The Latest on national signing day (all times Eastern):
Georgia has added another five-star player to its recruiting class with wide receiver George Pickens, who was committed to Auburn before choosing the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-4 Pickens went to Hoover (Alabama) High School. He becomes Georgia’s 23rd signee and the fifth five-star player in the class.
There will be opportunity for Pickens to play immediately. Georgia lost juniors Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman to the NFL draft. Georgia signed receivers Dominick Blaylock and Makiya Tongue in the December early period.
Georgia already has 14 early enrollees. Georgia had the nation’s top-ranked signing class in 2018 and was ranked behind only Alabama in the 247Sports composite ranking through the early signing period this time.
Alabama already has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country locked up so losing a four-star or two on signing day is no reason to worry about the Crimson Tide. After having defensive end Khris Bogle flip from Alabama to Florida early in the day, another former Tide commit decided to sign elsewhere.
It wasn’t shocking that defensive back Christian Williams, from Daphne, Alabama, signed with Miami, but it was an important get for the Hurricanes. New Miami coach Manny Diaz took advantage of the staff turnover at Alabama to land the four-star cornerback.
Late coaching changes after the early signing period can cause high school player to reconsider their commitments. For example, Isheem Young, a four-star safety recruit out of Philadelphia, was verbally committed to West Virginia, but after Dana Holgorsen left Morgantown to become coach at Houston, Young started shopping around again.
Young signed at Iowa State, boosting a class that has a chance to be the highest rated since Matt Campbell took over three years ago.
For Young, Iowa State is also giving him a second chance. He was arrested and charged in connection with a robbery in Philadelphia. Pennlive.com reported that Young pleaded guilty on three counts, including robbery, conspiracy and possession of an instrument of crime, in May. Young, who was 17 at the time of the incident, also agreed to be adjudicated delinquent and to be committed to a juvenile facility.
Campbell says Young is a “highly motivated young man who has expressed tremendous gratitude for the opportunity” to join the Cyclones.
The first notable flip on signing day was good news for Florida. Khris Bogle, a pass rusher out of Fort Lauderdale, had committed to Alabama during a national high school all-star game last month. But on signing day Bogle, a four-star prospect, signed with coach Dan Mullen’s Gators.
Florida is lining up a potential top-10 class that could give the Southeastern Conference five of the 10 best 2019 recruiting hauls, joining Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU.
Virginia Tech also made some news early in the day, landing offensive lineman Doug Nester from West Virginia. Nester had verbally committed to Ohio State in 2017 and Penn State was also pushing for him.
Signing Day Part II is here and while nobody is catching Alabama for the recruiting crown, there is still some work to be done and a few blue-chippers to sign.
About 80 percent of available scholarships in FBS were scooped up during the early signing period in December. The traditional February signing period, which begins Wednesday, is more of an afterthought.
Some drama might be drummed up around the few remaining unsigned five-star prospects. Darnell Wright, an offensive lineman from West Virginia, is expected to choose between Tennessee and Alabama. Jerrion Ealy, a running back from Mississippi, will pick between Clemson and Ole Miss.
Miami and Southern California are trying to recover from underwhelming Decembers, and Florida State looks to finish strong after a disappointing first season under Willie Taggart.
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