The early signing period is officially in the rearview mirror, and it was much busier than expected. Four top-25 prospects -- D.J. Wagner (Kentucky), Isaiah Collier (USC), Cody Williams (Colorado) and Baye Fall (Arkansas) -- made commitments during the period, with another four top-50 prospects -- Ron Holland (Texas), Andrej Stojakovic (Stanford), Mikey Williams and Javonte Taylor (Memphis) -- announcing decisions in the day prior to the period. Kaden Cooper (Oklahoma), Assane Diop (Colorado) and Ty-Laur Johnson (Memphis) were three other ESPN 100 prospects who made commitments. And days later, A.J. Johnson (Texas), the lone top-25 prospect remaining, came off the board.
Now that the book is shut on the signing period, we have a good idea of how the pecking order looks for the 2023 recruiting classes. Zero top-25 prospects remain uncommitted, leaving Bronny James as the top-ranked available recruit. Only three top-50 prospects are still on the board and only a handful of other ESPN 100 prospects are still out there. Simply put, there's very little room for movement.
Here are some of the biggest storylines in the rankings:
Kentucky at No. 1 is pretty much set in stone: Nobody's catching Kentucky. The Wildcats were a close No. 2 entering the signing period, then went out and landed top-ranked prospect Wagner. That gives John Calipari four of the top eight prospects in the 2023 class, with Wagner joining top-10 prospects Justin Edwards, Aaron Bradshaw and Robert Dillingham, along with top-30 prospect Reed Sheppard. With zero one top-25 prospect left, there's no chance for Duke or anyone else to catch Kentucky -- barring a string of decommitments or other surprises.
Duke with an exceptionally good No. 2 class: After finishing with the No. 1 class in 2022, Duke had a stranglehold on No. 1 in 2023 for the entire cycle -- until Kentucky landed Wagner. The Blue Devils drop to No. 2, but they're in great shape with their class. Jon Scheyer brought in four five-star prospects: Mackenzie Mgbako, Sean Stewart, Caleb Foster and Jared McCain, as well as top-40 recruit T.J. Power. The group has a good balance of shot-making, perimeter shooting, rebounding and guys who can create looks for themselves and others.
Michigan State and UConn back in the top five: Michigan State and UConn, two of the most successful programs in the last 25 years, find themselves back near the top of the class rankings. The Spartans have four ESPN 100 prospects, led by elite recruit Xavier Booker, the biggest stock-riser of last spring and summer. It's not just Booker, though, as Jeremy Fears is an attack-first point guard and one of the best players at his position in the class.
Meanwhile, UConn has five four-star pledges, with three finding themselves in the ESPN 100. Stephon Castle is the headliner of the group, but Solomon Ball and Jaylin Stewart are highly productive and will make an impact at the next level. Keep a long-term eye on Jayden Ross, too.
Iowa State leads the surprises: The Cyclones are not often found in the top 10 of the recruiting class rankings, especially given how T.J. Otzelberger built last year's Sweet 16 team with mostly transfers. But he's bringing in top-10 prospect Omaha Biliew and top-50 forward Milan Momcilovic, one of the best frontcourt duos entering college next season.
Iowa State isn't the only surprise class. Stanford, led by top-30 recruits Andrej Stojakovic and Kanaan Carlyle, is pushing for a top-10 finish, while Sean Miller has Xavier right behind the Cardinal in his first full recruiting cycle of his second stint as the Musketeers' head coach. Colorado closed with perhaps the best signing period of anyone outside Kentucky. Ole Miss and Kansas State are two more programs with surprisingly impressive classes exiting the early signing period.