National signing day for college football is in the books. While the majority of FBS prospects signed during the early period in December, each of the local major-college teams added at least one recruit Wednesday.
Here’s a wrap-up of the day’s news with each team’s full class and a look at the national scene.
Isaiah Foskey said he was nervous as he reached to grab a hat and disclose his college destination.
“I’ll be continuing my education and football career at the University of Notre Dame,” Foskey said as he put on a Notre Dame hat during a live ESPNU broadcast Wednesday.
Foskey, a four-star defensive end from De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., became the final member of Notre Dame’s 2019 recruiting class, joining 21 players who signed during the early period in December.
“Isaiah, you were worth the wait,” coach Brian Kelly tweeted. “I am thrilled to have this explosive edge defender round out our 2019 recruiting class.”
The 6-foot-4, 233-pound Foskey is the No. 211 prospect nationally, the No. 28 recruit in California and the No. 13 weak-side defensive end in the 247Sports.com composite rankings. Ohio State, Michigan, Washington and California were his other finalists.
He’s the fifth defensive lineman in Notre Dame’s class, which is ranked 15th in the nation. All five are four-star recruits, and three of them — tackles Jacob Lacey and Hunter Spears and end NaNa Osafo-Mensah — were among the Irish’s 10 early enrollees. Foskey and end Howard Cross are expected to arrive in South Bend this summer.
“We’re looking forward to (Foskey) being an impact player on the defensive line who will bring a physicality and attitude to our defensive unit,” defensive coordinator Clark Lea tweeted.
The Illini added a pair of linebackers to the 11 players they signed in December, getting the day started by announcing the signing of four-star prospect Shammond Cooper from St. Louis’ Trinity Catholic High School.
Three-star linebacker Tarique Barnes of Memphis, Tenn., brought the class to 13 players. While it’s the Big Ten’s lowest-ranked class in the composite rankings, that’s largely a function of its small size. In terms of average player rating, Illinois’ class ranks seventh in the conference, and its three four-star signees — including cornerback Marquez Beason and quarterback Isaiah Williams — trail only five Big Ten teams.
“It’s an excellent class,” coach Lovie Smith said at a news conference in Champaign. “The players we’re bringing in, they had options.”
Cooper is Illinois’ highest-rated linebacker recruit in more than 12 years, according to 247Sports.com. He is ranked 17th nationally at inside linebacker and fourth in Missouri at any position after finishing his high school career with 456 tackles and 11 sacks.
Illinois was considered a likely landing spot for Cooper thanks to his strong ties with Cory Patterson, his former high school coach who is now an Illini assistant coach, and Williams, his high school teammate who signed with the Illini in December.
But Cooper did not rush the commitment process, checking out teams such as Missouri and Texas before announcing his commitment to the Illini on Jan. 3 at the Under Armour All-America Game. He canceled a planned trip to Florida State two weekends ago.