Hundreds of athletes from across the country have already signed their National Letters of Intent.
And for the next eight months, more and more high school cross country and track and field athletes will be able to sign to the NCAA school of their choice.
But over the course of the first few days of the signing period, a lot has happened. Elite athletes made powerful statements as they announced their future homes to the public. You can check MileSplit's top 50 ranked athletes in the Class of 2020 here. You can find out which three women's teams won the early stages of recruiting here.
We've taken a look at the numbers and a few NCAA men's programs have risen above of the rest. These are the teams that have, at the very least, won the early days of the recruiting wars.
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Gators were able to capture four of the nation's top athletes across event
disciplines: Clovis North's (CA) Caleb Foster, Bridgeport's (TX) Jadon Maddux, IMG Academy's (FL) Malcolm Clemons and Bullis' (MD) Ryan Willie.
leadership of head coach Mike Holloway, the Gators have created a men's
program that dominates nationally. Holloway has led the men to nine -- five indoor and four outdoor -- national championships, 15 SEC titles and 23 top two finishes in 17
But the defending NCAA
indoor champions are in the rebuilding stages with the graduation of 10 seniors, the coming graduation of 12 additional seniors, and the early
departures of Grant Holloway and Hakim Sani Brown to the professional level.
And yet, that
doesn't change the fact that these recruits chose a program with deep
rooted history and success within both the sprints and jumps.
Willie, MileSplit's No. 37 overall recruit, ran sub-47 in the 400m for the first time of his career at the AAU Junior
Olympics in July, going 46.71 for a US No. 15 effort. Maddux, meanwhile, is one of Texas' top returners
in the 200m, with a PR of 21.11.
The sprinters working
with the future U.S. Olympic team head coach Holloway have historically shown
major improvement within their collegiate careers. Here's a list of former Gators.
|John Capel||200m||21.04||19.87||No. 6 Outdoor 200m in collegiate history; UF Outdoor Record|
|Dedric Dukes||200m||20.88||19.97||No. 11 Outdoor 200m in collegiate history; No. 2 on UF All-Time Top 10|
|Arman Hall||200m||20.94||20.34||No. 6 on UF All-Time Outdoor Top 10|
|Kyle Farmer||200m||21.15||20.41||No. 10 on UF All-Time Outdoor Top 10|
|Tony McQuay||200m||21.74||20.61 (i)||No. 6 on UF All-Time Indoor Top 10|
|Tony McQuay||400m||46.84||44.49||Outdoor School Record|
|Kerron Clement||400m||DNR||44.57 (i)||No. 2 in World History indoors|
|Najee Glass||400m||46.43||44.79||No. 3 on UF All-Time Outdoor Top 10|
|Calvin Smith||400m||46.28||44.81||No. 4 on UF All-Time Outdoor Top 10|
|Rickey Harris||400m||46.21||44.84||No. 6 on UF All-Time Outdoor Top 10|
Florida is the
home to one of the best jump programs in the country. It's produced Olympians such as Will
Claye, Christian Taylor and Marquis Dendy, as well as NCAA champion KeAndre
Bates. The Gators also have produced the second most individual jump champions ever with 14.
Foster, No. 7
on MileSplit's Top 50 Recruits, will enter as a leader in both the long and
triple jump. The Clovis North senior had an impressive junior campaign with a
US No. 6 effort in the long jump of 25-1.5.
Foster also accomplished new PRs in
the triple jump (49-9.5) and 110-meter hurdles (13.67) to climb to top 20 in
the country. He won a pair CIF State Championships.
closely is Clemons, who transferred to IMG Academy this past offseason. In 2018,
the senior jumped 25-1 to win his own state title.
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The Aggie men
and women had very successful early signing periods this year.
The women signed
three of the top 20 recruits in the country, while the men had success of their own: Samuel Hankins, the No. 1 javelin thrower; Allon Tatsunami Clay, an international mid-distance
standout; Omajuwa Etiwe, the No. 3 400m returner; and Carter Bajoit, the No. 6 returner
in the high jump.
The Aggie men have
placed in the top eight at the NCAA Outdoor Nationals Championships for 12 consecutive
years. In the past 15 years, Texas A&M has had an individual or relay claim
a NCAA title each season. In 2017, the men won the indoor title, their first in
guidance of assistant coach Juan De La Garza, Texas A&M has had a national
champion in every throws event. Hankins, the No. 13 ranked prospect in his class, is looking to join the
names of recent javelin champions Sam Humphreys (2013) and Ioannis Kyriazis
He seems to be in
the right place to improve his javelin. De La Garza took former Aggie, Kat Doyle, from a softball background and turned her into the 2004 national champion.
The Aggies have also found recent success in the 800m in collegiate record holder Donovan Brazier
and Devin Dixon, the NACAC U23 champion and NCAA outdoor runner-up. Dixon is headed
into his senior year with a best of 1:44.76 and seven of the 10 best 800m
performances in school history.
Next fall, Clay
will venture from Japan to College Station to begin his Aggie journey. The
Asian U18 Champion represented Japan at the 2019 IAAF World Relays on its
2x2x400m relay, which received bronze.
Clay holds PRs of 47.94 at 400m, 1:46.59
at 800m and 3:44.86 at 1,500m. Comparably, he would have been the fastest American at the 800m and 1,500m this past year. The international student-athlete's current 800m PR
is faster than Dixon's after he graduated high school -- and would be the third best American high schooler's time in history.
has also had a strong presence in the 400m since head coach Pat Henry took over
in 2005. Since that year, the men have won seven 4x400m national titles and broke
the world indoor record in 2018 with a runner-up finish at nationals.
Former 400m collegiate
record holders, Bowerman finalist Deon Lendore and World Championship bronze medalist Fred Kerley, are the most recent success stories for the men.
In 2018, the Aggies brought in high school 400m standout, Jamal Walton. Next comes Etiwe, a Texan who finished last season with a US No. 6 time of 46.51.
(TX) Bajoit will arrive with an equal playing field compared to the current jumpers.
The senior high jumped 6-11 last season for US No. 12. He'll join sophomore Mason Farley and senior Alstian Walker, both of which reached 6-11 last season as well.
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Even though its current signing class isn't as big as the other two programs mentioned,
Arizona State began the early NLI period by inking two of the biggest talents in the country.
On Nov. 13, St. Mary's Stockton's Jamar Marshall and Hazelwood West's
(MO) Justin Robinson gave their commitment
to the Sun Devils.
The blue-chip recruits
are some of the best high school athletes, historically, in their chosen events. And the duo might act as the catalyst the Sun Devils need to disrupt the current flow of
the Pac- 12 -- they might even bring NCAA championships their way.
head coach Dion Miller helped the men of Alabama win their first SEC indoor
title in 2018. Miller is looking to bring the Sun Devils to a new era of
success, hoping to top the school's highest national championship finish of
fourth place in 1977.
The No. 1 recruit in the senior class, Robinson, became a four-time international medalist, including his 400m win at the Pan-American U20 Championship and his bronze among professional athletes at the Pan American Games. Robinson ran sub-46 five times
and his new PR of 44.84 ranks him second in high school history.
freshman debut for the Sun Devils, he'll arrive with a career 400m PR that would already be in the Arizona State record books. So Robinson has the opportunity to make history for the Sun Devils immediately.
He holds other PRs of 6.79 (60m), 10.32 (100m),
20.98 (200m), 21.18 (200m in) and 46.55 (400m in), which could position his as ASU's
leader in more than one event.
the No. 1 ranked 110m hurdler in the class of 2020, is coming off a historic junior season. At
the USATF U20 Championships, he raced the best collegiate freshmen in the
nation -- Eric Edwards and Tai Brown -- and ran 13.22 for third place. The effort brought the senior to No. 2 on
the all-time list.
enter a program with upperclassman Kentre Patterson currently leading the
short hurdlers. However, even with the mandatory adjustment to the 42-inch hurdles, Marshall shouldn't face many issues.
no national champion in the indoor 400m in program history; the last outdoor champion won a title in 1977. The last All-American in the event for ASU was Jimmie Gordon in 2008.
Sun Devils also have no national champion in the 110mH; with William Taylor being
their last All-American hurdler in 2015.