College Football

College football’s 2nd signing day: Who ended up with the top classes in the Big Ten and nation?

What used to be the biggest day of the year in college football recruiting has become an afterthought.

With more than 80% of FBS prospects now signing during the three-day early period in December — and an even higher percentage of blue-chip recruits doing so — the first Wednesday of February has taken on the feel of hitting the stores the day after Christmas to hunt for bargains.


Still, there was some activity on the traditional national signing day. A handful of top national and local prospects announced their decisions, some teams put finishing touches on their classes and recruiting crowns were handed out.

Here’s a wrap-up of the final class lists and rankings for Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern and Northern Illinois, plus the Big Ten rankings, top 25 national classes and where the country’s consensus five-star recruits and the state’s top 50 are headed.


All rankings are based on the 247Sports composite — which aggregates ratings from the major services — as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

*-already enrolled

Notre Dame

Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman throws beads to his teammates after being named MVP of the Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

Signees: 24.

Ranking: 10th nationally.

The Irish signed their entire class in December, and coach Marcus Freeman and his staff are already well into the 2024 cycle with seven commitments.

Notre Dame’s biggest splash in January came in the transfer portal, where it landed Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman — the ACC record holder for career touchdown passes — Oklahoma State safety Thomas Harper and Ohio State edge rusher Javontae Jean-Baptiste.

An oddity of the Irish newcomers: two wide receivers named Kaleb Smith (a three-star high school recruit from Texas and a transfer from Virginia Tech).

  • Sullivan Absher, OL, Belmont, N.C.
  • *Jaiden Ausberry, LB, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Micah Bell, CB, Houston
  • *Drayk Bowen, LB, Merrillville, Ind.
  • Cooper Flanagan, TE, Pleasant Hill, Calif.
  • *Rico Flores, WR, Folsom, Calif.
  • *Christian Gray, CB, St. Louis
  • *Jaden Greathouse, WR, Austin, Texas
  • Brandyn Hillman, ATH, Portsmouth, Va.
  • *Devan Houstan, DL, Toronto
  • Charles Jagusah, OL, Rock Island Alleman
  • *Braylon James, WR, Austin, Texas
  • Jeremiyah Love, RB, St. Louis
  • *Kenny Minchey, QB, Hendersonville, Tenn.
  • *Ben Minich, S, Cincinnati
  • Armel Mukam, DL, Montreal
  • Joe Otting, OL, Topeka, Kan.
  • *Sam Pendleton, OL, Pfafftown, N.C.
  • *Adon Shuler, S, Irvington, N.J.
  • Kaleb Smith, WR, Frisco, Texas
  • Chris Terek, OL, Glenbard West
  • Boubacar Traore, DL, Boston
  • Brenan Vernon, DL, Mentor, Ohio
  • *Preston Zinter, LB, Lawrence, Mass.


  • Javontae Jean-Baptiste, DL, Ohio State
  • Thomas Harper, S, Oklahoma State
  • Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest
  • Spencer Shrader, K, South Florida
  • Kaleb Smith, WR, Virginia Tech


Simeon wide receiver Malik Elzy has a laugh as he lines up against Taft in the Chicago Public League championship game Nov. 19, 2022, at Gately Stadium.

Signees: 23.

Ranking: 42nd nationally, 8th in Big Ten.

The Illini added Spring Valley Hall safety Mac Resetich to the group that signed in December — which included four-star Simeon wide receiver Malik Elzy, who didn’t announce his decision until the Jan. 7 Adidas All-American Bowl.

Illinois was a finalist for Marist defensive tackle Jamel Howard, who recommitted to Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Coach Bret Bielema’s most important addition since the early signing period, at least in the short term, was landing former Ole Miss quarterback Luke Altmyer in the transfer portal. The former four-star recruit has three years of eligibility remaining and is expected to succeed Tommy DeVito as the Illini starter.

  • Zach Aamland, OL, South Brunswick, N.J.
  • Alex Bray, DL, Chesterfield, Mo.
  • Jaheim Clarke, DB, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Collin Dixon, WR, Tallmadge, Ohio
  • *Declan Duley, P, El Paso, Ill.
  • Malik Elzy, WR, Simeon
  • Pat Farrell, OLB, St. Rita
  • *Kaden Feagin, RB, Atwood, Ill.
  • *Nate Guinn, TE, Vero Beach, Fla.
  • *Jojo Hayden, LB, East St. Louis, Ill.
  • *Brandon Henderson, OL, East St. Louis, Ill.
  • Saboor Karriem, DB, West Orange, N.J.
  • *TJ McMillen, OL, Wheaton St. Francis
  • Mason Muragin, DL, Macomb, Mich.
  • *David Olano, K, Naperville North
  • *Kaleb Patterson, DB, Pearl River (Miss.) CC
  • Mac Resetich, DB, Spring Valley, Ill.
  • Dezmond Schuster, OL, Hutchinson (Kan.) CC
  • *Trey Smith, OLB, Ocoee, Fla.
  • *Cal Swanson, QB, Ardmore, Okla.
  • *Zach Tobe, DB, Ocoee, Fla.
  • Jeremiah Warren, DL, Belleville, Mich.
  • *Kenari Wilcher, ATH, Clewiston, Fla.


  • Luke Altmyer, QB, Mississippi
  • Tanner Arkin, TE, Colorado State
  • Denzel Daxon, DL, Ohio
  • Nicario Harper, DB, Louisville
  • John Paddock, QB, Ball State


Arizona State wide receiver Cam Johnson (7) is tackled by Washington State defensive back Armani Marsh on Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash.

Signees: 20.

Ranking: 45th nationally, 10th in Big Ten.

The Wildcats didn’t add any high school recruits to the 20 they announced in December, though coach Pat Fitzgerald did reach into the transfer portal last month for former Vanderbilt and Arizona State wide receiver Cam Johnson.

With new defensive coordinator David Braun and defensive line coach Christian Smith in place, Northwestern might look during the next transfer window in May for some help up front, where it lost three players to the portal.

  • Ricky Ahumaraeze, WR, Liberty, Mo.
  • Anthony Birsa, OL, Joliet Catholic
  • *Frank Covey, WR, Prospect
  • Juice Cryer, LB, Katy, Texas
  • Alexander Doost, OL, Phoenix
  • Jack Fitzgerald, TE, Loyola
  • Joshua Fussell, DB, West Chester, Ohio
  • Tyler Gant, DL, St. Louis
  • Nigel Glover, LB, Clayton, Ohio
  • Aidan Gray, QB, Naperville North
  • Chico Holt, TE, Houston
  • Michael Kilbane, DL, Lakewood, Ohio
  • *Jordan Knox, OL, Rock Hill, S.C.
  • Caleb Komolafe, RB, Katy, Texas
  • J.J. Lewis, DB, Lawndale, Calif.
  • *Camp Magee, TE, Orlando, Fla.
  • Dylan Roberts, DL, Phoenix
  • *Dylan Senda, OL, Livonia, Mich.
  • Cole Shivers, DB, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • *Damon Walters, DB, Bolingbrook


  • Cam Johnson, WR, Arizona State

Northern Illinois

Iowa running back Gavin Williams carries the ball against Nevada on Sept. 17, 2022, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Signees: 28.


Ranking: 97th nationally, 5th in the MAC.

The Huskies added nine signees to their 2023 haul Wednesday, including six in-state recruits: Rockford Jefferson tight end Tyler Gaines, Rochelle running back Garrett Gensler, Oak Forest defensive back Tyler Gentile, Richards wide receiver James Smith Jr., DeKalb defensive back Ethan Tierney and Lake Zurich kicker Danny Vuckovic.

Coach Thomas Hammock also announced last month the addition of five transfers, including former Iowa running back Gavin Williams and Tyler Jackson, an all-conference linebacker at Lamar.

  • Kobe Askew, WR, Cataula, Ga.
  • *Santana Banner, DB, Flint, Mich.
  • *Grayson Barnes, TE, American River (Calif.) CC
  • Phillip Baynes, LB, Social Circle, Ga.
  • *Azhaun Dingle, RB, Butler (Kan.) CC
  • Tyler Gaines, TE, Rockford Jefferson
  • Garrett Gensler, RB, Rochelle, Ill.
  • Tyler Gentile, DB, Oak Forest
  • *Zach Gordon, K, Lillington, N.C.
  • Bryce Harrison, TE, Apopka, Fla.
  • Mark Hensley, DL, Labadie, Mo.
  • *Ridge Howard, LB, Elkhart, Ind.
  • Landon Hron, OL, Hartford, Wis.
  • Chase Hutchinson, LB, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Michael Jimmar, OL, Plainfield East
  • *Mason Kidd, QB, Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Thomas Paasch, OL, Green Bay
  • Jaylen Poe, RB, Dallas, Ga.
  • RaSean Randall, DL, Detroit
  • Mahki Rolle, DB, North Miami Beach, Fla.
  • *Nevaeh Sanders, DL, Iowa Western CC
  • Luke Skartvedt, OL, Indianapolis
  • James Smith Jr., WR, Richards
  • Jay’shon Thomas, TE, Cataula, Ga.
  • Kyle Thomas, WR, Marian Catholic
  • Ethan Tierney, DB, DeKalb, Ill.
  • Danny Vuckovic, K, Lake Zurich
  • Jacob Welch, OL, Johnsburg, Ill.


  • Gabriel Amegatcher, CB, Nebraska-Kearney
  • Cam’Ron Dabney, CB, Kansas
  • Tyler Jackson, LB, Lamar
  • Davis Patterson, WR, Notre Dame College (Ohio)
  • Gavin Williams, RB, Iowa

Big Ten

Marist's Jamel Howard (58) puts pressure on Richards quarterback Joe Mayo (9) on Sept. 2, 2022, in Oak Lawn.

Michigan has reigned over the conference for two years now on the field, but Ohio State continued its dominance in the recruiting rankings, signing the Big Ten’s top class for the 12th time in 13 years.

Penn State reeled in one of Wednesday’s biggest prizes in four-star offensive lineman Chimdy Onoh, beating out Michigan State, Ole Miss and Rutgers. And Wisconsin brought Jamel Howard back into the fold after the 320-pound Marist defensive tackle decommitted from the Badgers in November following coach Paul Chryst’s firing.

  1. Ohio State (20 signees)
  2. Penn State (23)
  3. Michigan (24)
  4. Michigan State (16)
  5. Nebraska (28)
  6. Maryland (25)
  7. Iowa (22)
  8. Illinois (23)
  9. Minnesota (21)
  10. Northwestern (20)
  11. Rutgers (19)
  12. Wisconsin (15)
  13. Purdue (16)
  14. Indiana (15)


Team Phantom tight end Nyckoles Harbor runs with the ball during the Under Armour Next All-America Game on Jan. 3, 2023, in Orlando, Fla.

For the 10th time in 13 years, Alabama is the recruiting champion. (And the Crimson Tide finished with the No. 2 class in two of those years.) Nick Saban signed an astounding nine of the 39 consensus five-star recruits, and Alabama (14) and Georgia (12) combined to land more than a quarter of the nation’s top 100 prospects.

All but three five-stars signed in December. New Colorado coach Deion Sanders flipped cornerback Cormani McClain from Miami last month, and jumbo athlete Nyckoles Harbor picked South Carolina over Oregon on Wednesday. Tight end Duce Robinson announced he’s delaying his decision until late spring as he considers the MLB draft along with Georgia, USC and Texas.

Four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, who was released from his letter of intent with Florida after an NIL deal with a booster-run collective fell through, signed with Arizona State.

  1. Alabama (28 signees)
  2. Georgia (26)
  3. Texas (24)
  4. Oklahoma (26)
  5. Ohio State (20)
  6. LSU (25)
  7. Miami (25)
  8. Oregon (29)
  9. Tennessee (25)
  10. Notre Dame (24)
  11. Clemson (26)
  12. USC (21)
  13. Penn State (23)
  14. Florida (20)
  15. Texas A&M (19)
  16. South Carolina (24)
  17. Auburn (21)
  18. Michigan (24)
  19. TCU (24)
  20. Florida State (18)
  21. Utah (20)
  22. Arkansas (20)
  23. Michigan State (16)
  24. Nebraska (28)
  25. Mississippi State (27)

5-star recruits

Team Phantom running back Cedric Baxter Jr. during the Under Armour Next All-America Game on Jan. 3, 2023, in Orlando, Fla.
  1. Arch Manning, QB, New Orleans — Texas
  2. Keon Keeley, Edge, Tampa, Fla. — Alabama
  3. Nico Iamaleava, QB, Downey, Calif. — Tennessee
  4. Zachariah Branch, WR, Las Vegas — USC
  5. Dante Moore, QB, Detroit — UCLA
  6. Caleb Downs, S, Hoschton, Ga. — Alabama
  7. David Hicks, DL, Katy, Texas — Texas A&M
  8. Jackson Arnold, QB, Denton, Texas — Oklahoma
  9. Kadyn Proctor, OL, Des Moines, Iowa — Alabama
  10. Francis Mauigoa, OL, Pago Pago, American Samoa — Miami
  11. Adepoju Adebawore, Edge, Kansas City, Mo. — Oklahoma
  12. Malachi Nelson, QB, Los Alamitos, Calif. — USC
  13. Cormani McClain, CB, Lakeland, Fla. — Colorado
  14. Suntarine Perkins, LB, Raleigh, Miss. — Mississippi
  15. Zalance Heard, OL, Monroe, La. — LSU
  16. Peyton Bowen, S, Denton, Texas — Oklahoma
  17. Duce Robinson, TE, Phoenix — Uncommitted
  18. Anthony Hill, LB, Denton, Texas — Texas
  19. Nyckoles Harbor, ATH, Washington — South Carolina
  20. Damon Wilson, Edge, Venice, Fla. — Georgia
  21. Jurrion Dickey, WR, East Palo Alto, Calif. — Oregon
  22. Cedric Baxter Jr., RB, Orlando, Fla. — Texas
  23. Samson Okunlola, OL, Brockton, Mass. — Miami
  24. Justice Haynes, RB, Buford, Ga. — Alabama
  25. Desmond Ricks, CB, Chesapeake, Va. — Alabama
  26. James Smith, DL, Montgomery, Ala. — Alabama
  27. Raylen Wilson, LB, Tallahassee, Fla. — Georgia
  28. Rueben Owens, RB, El Campo, Texas — Texas A&M
  29. Johntay Cook II, WR, DeSoto, Texas — Texas
  30. Yhonzae Pierre, Edge, Eufaula, Ala. — Alabama
  31. Hykeem Williams, WR, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Florida State
  32. Monroe Freeling, OL, Mount Pleasant, S.C. — Georgia
  33. Peter Woods, DL, Alabaster, Ala. — Clemson
  34. Qua Russaw, Edge, Montgomery, Ala. — Alabama
  35. Brandon Inniss, WR, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Ohio State
  36. Dashawn Womack, Edge, Baltimore — LSU
  37. Joenel Aguero, S, Lynn, Mass. — Georgia
  38. Jalen Hale, WR, Longview, Texas — Alabama
  39. Jordan Hall, DL, Jacksonville, Fla. — Georgia

Illinois top 50

Naperville North quarterback Aidan Gray looks for an open receiver against Naperville Central on Sept. 30, 2022.
  1. Charles Jagusah, OL, Rock Island Alleman — Notre Dame
  2. Jyaire Hill, DB, Kankakee — Michigan
  3. Miles McVay, OL, East St. Louis — Alabama
  4. Malik Elzy, WR, Simeon — Illinois
  5. Kaden Feagin, RB, ALAH — Illinois
  6. Deakon Tonielli, TE, Oswego — Michigan
  7. Chris Terek, OL, Glenbard West — Notre Dame
  8. Damon Walters, DB, Bolingbrook — Northwestern
  9. Trey Pierce, DL, Brother Rice — Michigan
  10. Paris Patterson, OL, East St. Louis — Arkansas
  11. Kahlil Tate, DB, Kenwood — Iowa
  12. Anthony Birsa, OL, Joliet Catholic — Northwestern
  13. Brooks Bahr, DL, Loyola — Michigan
  14. John Nestor, DB, Marist — Iowa
  15. Tyler Jansey, LB, Batavia — Wisconsin
  16. Frank Covey, WR, Prospect — Northwestern
  17. Nicholas Deloach, DB, Cahokia — Missouri
  18. Justin Taylor, DB, Nazareth — Wisconsin
  19. Brandon Henderson, OL, East St. Louis — Illinois
  20. K’Vion Thunderbird, LB, Kenwood — Arizona State
  21. Jojo Hayden, LB, East St. Louis — Illinois
  22. Aidan Gray, QB, Naperville North — Northwestern
  23. Austin Barrett, OL, St. Charles East — Indiana
  24. Mac Resetich, DB, Spring Valley Hall — Illinois
  25. TJ McMillen, OL, Wheaton St. Francis — Illinois
  26. Teegan Davis, DB, Princeton — Iowa
  27. Jamel Howard, DL, Marist — Wisconsin
  28. Jack Sadowsky, LB, Batavia — Iowa State
  29. Pat Farrell, OLB, St. Rita — Illinois
  30. Pierce Walsh, TE, Benet — Minnesota
  31. Cannon Leonard, OL, Iroquois West — Iowa
  32. Matt Kingsbury, LB, St. Rita — Minnesota
  33. Cooper Starks, OL, Girard — Vanderbilt
  34. Christian McKinney, LB, Homewood-Flossmoor — Miami (Ohio)
  35. Logan Lester, WR, Kenwood — Western Michigan
  36. Anthony Cunningham, DL, Belleville East — Iowa State
  37. Kiwaun Davis, DB, Kenwood — Washington State
  38. Robert Jones III, QB, Oswego East — Navy
  39. Asher Tomaszewski, DL, Mount Carmel — Kansas State
  40. Michael Jimmar, OL, Plainfield East — Northern Illinois
  41. Jailen Duffie, DB, Warren — North Dakota State
  42. Ryan Sims, WR, Marist — Miami (Ohio)
  43. Dash Dorsey, WR, Wheaton St. Francis — Kent State
  44. Keshon Singleton, WR, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin — Air Force
  45. David Olano, K, Naperville North — Illinois
  46. Conor Talty, K, St. Rita — Alabama
  47. Andrew Laurich, DL, Yorkville — Colorado State
  48. Jacob Welch, OL, Johnsburg — Northern Illinois
  49. Danny Novickas, DL, Mount Carmel — Ohio
  50. Lynel Billups-Williams, WR, Crete-Monee — Miami (Ohio)