Marvin Wilson (Danny Parker)

Scout 2017: National Signing Day Primer

Setting the table for National Signing Day with the key storylines leading into Wednesday ...

Important Recruiting Links

Scout's Signing Day HQ

Who Are the Big Fish Left?

Only eight of the 36 five-stars in the 2017 class are uncommitted.

And only two of the top 20 have yet to make a decision, Marvin Wilson and Aubrey Solomon.

For Wilson, the feeling is that it's a four-team battle: Florida State, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. 

Most feel like it is a battle between Seminoles and Tigers in the South, but the Sooners and Buckeyes are not giving up and have been pushing hard late in the game for the No. 1 rated defensive tackle and five-star prospect.

With Solomon, he will have AlabamaGeorgiaMichigan and USC hats on the table when he chooses on Wednesday morning.

The one-time Michigan commit has been trending back towards the Wolverines but no one can be ruled out for Solomon.

Here is a look at the key National Signing Day announcement times.

Which School Will Be Crowned Champ?

Alabama is atop the list by five points as of Tuesday afternoon.

Can the Tide hold on to the top spot?

Will Georgia pass them on Signing Day?

Can Michigan or Oklahoma jump to the top?

Or is it more of an opportunity for Ohio State?

And could LSU, which could close with five-stars and a high four-star, making the biggest last day charge?

While the Tide or Dawgs are likely to end at the top, Ohio State should lay claim to the top average star ranking, with a 4.26 average star rating going into the final day.

But Alabama got the biggest get in this class, the No. 1 player in the country, Antioch (Calif.) running back Najee Harris, and he's already enrolled and on campus.

Who Is On Flip Watch?

Morton (Miss.) receiver D.D. Bowie is committed to Mississippi, albeit as a soft commit.  But he's officially on flip watch, with Mississippi State a legitimate factor in this one for the Scout 100 receiver.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral receiver Jamire Calvin has already flipped once, to Nebraska, after he announced for Oregon State at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.  But is he 100% done to the Huskers? Washington State is still trying with him.

Dallas (Texas) Kimball linebacker Devodrick Johnson has committed to Texas A&M twice but this weekend he visited Baylor and there is a real reason to think the Bears can flip the four-star.

And of course all eyes will be on the fax machine that Stephen Carr will be sending his NLI from.  The Fontana (Calif.) Summit running back, the No. 8 player in the country, has been committed to USC for nearly two years, but visits to Oregon and UCLA in January have some Trojan fans nervous and Duck and Bruin fans hopeful for a shocker.

Then there are always the super-secret flippers that catch everyone but no one by surprise.

The Most To Gain

Things began to really turn for USC the second weekend in November, both on the field and in recruiting.

The same weekend they went to Seattle and beat Washington, their toughest game after their 1-3 start, they flipped Jack Sears, who took over for eventual Rose Bowl MVP Sam Darnold at San Clemente.

The Trojans closed with a nine-game winning streak on the field and won the Rose Bowl.

Recruiting momentum started gearing up with the Sears flip.

Since then, they landed three Top 150 players with safeties Bubba Bolden and Isaiah Pola-Mao committing and Marlon Tuipulotu flipping from Washington.

And they could close stronger than any school in the country on Wednesday, with a realistic shot at landing four players from the West in the Scout 100, five-star offensive tackle Austin Jackson, five-star receiver Joseph Lewis, five-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele and four-star athlete Greg Johnson.

Speaking of USC, one of their best recruiters in the last 25 years was Ed Orgeron.

And now Orgeron just happens to be firmly entrenched as the head coach at LSU.

So it's no surprise that the Tigers are in a position to close strong as well.

LSU has three five-stars they're on the short list for, Devonta SmithK'Lavon Chaisson and Marvin Wilson. 

And then throw in a high four-star with Willie Gay that they're in the mix for, and Orgeron and the Tigers could make a charge to the top.

Will There Be Any Craziness?

It is signing day, therefore, by rule, there is bound to be at least one crazy moment.

Usually it involves a fax machine (NSD, making fax machines relevant since a long time ago!).

Sometimes it involves parents not fully committed to letting their sons go where they want (even Landon Collins' mom let her son just go to Alabama and didn't hijack his NLI).

Others its the one random school, usually a Group of Five school, making some late steal of a Top 100 player who had been committed to a blue blood.

But National Signing Day is guaranteed to produce at least one 'what the heck just happened' moment this year.

Has Signing Day Lost Its Luster?

That has been a common question the last couple weeks.

Its a valid question, largely because of the increase in early commitments and early enrollments.

But also largely because the entire process has sped up.

More and more offers go out when recruits are freshmen and sophomores, so unofficial visits happen earlier and commitments are pressed for earlier.

What a recruit once thought was a fun process that he wanted to take all five visits and "go through the process" has instead become draining, mentally and physically, and recruits announce earlier and earlier.

And the days of just quarterbacks enrolling early are long gone, with more and more prospects in general choosing to enroll in January, a month before National Signing Day, to get acclimated to college and participate in spring football.

In fact, three of the top five players in the 2017 class, Najee HarrisCam Akers and Jaelan Phillips, are already enrolled in college and preparing to start spring ball.  The other two top five players, Foster Sarell and Walker Little, are committed to Stanford, which doesn't take early enrollees.

Less than 20 of the Scout 100 prospects have not made an announcement (some of the remaining 84 are soft verbals), when in years past, that number was much higher.

Still, there are those that haven't committed, whether 5-star, 4-star, 3-star or 2-star, and this day still means a lot for them, their families, the prospective coaching staffs they will join and, of course, the fan base.

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