

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 12

Clemson, known for its excellence on the football field, is facing a challenge when it comes to the roster. Despite having some outstanding headliners in their 2024 class, they are losing several scholarship players to the transfer portal. This exodus raises concerns about depth and player availability.

Clemson’s recruiting class is ranked at No. 12, but the transfer portal isn’t being fully utilized to fill the gaps. Their approach suggests a reluctance to embrace the NCAA Transfer Portal, and this raises questions about the team’s future and performance, especially with a potentially thin depth chart in 2024 and beyond.

Recruiting Class Rank: No. 24

Missouri’s stock is on the rise with two of their top-5 all-time signees joining the program in the last three cycles. Their commitment from 5-star defensive lineman Williams Nwaneri showcases their recruiting prowess.

Additionally, they secured the portal’s top offensive lineman, Cayden Green, and cornerback Toriano Pride from Clemson. With a No. 23-ranked overall class and a successful season, Missouri is riding high and looking forward to future success.

In the ever-dynamic landscape of college football recruiting, these trends provide insight into the changing fortunes of these programs. As the 2024 season approaches, it will be interesting to see how these recruiting classes translate into on-field success.