What you need to know before national signing day

The early signing period might have taken a bit of the thunder from signing day, but there is still quite a bit happening. To get you caught up, here is a look at what happened and what is about to happen leading up to signing day on Wednesday.

What happened in the early signing period

The early signing period saw 1,976 FBS prospects -- the majority of available prospects -- sign national letters of intent. The recruits were able to sign from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22, and 70 percent of the prospects signed on the first day of the signing period.

Within the ESPN 300, 221 recruits are signed with their respective schools and off-limits to opposing coaches. Among top-tier recruits, 11 of the 14 five-star prospects signed, including all of the top-five recruits. The top player in each position group is signed, with the exception of athlete, cornerback and outside linebacker.

For many schools it was a success. Most schools were able to lock up their class and now don't have to worry about recruits flipping before signing day.

Georgia came out blazing, eventually moving up to the No. 1 spot for class rankings after landing five-star defensive end Brenton Cox and ESPN 300 prospects Cade Mays (offensive tackle), Luke Ford (tight end), Nadab Joseph (safety), Divaad Wilson (cornerback) and Jamaree Salyer (offensive guard) in the signing period. The Dawgs, Clemson, Alabama, LSU and Florida were some of the bigger movers in the class rankings after the signing period closed.

Notable uncommitted prospects

DB Patrick Surtain Jr.: The No. 5 overall player was expected to visit Miami the weekend before signing day, but the Hurricanes are a long shot to land the five-star prospect. LSU has been the perceived leader for quite some time, with Alabama making a late push.

DB Tyson Campbell: A teammate of Surtain's, Campbell is also a five-star recruit, ranked No. 9 overall. He was also visiting Miami the last weekend before signing day, and the Hurricanes have a better shot with Campbell than Surtain. It's still going to be a fight, though, as Georgia has come on strong in his recruitment.

OT Nick Petit-Frere: One of the best-kept secrets is where he is leaning and who is really in it. Petit-Frere was to visit Ohio State before signing day, and the Buckeyes are looking to fend off Florida, Michigan, Alabama and Notre Dame.

ATH Devon Williams: The California prospect is down to Oregon and USC, and is planning a signing day announcement. The Ducks were the clear leaders before head coach Willie Taggart left for Florida State. With Mario Cristobal promoted to head coach and most of the offensive staff remaining, the Ducks still have a very good chance to land the No. 16 prospect.

WR Jacob Copeland: Florida is getting the final visit for Copeland before he announces on signing day. He has the Gators in his top group to go along with Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State.

ATH Joshua Moore: A former Nebraska commit, Moore had originally planned a signing day announcement. The No. 45-ranked prospect instead chose Texas over Oregon on Sunday.

OL William Barnes: Barnes, No. 53 overall, was visiting Florida before signing day. He is announcing his decision on signing day and will ultimately decide from the Gators, North Carolina and Ole Miss.

DB Olaijah Griffin: The No. 72 prospect, Griffin is done with his official visits. He has USC, Tennessee, Oregon and Alabama in his top group. The Trojans were in a good spot, but Oregon and Alabama might make it interesting.

WR Justyn Ross: Clemson and Alabama are the two front-runners for Ross, who announces on signing day. The Tigers' coaching staff is still planning an in-home visit before signing day and is fighting to get him in this class.

Notable prospects committed, but unsigned: ATH Justin Watkins; DB Kelvin Joseph; QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson; WR Amon-Ra St. Brown; LB J.J. Peterson; WR Anthony Schwartz; DT Keondre Coburn; DT Nesta Silvera.

Who could close strong?

LSU: The Tigers have quite a bit still on the board, including Surtain, as well as ESPN 300 cornerback Mario Goodrich, ESPN 300 wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Lawrence Keys, and ESPN 300 quarterback James Foster. LSU currently has the No. 12-ranked class, but the coaches have the potential to move this class into the top 10 if they can reel in any number of those targets.

Texas A&M: The Aggies need to be on this list because of how far down the rankings they are after the coaching change. New coach Jimbo Fisher was at a disadvantage in the early signing period, and the staff still has a lot of work to do to close strong. ESPN 300 running back Jashaun Corbin, receiver Jaylen Waddle, Leon O'Neal and a few others are still considering the Aggies. Fisher and his staff aren't the leaders for all of them, though, so it's going to take a lot to finish on a high note.

Alabama: Alabama made headlines in the early signing period because it wasn't the top-ranked class. Now sitting at No. 4 overall, it seems as though the Tide could make a big push back to the top. ESPN 300 prospects Ross, O'Neal, Surtain, Campbell, Waddle and Petit-Frere, among others, are still considering Alabama. This could be another signing day that sees the Tide dominate the headlines.

USC: The Trojans have already been closing strong, putting together an outstanding December and January. The staff moved up from the No. 24 class ranking at the end of November, all the way to its current ranking at No. 11. USC is still in on ESPN 300 linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu, cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart and Griffin, among others, and could land quite a few remaining targets.

Tennessee: New coach Jeremy Pruitt has already done a good job given what he inherited from the coaching search gone wrong. The new staff is in on some big names heading into signing day, but it still looks like there is some work to be done. The Vols are trying to land Alabama linebacker commit Quay Walker as well as defensive backs Taylor-Stuart, Griffin and Eddie Smith. There are quite a few names still left, but a lot of uncertainty regarding whether Tennessee can land its targets. This could go either way for Vols fans.

Quarterbacks remaining

Foster and Tanner McKee are the only uncommitted ESPN 300 quarterbacks left. As per usual, the quarterbacks are typically some of the first prospects off the board. Foster has become a hot commodity and is being chased by LSU, Florida State, Texas A&M and Alabama. The No. 124-ranked prospect from Alabama is visiting the Seminoles as his last trip before signing day, and this could come down to Florida State, LSU and Texas A&M.

McKee is planning a signing day announcement, and while Alabama is also in the mix for the No. 76-ranked prospect, it seems as though Stanford is in good shape along with Washington, Texas A&M and Texas.

Outside of Foster and McKee, ESPN 300 quarterback Brevin White confirmed to ESPN that he will honor his original commitment and attend Princeton instead of Alabama.

Potential flips

Although the early signing period took most of the drama out of the February signing day, that doesn't mean there aren't potential flips and surprises in store for the big day.

Miami commit Nesta Silvera is an unsigned prospect who has been looking around. Silvera took a visit to Florida and Tennessee in recent weeks, but the Hurricanes are supposed to get the last crack at keeping him in this class.

Defensive tackle Keondre Coburn has been committed to Texas since before the early signing period, but chose not to sign. Coburn has been hearing quite a bit from Miami, especially with Silvera taking visits. Coburn took a trip to see the Hurricanes and has yet to say if he plans on signing with Texas this time around.

Linebacker Quay Walker is a longtime Alabama commit, but he has seen interest from quite a few programs, including Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee. Walker has stayed committed to the Tide, and the Alabama staff is doing all it can to keep him in this class.

Fellow linebacker Otis Reese has been committed to Michigan since 2016, but as of late has been entertaining Georgia. It has now become a battle between the Wolverines and Dawgs, and it seems everyone will find out where he signs on signing day. Michigan has put up a strong battle, and there is a chance it holds on.