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College football signing day winners and losers: The wealthy become even wealthier; Oregon and Texas also benefit significantly.

We associate the Christmas season with gift giving and receiving. When the early signing period begins a few days before the holiday, college football coaches get their biggest gift of the season.

The majority of the elite recruits confirmed their choices by putting pen to paper on Wednesday, while others made surprise switch to new school announcements. The consequences of these decisions will be felt for the next three to four years, as those who have correctly evaluated and pursued their right targets will benefit when those players take the field.

While recruiting will always be an inexact science, there is unquestionably a higher correlation of success for those at the top of the rankings. With that in mind, here are the 2023 class’s winners and losers.

Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State

Yes, this trio once again leads the way with three of the best classes. The Crimson Tide are the presumptive No. 1 finishers, aided by some late additions. Keon Keeley, a former Notre Dame commit, joined the team last week, and Kadyn Proctor, a longtime offensive lineman committed to Iowa, switched this week. Samuel M’Pemba could be the Bulldogs’ next defensive line standout in a class that is unusually short on top talent but has impressive depth throughout. Unsurprisingly, the Buckeyes landed two of the best wide receiver signees in Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate, both from Florida.


The Longhorns were the unanticipated winners of the long and well-publicized pursuit of Arch Manning’s signature, and his commitment fueled an impressive group of newcomers to Austin. Two in-state defenders, linebacker Anthony Hill and defensive lineman Colton Vasek, decommitted from Texas A&M and Oklahoma, respectively, and joined the team later in the process. Wide receiver Johntay Cook and running back Cedric Baxter both contribute to the offence. Both could see immediate action next season.


The Ducks experienced the highs and lows of the recruiting season more than any other programme in the final week. When five-star quarterback Dante Moore committed this summer, they appeared to have found their quarterback of the future. Moore was persuaded to join Pac-12 rival UCLA after offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham left for Arizona State. On signing day, Oregon quickly added longtime Baylor quarterback commitment Austin Novosad from Texas. The Ducks then sprung two five-star surprises on Wednesday, convincing Notre Dame defensive back commitment Peyton Bowen to switch and successfully luring defensive lineman Matayo Uiagalelei away from finalists Ohio State and Southern California. Bowen, who had yet to sign as of Wednesday evening, is embroiled in controversy.


The Hurricanes had a disappointing season under first-year coach Mario Cristobal, but they were still able to assemble what appears to be a top-five class. Cristobal’s experience as an offensive line coach was also useful in bringing in Samson Okunlola and Francis Mauigoa, two five-star prospects who could provide immediate help up front next season. The only unknown is the status of five-star defensive back Cormani McClain, the crown jewel of the incoming class who delayed signing on Wednesday.



After two consecutive College Football Playoff appearances, the Wolverines should be considered among the elite programmes. However, they finished with a class that was barely inside the top 20, lacking the trench strength that has driven the team’s recent success and also lacks a quarterback who could be groomed next season with J.J. McCarthy potentially entering the 2024 NFL draught. The late additions of wide receivers Karmello English and Semaj Morgan, on the other hand, strengthen that position.

Notre Dame University

It’s not that the Fighting Irish performed poorly in Marcus Freeman’s first full class. They finished comfortably in the top 10 after signing running back Jeremiyah Love and defensive back Christian Gray from St. Louis high schools, as well as in-state linebacker Drayk Bowen. However, prior to Keeley’s defection and the expected loss of Bowen, this had the potential to be one of their best classes in decades. These are two players with the profile the programme requires to win in the playoffs.

Texas A&M University

It was always going to be difficult for the Aggies to replicate last year’s phenomenal class, which was lauded as one of the best in modern recruiting history. However, the Aggies have already lost key members of that group to the portal and have struggled to gain traction with some of the top recruits this cycle. The disappointing play of Jimbo Fisher’s offence and a 5-7 finish had an impact, but finishing outside the top 10 – even with a smaller class than others – is a letdown for a programme that needed to keep building on the impressive 2022 haul to get where it wants to go.

New trainers

The early signing day forces new hires from outside the current programme to assemble classes in days, rather than months, during a period of instability and recent results that leaves little foundation for this recruiting cycle. Hugh Freeze of Auburn was the only coach in this situation who had a top 25 recruiting class. Ryan Walters of Purdue, Scott Satterfield of Cincinnati, Kenny Dillingham of Arizona State, and Deion Sanders of Colorado are among those who must take advantage of the late signing period and begin planning for 2024.

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