BYU signed 12 players for their 2018 recruiting class on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. Those 12 signees and five verbal commits give the Cougars the 76th-ranked class in the nation (247Sports), which would be the lowest-ranked class in the program history in the recruiting era.
That won't be the case in 2019 if BYU holds onto a couple highly rated recruis.
Despite a four-win season — tying their lowest win total in the last 50 years — second-year head coach Kalani Sitake had some success of the field. He managed to retain the commitments of two four-star prospects, defensive end Chuck Alatini and linebacker Tausili Fiatoa. Alatini is a 6-foot-2, 250-pounder from nearby Orem, Utah, who picked BYU in March 2016. He is the top-ranked player in the state and the 15th-ranked strong-side defensive end in the country.
Fiatoa, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Hawaii who's the 20th-ranked outside linebacker in the class, committed even earlier than Alatini, picking the Cougars in February 2016.
The pair headline an eight-man class that ranks seventh nationally. BYU is tied with Florida for the most total commits and is one of only 14 programs with multiple four-star commits. And they already have three commits more highly rated (Alatini, Fiatoa and Siaki Ika) than their highest-rated 2018 signee (Connor Pay).
Here are a few other teams off to fast starts with their 2019 recruiting.
Three of the nation's top eight 2019 recruits have committed. Georgia owns all three.
Nolan Smith got the ball rolling in January when the five-star defensive end picked the Bulldogs. One of three five-star commits (no other team has more than one), Smith is a 6-foot-3, 223-pounder from IMG Academy who's the nation's sixth-ranked prospect. Three spots ahead of him is Jadon Haselwood, the nation's top receiver from Ellenwood, Ga., and two spots below is another receiver, Dominick Blaylock from Marietta, Ga.
Kirby Smart currently has the top 2019 class in the nation — by a mile.
Florida State has been the national punching bag during the early signing period after Jimbo Fisher basically stopped recruiting before leaving for Texas A&M. Willie Taggart should have the Seminoles back among the nation's top recruiting destinations in 2019, especially if he can hold onto four top-end recruits.
Their five-man class ranks second in the ACC and eighth nationally thanks to five-star cornerback Akeem Dent and three four-star prospects, defensive ends Mike Morris and Quashon Fuller and safety Kenyatta Watson II. Dent, a 6-foot , 170-pounder from West Palm Beach, is the nation's top corner and committed in July, while Morris, from Delray Beach, Fla., committed way back in February 2016.
All five of the Noles' commits are among the nation's top 400 players.
Iowa hasn't finished with a top-25 recruiting class since 2005. Their four-man group is currently 11th.
Kirk Ferentz landed two in-state four-star offensive tackle earlier this year. First it was Ezra Miller, a 6-foot-6, 275-pounder from Holstein who picked the Hawkeyes in April. Then came Tyler Endres, a 6-foot-6, 285-pounder from Norwalk, in June. Three-star tight end Logan Lee, the 12th-ranked tight end in the country, committed the same day as Endres.
Iowa is also chasing another in-state player in Max Duggan, a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Council Bluffs who has offers from Georgia, Ohio State and others.