The Latest on college football's national signing day. (all times Eastern):
DECISION TRACKER: The nation's top junior college running back is headed to Kansas.
You read that correctly.
The long-downtrodden Jayhawks signed Octavius Matthews from Itawamba Community College in Mississippi in a significant surprise Wednesday. Matthews had decommitted from Auburn last week and was considering Purdue and Tennessee before signing with Kansas.
Matthews will be reunited with former Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender, who also spent last season at Itawamba and is already on the Kansas campus. That likely played a role in his decision.
DECISION TRACKER: Alabama's signing day is pretty much done with 260-pound defensive tackle LaBryan Ray picking the Tide — as expected. Tennessee, Florida and Ole Miss were also in the mix, but it would have been shocking if Ray, from Madison, Alabama, left the state.
The addition of Ray seems to have a trickle-down effect for Alabama into 2018. Jarez Parks, a defensive end from Florida, went a long way — Paris! — to announce his commitment to Alabama. But Alabama has no scholarships left for in this year's class and it is being reported that Parks could be a grayshirt, enrolling in January and counting toward next year's class.
Jim Harbaugh was hailed by thousands as he walked to his seat in the fourth of five rows on the floor of Crisler Arena, where Michigan moved its Signing of the Stars show from last year's unique event at a downtown theater.
One of the biggest cheers came when the signing of defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon was announced. Solomon is a five-star defensive tackle who de-committed from Michigan before jumping back on board on signing day.
DECISION TRACKER: National signing day has not been great for Texas. Pass rusher K'Lavon Chiasson picked LSU over the Longhorns. New Texas coach Tom Herman also lost out on four-star cornerback Chevin Calloway, who signed with Arkansas. The Longhorns will not sign any of the top-15 players ranked by 247Sports from in state.
DECISION TRACKER: Another win for USC. Defensive tackle Jay Tufele, a 300-pounder from Utah, picked USC over Utah, Ohio State and Brigham Young.
DECISION TRACKER: Offensive tackle Austin Jackson, one of the best prospects in Arizona, chose Southern California. It was not a huge surprise, but for a team looking to replace two starting tackles, Jackson was a big get for the Trojans. USC also landed linebacker Levi Jones from Austin, Texas, earlier in the day and is in the mix receiver Joseph Lewis, one of the highest rated uncommitted recruits left. Lewis was expected to announce between USC, Nebraska and Oregon later in the day.
Colorado signee Chris Mulumba is a "Finnish" product.
The 24-year-old Mulumba (pronounced muh-lumb-buh) is a 280-pound defensive end from Helsinki, Finland, who didn't play football in high school but was a national judo champion. The Colorado Buffaloes saw enough of him at Diablo Valley College in California to bring him into the fold as an early enrollee. Mulumba was actually all set to attend Central Florida after Diablo, but instead sat out a season. He's enrolled for the spring semester at Colorado and will take part in spring drills.
In 2012, he played for the Helsinki Roosters of the American Football Association of Finland. He also served a one-year military stint in the Finnish Army.
Kirby Smart's second signing class has Georgia among the nation's best classes, and it also earned him cheers from about 200 fans at the team's football building. Smart heard applause and barks when he emerged late Wednesday morning for a TV interview, but there were some vocal complaints when he left without taking questions from fans. Former coach Mark Richt, now with Miami, always participated in a lengthy question and answer session with fans on signing day.
DECISION TRACKER: Henry Ruggs III, a four-star receiver from Montgomery, Alabama, picked the Crimson Tide over Florida State.
Four-star cornerback Chevin Calloway from Dallas signed with Arkansas, choosing the Razorbacks over Texas and Iowa.
Maryland is set up to be one of surprising stories of signing day. Second-year coach D.J. Durkin is on the way to bringing in a top-20 class nationally and top-five class in the Big Ten. The Terrapins big get of signing day was running back Cordarrian Richardson from Memphis, Tennessee. He picked the Terps over Mississippi and Michigan State.
And he did it with a weather balloon in space .
DECISION TRACKER: Markaviest Bryant, a four-star defensive end/outside linebacker from Georgia, picked Auburn over the Bulldogs and LSU.
Who had FCS Illinois State making an attention-grabbing signing? The Redbirds tweeted that they had signed Kobe Buffalomeat and he quickly became an internet favorite.
Buffalomeat is a 6-foot-7, 287-pound offensive tackle from Lawrence, Kansas.
DECISION TRACKER: Jeff Thomas, a wide receiver from East St. Louis, Illinois, has selected Miami. He also was considering Illinois, Oregon and Tennessee. Thomas is the No. 40 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite.
DECISION TRACKER: Aubrey Solomon, a five-star defensive tackle from Georgia, picked Michigan. The decision was not a huge surprise. Solomon had been a Michigan commit last year. But he was miffed at the Wolverines early in January after Michigan mistakenly sent him a thank you note for attending a recruiting event that he actually did not attend. Whoops! Solomon apologized for those less-than-flattering remarks he made about Michigan , but he did de-commit.
Jim Harbaugh and staff redoubled efforts to make amends and got their man.
DECISION TRACKER: Todd Harris, a safety from Plaquemine, Louisiana, picked LSU over Alabama, good news for Tigers coach Ed Orgeron. Harris was a top-100 player in 247Sports composite rankings.
Willie Gay, one of the top linebackers in the country, decided to stay at home for college and picked Mississippi State. Gay, from Starkville High School, also considered LSU and Michigan was on the radar, too.
What every coach wants most on signing day is no surprises. The increase in early enrollees helps that a lot. Alabama had a dozen members of its class already on campus before signing day. Ohio State had 11 players enrolled. Texas A&M had nine. Those numbers were typical of the top programs.
Top quarterbacks were especially likely to early enroll. Eight of the top-10 quarterback recruits in the 247Sports composite rankings, including Tate Martell of Ohio State, were already enrolled.
Levi Jones put a different spin on the pick-a-hat ceremony as he revealed his decision to attend Southern California. The outside linebacker from Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, took off his jacket to reveal a long-sleeve Florida T-shirt. He then pulled off the Florida shirt to reveal a Florida State shirt underneath. He then removed the Florida State shirt and was left with a USC shirt. Jones then put on a USC hat and said, "Fight On."
While former LSU coach Les Miles spent national signing day doing television on ESPNU, his son officially became a college football player.
Ben Miles was one of the best fullback prospects in the country.
Les Miles was fired in late September after 12 years as Tigers coach. Unable to land another head coaching job, the 63-year-old Miles could be heading for a lot of work ESPN this season. On Wednesday, he was paired with former Texas coach Mack Brown to breakdown signing day.
DECISION TRACKER: Two four-star players from Austin, Texas, have made their picks and neither will be playing for the Longhorns.
Stephan Zabie, an offensive tackle, picked UCLA and teammate Levi Jones, one of the top linebacker prospects, picked Southern California over Florida and Florida State.
DECISION TRACKER: Tedarrell Slaton, OL, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Slaton picked the Gators, who were considered the favorites. Coach Jim McElwain's class came into signing day on the back end of the top 20 in the rankings. The Gators have won to SEC east titles under McElwain, but offense has been an issue for the former offensive coordinator.
The selection ceremonies start soon. Among the first to go will be Levi Jones, a four-star linebacker and top-100 prospect from Austin, Texas, who is picking among Florida, Florida State and USC.
The catch of the day comes in the afternoon. Marvin Wilson, a 325-pound defensive tackle from Bellaire, Texas, is a five-star and the top-rated interior defensive lineman in the class. Florida State, LSU and Oklahoma have been racing to the finish line to sign Wilson. Ohio State is still considered a possibility, too.
New coaches are always interesting to assess on signing day because they typically are doing a rush job, keeping some old commits, trying to find new ones and pulling a few over from their previous schools.
Two who will receive plenty of attention on signing day are in the state of Texas.
New Texas coach Tom Herman is hoping a strong finish can give the Longhorns a top-15 class. In Waco, Texas, Matt Rhule took over at Baylor with the Bears down to just a couple of commits after a scandal over the handling of potential sexual assault cases led to the firing if coach Art Briles. Despite the scramble, Rhule, the former Temple coach, could put together a top-40 class.
On the first Wednesday of February, it becomes obvious why Alabama contends for a national title every season.
The Crimson Tide have had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country each of the last six years, according 247Sports' composite rankings, and are in position to make it seven in a row on national signing day. Even if none of the few highly touted recruits who are waiting until signing day to commit end up with the Tide, Nick Saban will still have a loaded class, featuring running back Najee Harris, who might be the top high school player in the country.
Can any team surpass the Tide on signing day?
Maybe Ohio State. Buckeyes fans are touting Urban Meyer's latest class as the best in school history.
That's probably about it. Still, there will be high spirits and optimism at most football programs as coaches tout their classes with a mountain of clichés.
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan will hold another "Signing of the Stars" welcome party, including a long list of past Wolverines greats.
Georgia is drawing raves from the recruiting analysts in Kirby Smart's second year as coach. The former Alabama assistant has brought the signing day process to the Bulldogs.