Video: 2018 National Signing Day recap
MaxPreps national football editor Zack Poff and host Myckena Guerrero break down the day.
With more than 60 percent of the Top 100 recruits already inked during the new December early signing period, Wednesday's National Signing Day appeared an afterthought.
Here are five takes from a surprisingly suspenseful and entertaining day:
1. Georgia joins big 3
The big three — California, Texas and Florida — finally officially added a fourth as Georgia won its first recruiting championship with a big, and surprising, final push. Five blue-chip recruits flipped to the Bulldogs on Wednesday, including 5-star linebacker
of Crisp County (Cordele, Ga.)
from Alabama and 4-star linebacker Otis Reese
of Lee County (Leesburg, Ga.)
from Michigan. With seven 5-star recruits overall, including the nation's top running back and second-rated quarterback, some believe this is one of the top recruiting classes by one school ever. Georgia coach Kirby Smart wrangled up five of the top six players from the fertile Peach State to help secure the No. 1 spot.2. Alabama is no loser
For the first time in seven years, national champion Alabama won't rank No. 1 in the recruiting race. But with a No. 7 ranking, the Tide hardly could be labeled "losers." Wednesday they secured the best cornerback in the country — Patrick Surtain II
of American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
— and the fifth best wide receiver Jaylen Waddle
of Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas)
, a pair of uncommitted recruits. For Tide fans, it probably felt like a loss. It was Bama's lowest recruiting ranking since 2007.3. Family Feud
In what will be certainly the most viral moment of the day, the mother of 4-star receiver
stormed off and out of the gym on live television after her son announced he'd be attending Florida. "I can't go with my mom. I gotta go with my heart," Copeland told the ESPN audience. Mom, sporting a Tennessee cap and Alabama sweater — presumably her picks — later gave her son a hug with cameras rolling. Most were staggered by mom's initial reaction, but Copeland, from Escambia (Pensacola, Fla.)
, kept his poise, answered hard questions and then later took to Twitter, writing: "What my mama did today was hilarious. If you knew her personally that's her job. PUT ON A SHOW!" If Copeland, Florida's top recruit, handles football as strongly as he did that awkward moment, the Gators have a leader.
4. Most impressive TV signee
Though Copeland's poise under emotion was worth noting, the most impressive lad who made his announcement on live ESPN television was Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.)
tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere
, a 5-star recruit who picked Ohio State. The 6-foot-6, 272-pounder handled himself like a 25-year-old. He was utterly calm, clear and confident. A strong runner-up went to Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
quarterback Tanner McKee
, who picked Stanford. He appeared to enjoy the moment, often flashing a warm and genuine smile.
5. Fight on
USC started the day at the No. 11 spot and third in its own conference, but a strong, late push propelled the Trojans to fourth in the national rankings. The surge came with late afternoon signatures from 5-star cornerback Olaijah Griffin
of Mission Viejo (Calif.)
, and 4-stars Isaac Taylor-Stuart
, another cornerback, from Helix (La Mesa, Calif.)
and Devon Williams
, a wide receiver from Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Calif.)
. Yet another local product, 4-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu
, from national champion Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
, helped USC climb the standings.