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National Signing Day Open Thread: Rumors, Storylines, And Predictions

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 SEC Championship Game - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s here. The day when elite football teams come together. Early National Signing Day has only been around for four years but has become the de facto day of reckoning for college football recruiting. As usual your Georgia Bulldogs are in the thick of the race for the nation’s top recruiting class. A few of the story lines going into the day.

Flippin’ Brilliant. Kirby Smart is well-known for his unwillingness to give up on recruits even after they’ve committed to another school. This year has been no different, and it’s already created a lot of opportunities, with three recruits flipping to the Bulldogs in the last two days: former Auburn pledge Drew Bobo, former Florida wide receiver commit CJ Smith, and five star former Clemson devotee Daylen Everette.

And the Bulldogs may have their eye on a couple of more players publicly pledged elsewhere. The big one would be FSU cornerback commit Travis Hunter. Hunter of Suwanee’s Collins Hill High has been committed to the Seminoles since all the way back in March of 2020, and is the #1 ranked player not just in the Peach State, but the nation. It seems unlikely to me that Hunter changes his plans at this stage, but he has taken a couple of trips to Athens this season, one assumes for a reason other than picking up empanadas at El Barrio.

Could the Red and Black suffer some defections? It seems possible. There’s been a lot of smoke around longtime defensive line commit Tyre West of Tift County and those same Florida State Seminoles. New USC head coach Lincoln Riley recently had an in home visit with five star defensive line commit Mykel Williams, who’d been committed to the Trojans until Clay Helton got the ax. (UPDATE: Williams was actually one of the first guys to send in his paperwork this morning.) Cornerback Julio Humphrey was a long time Florida commit recently re-offered by the Gators’ new staff. There’s always a chance a guy goes with his heart or his gut or what Mama wants in the eleventh hour. That’s one thing that makes the whole affair so interesting.

It’s a numbers game. Georgia has 27 current commits. In years past that would have been more than they could sign. But after the roster chaos wrought by COVID and the transfer portal the NCAA loosened the reins and is allowing teams to exceed the 25 cap that been in place.

How many more players will the Bulldogs sign? I think the number is probably 30-32 total, so between 3 and 5 more players, more if some current commits head elsewhere. How will Georgia wind up under the 85 scholarship cap in 2022? A combination of NFL early departures and the transfer portal, as several UGA players are likely headed elsewhere for more playing time. That’s just the nature of the game now.

Today’s Itinerary. There are a few major announcements to be on the lookout for:

Earnest Greene, Don Bosco Prep (CA). Greene has been a quiet recruit but may be the best available interior lineman in the nation. Alabama will be tough to beat, but I think the ‘Dawgs have a shot here.

Marvin Jones, edge rusher, American Heritage (FL). The five star edge defender will also be choosing between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida State. Again, the Tide maybe the main competition.

Kamari Wilson, cornerback, IMG Academy, 5:00 p.m. The five star defensive back has been considered a UGA lean for awhile though I’d also keep an eye out for Texas A&M.

Christen Miller, defensive tackle, Cedar Grove. Four star Miller has been a major priority for Bulldog coaches for a long time and will pick between the Res and Black and Ohio State. I am about as confident on Miller being a Dawg as any player on this list.

The (Not So) Dead Letter Office

Through the day we’ll be tracking players as they officially send in letters of intent. The first one actually came in yesterday afternoon from Australian punter Brett Thorson, because Wednesday comes earlier on the Aussie side of the International Date Line and Kirby’s not just gone wild this recruiting season, he’s gone worldwide.

Officially Signed (10:45 am update)

Brett Thorson, P

Mykel Williams, DL

Griffin Scroggs, OL

Malaki Starks, LB/DB

CJ Smith, WR

Gunner Stockton, QB

Jalen Walker, LB

Oscar Delp, TE

Cole Speer, WR

Branson Robinson, RB

Jacory Thomas, DB

Jacob Hood, OT

Cedric Washington, LB

Big Bear Alexander, DT

Jaheim “Slim” Singletary, CB

Carlton Madden, OLB

Drew Bobo, OL

De’Nylon Morrissette, WR

Let’s have a day, folks.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!