9 things we learned about college football this weekend

Alabama Retools With National Signing Day

Written by Derek Tyson at ESPN Recruiting.com

Alabama entered national signing day with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, and the Crimson Tide will likely finish Wednesday with their fifth top-ranked class in the last six years.

Highlighted by the signing of LaBryan Ray, the No. 17 overall player — and second-ranked defensive end — in the ESPN 300 rankings, the Crimson Tide now have 20 ESPN 300 commitments, which is the most in a class since ESPN started keeping rankings in 2006.

Alabama also signed receivers Henry Ruggs III (No. 166 in the ESPN 300) and Wide receiver Devonta Smith (No. 227) on Wednesday, while four-star defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis committed on Tuesday.

Nick Saban’s class is so deep, he had to tell ESPN 300 defensive end Jarez Parks that the class was full and there was no room for him to sign. A source close to the program, however, told ESPN that while Parks has committed, he would have to greyshirt and wait until next January to sign and enroll at Alabama.

Eleven players made their college choices live on ESPN networks. There were supposed to be 12, but receiver James Robinson, who was cited for marijuana possession in his visit to Ohio State a few weeks ago, will not sign Wednesday.

The No. 1 recruit in the ESPN 300, offensive tackle Trey Smith, signed early with the Tennessee Volunteers and enrolled early. Entering signing day, 93 players in the ESPN 300 rankings had enrolled early.

The USC Trojans enjoyed their signing day, as they landed 12 ESPN 300 commitments/signees Wednesday.

It started early with linebacker Levi Jones, the 65th-ranked player in the ESPN 300 out of Austin (Texas) Westlake High School, choosing the Trojans over Florida State, Florida and UCLA. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker visited all of his finalists, but he said it was his visit on Jan. 20 that persuaded the four-star prospect to sign with the Trojans.

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