Tuesdays with Gorney: Decompressing after a hectic Early Signing Period

Now that Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney has had a moment to breathe and dive into the early signing period, here are some insights from last week’s frenzy.

THOUGHTS OF TRAVIS HUNTER

For weeks before National Signing Day, there were rumors that the five-star athlete and prospect number 1 in the 2022 class would be targeting Georgia. I could see it happen. That made sense. But no one saw Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill’s showpiece go to Jackson state until about an hour before it happened on national television. Apparently, Travis Hunter visited Jackson State, dated the coaches and players, and did all of this in secret. Perhaps Hunter has given up the opportunity to play for national titles and on national television every week, but he’ll gain a lot of attention – and potentially a load of NIL money – by playing for Deion Sanders and to the state of Jackson. It truly is one of the most interesting recruiting stories in Rivals history.

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TEXAS A&M IS NOT DONE

Texas A&M finished so remarkably well in the Early Signing period that the Aggies now have the best class in the country – and I’m told they’re not done yet. I’ve actually heard Texas A&M may also have to dismiss a five-star prospect because they’re running out of space with five-star linebacker Harold Perkins, four-star defender Shemar Stewart, and more in play. From Wednesday to Saturday, coach Jimbo Fisher overturned Marquis Groves-Killebrew from Georgia, got Kam Dewberry, Enai White, Anthony Lucas, and Denver Harris, and got Jake Johnson, who had recently resigned from LSU. An incredible loot that is not finished yet.

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TMAC MOVE IS INTERESTING

Arizona have averaged 17 points per game this season. The Wildcats rushed in for just six touchdowns and threw just 12. They lost to all but Cal. It was a difficult first season for the manager Jedd Fisch. But Arizona scored a major recruiting win when five-star receiver Tetairoa McMillan tipped over there after coach Mario cristobal he left Oregon for Miami. He joins three talented teammates from Anaheim (Calif.) Served in the Wildcats class and I’ve seen McMillan three times this season – he could be the best receiver in his class and Fisch should have him on the pitch from Day 1.

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MIAMI WILL MAKE THIS INTERESTING

Jaleel Skinner (Nick Lucero / Rivals.com)

Maybe Miami only has nine total commitments, but her entire class might have collapsed if it weren’t for coach Mario Cristobal holding her together after getting the job – and things could get a lot more interesting in the coming weeks. Every single commit had other options but they decided to stay and then Cristobal launched tight end four star Jaleel Skinner from Alabama. It could end up as the best tight end in the class. There are new goals with Miami being more involved with Kevin Coleman, getting involved with Shemar Stewart, getting Cyrus Moss for a visit, and Dave Iuli is another prospect to watch. January and February are going to get really interesting.

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THE THREE MAIN PROGRAMS SEPARATE

Texas A&M (3249 points), Alabama (3201) and Georgia (3115) are so far ahead in the team rankings that it’s pretty impressive to see their dominance. The Bulldogs have five five-star engagements and the Aggies have three and it wouldn’t be a complete shock if they ended up with five too. Crimson Tides have “only” five stars but 20 four stars of which six are a step below five star status. Ohio State (2618) and Texas (2570) round out the top five, but it’s clear that the team rankings are dominated by these three SEC powers right now.

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DISAPPEARING ACTS

Lots of programs have been uploaded and put the finishing touches to their recruiting classes in the first term. There are others who still have a lot of work to do. There are a myriad of reasons for this, whether it’s a change of manager or loss of coordinators or whatever, but LSU is ranked number 27 nationwide. This is unheard of. How about Clemson at No. 28 or Florida under no. 46 or Oregon under no. 50, Miami at no. 56 or USC under no. 63. There will be tons of changes after the All-Star events and through February, but here’s one more: Washington has just as many pledges as Georgia has committed five stars.

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PAC-12 MADNESS

CJ Williams

CJ Williams

It’s a world turned upside down in the Pac-12 team leaderboard with Stanford and Arizona in the lead despite both having disappointing seasons. Coaching changes in Washington, Oregon and USC have changed things dramatically. Huskies only have five total commitments. The USC only has seven, although more may be coming soon as Trojans are involved with four-star receiver CJ Williams, four-star DE / OLB Cyrus Moss and others, and Oregon is in fifth place in the conference after having dominated recent recruiting cycles.

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CREDIT TO KENTUCKY

Kentucky is in tenth place in the team and manager rankings Mark bends down and his staff deserve a lot of credit because they closed strong and avoided a really big disappointment – literally – by convincing offensive four-star lineman Kiyaunta Goodwin into the class after making visits across the country and was close to flipping in late Michigan state. . Goodwin wasn’t the only win as Kentucky got Auburn unpack Kobi Albert, beat Michigan for Deone Walker, got four-star defensive JUCO Zah Frazier, and more. Four-star receiver Barion Brown, busy in early December, could be a future star.

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CREDIT TO TENNESSEE

The Volunteers did a lot of strategic work and the signing day paid off. Tennessee beat Auburn for four-star running back Justin Williams. He overturned four-star defensive tackle Tire West from Georgia, which came as no shock, but it was expected that he would pick the state of Florida. Charlotte (NC) defensive four-star Chambers James Pearce is one of the quietest players in the class, but the Vols also took him on signing day. Things are going the right way for Tennessee now, and Wednesday came another step.

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