Alabama will not have the nation’s top-rated recruiting class in 2018. To do so would be a comeback that not even Tua Tagovailoa can author.
It appears likely that Georgia or Ohio State will stake the claim as the mythical recruiting national champion, based on the top 247Sports Composite team ranking for this cycle.
That will be quite a feat for either the Bulldogs or Buckeyes. The Crimson Tide have finished with the nation’s top recruiting class for the last seven cycles, but that title still could belong to the SEC.
Georgia took over the No. 1 spot during the early signing period with a whopping six signees who carried a 5-star rating. The rest of the SEC has signed two 5-star prospects entering National Signing Day on Wednesday: Eyabi Anoma of Baltimore with Alabama and Terrace Marshall (Bossier City, La.) with LSU.
Ohio State then snatched the top spot back during January. The Ohio State coaching staff added three additional commitments to the 2018 tally while Bulldogs actually dropped a commitment during that stretch. The Buckeyes have made it a race down the stretch because their class includes 19 prospects with a 4-star rating and two 5-star recruits.
A strong possibility exists that UGA could add a seventh 5-star prospect in cornerback Tyson Campbell. If that happens, look for UGA to overtake and retain that No. 1 ranking with only moderate success beyond that with its remaining targets this week.
Here’s the skinny on what that might look like:
Ohio State’s current 247Sports team composite rating: 311.17
Georgia’s current 247Sports team composite rating: 309.23
What’s the best way for Ohio State to hold on to the top spot? That would involve coming from behind in the race to sign Tampa, Fla., 5-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. Petit-Frere is the nation’s top-rated OT for 2018. The Buckeyes trail Florida, Notre Dame and Alabama in the 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions for Petit-Frere. If Urban Meyer and his staff get his commitment, that would move their team score to 316.41. That would make him the 25th member of the class, and the Buckeyes could add possibly one or two more targets, if that.
What’s the best way for Georgia to claim and hold on to the top spot: If the Bulldogs can sign Campbell, that would push their score up to 315.50. Georgia holds 80 percent of the Crystal Ball predictions for Campbell, who is the nation’s No. 2 CB prospect for 2018.
If UGA then added just two prospects from a batch of targets that includes 4-star wide receiver Tommy Bush, 4-star linebacker Otis Reese, 4-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge and 4-star linebacker Quay Walker, that likely would push their composite score out of reach of the best-case scenario for Ohio State.
How can Ohio State lose the No. 1 spot: That’s rather simple. If the Buckeyes don’t finish with a big name such as Petit-Frere, they will have a hard time holding off the Bulldogs.
How UGA can fall short of the No. 1 ranking: That would call for a lot of misses. It would start with seeing Campbell wind up with Alabama or Mark Richt’s Miami Hurricanes. But the Bulldogs can still grab that top spot in most projections by closing with players such as Bush, Reese, Sandidge and Walker.
The dream scenario for UGA: If the Bulldogs sign Campbell, Reese and Walker, that makes for a truly epic class. The rich would only get richer if Bush or Sandidge were to show up on the signees’ list. There’s a mock scenario with Campbell, Reese and Walker that would push the UGA final team composite score all the way up to 324.01
Players to look out for on Wednesday who will affect the No. 1 spot:
5-star Nicholas Petit-Frere to Ohio State
4-star Rasheed Walker to Ohio State
5-star Tyson Campbell to Georgia
4-star Quay Walker to Georgia
4-star Otis Reese to Georgia
4-star Rick Sandidge to Georgia
4-star Tommy Bush to Georgia