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Wednesday is National Signing Day for the Class of 2018. While the Dec. 20-22 early signing period, a new addition to the recruiting calendar, took much of the spotlight and hysteria away from the traditional signing period this cycle, there will still be action for Michigan.
What is National Signing Day?
This begins the period when high school athletes can sign national letters of intent to play a specific sport at a college of their choice. Football generates the most news on this day but there will be signings for several other sports, as well. National Signing Day has become a football fan’s holiday, akin to the NFL draft, but this recruiting cycle featured an early signing period for the first time. The 72-hour period in December allowed prospects to end their recruitment process before the new year with their signature.
When is National Signing Day?
Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Which Michigan commitments are signing on National Signing Day?
The Wolverines signed 16 players to the Class of 2018 during the early signing period in December. They have four more players committed heading into NSD. While they are committed to Michigan, they could also sign with another team Wednesday.
- 4-star LB Otis Reese (Leesburg, Ga.)
- 3-star CB Vincent Gray (Rochester, Mich.)
- 3-star ATH Michael Barrett (Valdosta, Ga.)
- 3-star WR Ronnie Bell (Kansas City, Mo.)
Will all of Michigan’s commits sign with the Wolverines?
Gray, Barrett and Bell are all expected to sign with Michigan; Bell would have signed in December if not for a NCAA rule that prohibits athletes from signing more than one letter of intent per calendar year. He signed with Missouri State previously to play basketball but was released from that agreement when he changed his mind and decided to play football.
Reese is the one player who isn’t all but a sure to sign with Jim Harbaugh & Co. He committed to Michigan in June 2016 — prior to his junior season and while he was a teammate of current Michigan defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon. But Georgia has been recruiting him hard for the last year and it’s a toss-up as to which school he will choose. He has strong ties and relationships to both the Wolverines and Bulldogs, and both coaching staffs are reportedly confident they will sign Reese.
Reese has received a lot of encouragement from other 2018 class members to pick the Wolverines. Cornerback Myles Sims, who is from Atlanta, tweeted out how his thoughts on Tuesday. Running back Christian Turner, from Buford, Ga., did the same as he hoped to convince Reese that Michigan is the best fit.
ALL 〽️FANS…SHOW LOVE AND GET MY BRO TO AA. Right Now!!!! pic.twitter.com/CFFy37YKeM
— SPIDER (@simsmyles) February 6, 2018
Where is Michigan’s class ranked heading into National Signing Day?
According to the 247Sports composite, the Wolverines’ 2018 class is ranked No. 17 in the country and No. 3 in the Big Ten. That ranking includes the 16 players already signed and the four commits. It could move up or down depending on what happens on National Signing Day.
What happens after National Signing Day?
The 2019 recruiting cycle gets full focus. Michigan has four players already committed to its 2019 class (Christopher Hinton, Stephen Herron Jr., Nolan Rumler, and Charles Thomas) and will seek to add more players in coming months. Another addition to the recruiting calendar this year is allowing players to take official visits in the spring of their junior years. Players previously had to wait until the September of their senior years but now schools can host prospects for official visits between April and June. It helps players who otherwise would have conflicts with their own game schedules ease that burden. It will be interesting to see which and how many recruits Michigan is able to bring in for official visits this spring.
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