Few 5-stars left as early signing period comes to close
By RALPH D. RUSSO
Dec. 22, 2017
After the first early signing period for major college football, there are still some big prizes to be had on the recruiting trail.
The three-day window came to close Friday with one more five-star recruit coming off the board. Georgia held what seems to be a commanding lead in the race for the mythical recruiting championship.
Most schools have filled the majority of available spots in their classes. Using the 247 Sports composite rankings, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Penn State and Miami will head toward the traditional signing period that starts the first Wednesday of February with the top five classes. Alabama, the recruiting kings for almost a decade, and Clemson are next.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart landed six recruits rated five stars, the same number as Ohio State, Texas and Penn State combined.
Twenty-eight players have five-star rankings from 247 Sports. The latest to sign was Terrace Marshall, a wide receiver from Bossier City, Louisiana, who was deciding between LSU and Texas A&M. Marshall chose to stay in state, a huge get for coach Ed Orgeron and the Tigers.
UNSIGNED FIVE-STAR PROSPECTS
Patrick Surtain, CB, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Surtain, whose father was an NFL cornerback, might be the best at his position in the class. His top suitors include LSU, Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, from Anaheim, California. The brother of Notre Dame receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Could he end up at Notre Dame with his brother? Or maybe somewhere in the Pac-12. Stanford, UCLA and USC are all in pursuit.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, of Tampa, Florida. Can new Gators coach Dan Mullen keep the top remaining offensive line in state? Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama and Auburn are also possibilities.
Devon Williams, WR, Lancaster, California. Another player who seems likely bound for the Pac-12. Oregon is the front-runner, though Alabama assistant Tosh Lupoi's connections in the California could give the Tide a shot to steal. He could end up playing defensive back.
Isaac Taylor-Stuart, CB, San Diego, California. A 6-foot-2 cornerback draws a lot of attention. USC will try to keep him in SoCal, while Texas A&M, Alabama and Georgia are trying to lure him to the SEC.
Tyson Campbell, CB, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Surtain's teammate could be the last big addition to Miami's class. Or another player Georgia and Alabama will tussle over.
MORE WORK TO DO
Most of the Power Five schools signed upward of 15 players. Plenty were in the 20s. Teams with new coaches were predictably behind:
— Chip Kelly and UCLA had 11 signees and a class that ranked 33rd in the nation, according to 247 Sports' composite rankings.
— Willie Taggart and Florida State will go into the next stage of recruiting with 10 players signed and class ranked 34th.
— Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee has 16 signees and a borderline top 25 class.
— Scott Frost and Nebraska made a splash by landing four-star quarterback Adrian Martinez of California among its 14 signings.
— Chad Morris and Arkansas seems to have the most room to grow. The Razorbacks have 11 signees and a class ranked 69th.