National signing day 2021: Key college football recruits, storylines and more

Illustration by ESPN

College football's 2022 recruiting class has had quite the journey to get to the early signing period, which starts on Wednesday.

Recruits this cycle had to navigate a mandated dead period for nearly a year due to COVID-19, which made the process difficult. It wasn't until June that recruits could visit campuses and make decisions. That delay in the process threw off the timing for plenty of prospects, as coaches thought there would be a large number of elite recruits to commit in July.

That didn't happen. As visits continued, recruits started to get more and more comfortable with the schools and coaches pursuing them. Now, recruits are dealing with coaching changes days before the early signing period, trying to make decisions without knowing where some coaches will end up.

Regardless of how they got to this point in the process, the early signing period is here. There is a tight race for the No. 1 class, with a few teams in the mix, six uncommitted five-stars and plenty of last-minute decisions coming down the stretch.

This class won't lack excitement when it comes to the early signing period, and to get you caught up on where we're at, how we got here and what to expect next, we have a signing day primer with everything you need to know for Wednesday.

Who has committed so far?

As it stands, 234 ESPN 300 recruits have already announced a commitment. Within those numbers:

  • Nine of the 15 five-stars have made a commitment.

  • 37 of the top 50 prospects are committed.

  • 75 of the top 100 players are committed.