Signing Day primer: What you need to know

With the early signing period beginning on Wednesday, we break down the latest news and notes from the recruiting trail.

Kentucky leads the way ... again

It shouldn't be a surprise to see Kentucky atop the 2013 recruiting class rankings.


Early signing period: Nov. 14-21

Reg. signing period: April 17-May 15 (Aug. 1 for Div. II)

What are these periods? Recruits can only sign National Letters of Intent to play for a school in these windows. Once an NLI is signed, a student-athlete is bound to that school.

Why sign early? Some choose to sign early to end the recruiting pressure so they can focus on the season ahead. Those who wait also risk not getting a spot on the team they like most.

The past four years John Calipari and Kentucky have held the pole position and they appear to be on track to finish No. 1 for the fifth straight season.

Currently Kentucky holds commitments from three top 10 prospects –- Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison and James Young. They also have the No. 40 prospect –- Marcus Lee -– and three-star recruit Derek Willis in their 2013 class.

The scary thing is Kentucky isn't done.

The Wildcats are currently pursuing five-star recruits Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Dakari Johnson. The ‘Cats have offered and have entertained all four on visits at some point in time.

The next group

It appears everyone is following Kentucky again in the recruiting class rankings, but there are still some other high quality 2013 recruiting classes.

Kansas moves up to No. 2 after Tuesday's announcement that four-star Joel Embiid, of The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., committed to the Jayhawks. He picked Kansas over Florida and Texas. He visited all three schools recently, including a trip to Florida last week.

Embiid joins a Jayhawks recruiting class that also includes five-stars Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene and four-star Conner Frankamp.

Indiana comes in at No. 3 with the recent commitment of five-star prospect Noah Vonleh. Four-star recruits Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson and Luke Fischer have also pledged to the Hoosiers.

Nick King gives Josh Pastner and Memphis a marquee recruit.

Josh Pastner has done a tremendous job compiling talent over the years at Memphis, but his 2013 group is shaping up to be his best. His 2013 class is currently regarded as the No. 4 overall class.

Memphis' class consists of one five-star prospect (Nick King), three four-star recruits (Kuran Iverson, Austin Nichols and Rashawn Powell), and one three-star player (Markel Crawford).

Florida is also on track for an outstanding 2013 haul. The Gators are planning to sign a pair of top 10 recruits -– Kasey Hill and Chris Walker -- on Wednesday.

But the Gators are still actively involved with a host of highly rated prospects like Jabari Parker and Julius Randle. Both prospects have taken visits to Florida.

Four of the top 10 will wait

Six of's top 10 prospects are off the board, while the other four appear to be in it for the long haul.

The top available recruit is the nation's best player -– Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is currently considering Florida State, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio State and Syracuse.

According to Huntington (W.V.) Prep coach Rob Fulford, Wiggins will sign during the second period.'s No. 2 player Jabari Parker will also likely wait it out.

Andrew Wiggins is likely to wait for the next signing period.

Parker, a standout at Chicago (Ill.) Simeon, has taken recent official visits to Florida, Duke and Michigan State. BYU and Stanford are both on his list as well. Parker has said he will wait until the second period to sign.

Julius Randle (No. 5) and Aaron Gordon (No. 6) have intentions of signing in the second signing period as well.

Randle is down to Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas and North Carolina State. Gordon is still considering Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Kansas and Kentucky.

Signing week decisions?

While we don't expect anybody from's top 10 to make a college choice, there are a couple top 100 prospects that may be announcing their decision over the next few days.

One possible candidate to make a surprise college decision is Isaac Hamilton. Most expected Hamilton to wait until the spring, and he still may, but he's a possible early signee.

Hamilton has taken recent visits to UCLA and UTEP. San Diego State, UNLV, Baylor and Washington are also involved in Hamilton's recruitment.

A pair of four-star centers will likely decide during the early period.

Kennedy Meeks, who has gone back and forth between signing early or late, is down to Georgetown and North Carolina.

BeeJay Anya is only considering North Carolina State and will make his choice known on Nov. 16.

Two top 100 prospects on the East Coast will decide during the early period. Brandon Austin, who is considering Providence, Connecticut and Texas is expected to announce this week. Tyler Roberson is as well. He's down to Kansas, Syracuse and Villanova.

Other notables signing late:

*Dakari Johnson -- Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, Ohio State, Florida & Georgetown

*Jermaine Lawrence -- Cincinnati, Saint John's, Syracuse & UNLV

*Keith Frazier -- Texas A&M, LSU, Texas, SMU & Arizona

*Rysheed Jordan -- Saint John's Syrcause, Rutgers & Temple

*Stevie Clark -- Baylor, Oklahoma State, Florida State, UCLA & Missouri,

*Demetrius Henry -- Clemson, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Miami & others

*Vince Hunter -- DePaul, Long Beach State & UTEP

*Gavin Schilling -- UCLA, DePaul, Missouri, Villanova, Arizona, Oregon State, USC and Minnesota

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