Fortune favors the bold and National Signing Day favors the procrastinators. Whether you're a strong closer or just a slow starter, you have a chance to be celebrated on the first Wednesday in February. There are plenty of talented, highly ranked classes with no drama of which to speak. That's the way the coaches like it. But headlines this time of year are for the late movers and shakers.

Last year, Charlie Strong landed 38 percent of his class on signing day. He jumped Texas from No. 33 to No. 11 in the national rankings over the course of a few hours. That's a strong close -- no pun intended. And that's why Tom Herman has inherited a program ready to win now.

While there might not be a Strong-style close out there in 2017, there are still some teams with the chance for massive upward mobility. With one week to go before signing day, these are the teams to keep an eye on for some late fireworks.

CBS Sports and will offer live coverage of National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1, including our Signing Day Live show that day. Stay tuned for more information.


Estimated scholarship spots remaining: 8

Current team ranking: 23 | Dream ranking (ceiling): 8

Dream close (targets): DL Brandon Gaddy, DL Breyon Gaddy, OL/DL Tadarrell Slaton, DB Brad Stewart, DB Chris Henderson, WR James Robinson, OT Kai-Leon Kerbert, DT Elijah Conliffe

How it could happen: Florida fans are in for a white-knuckle kind of week. If this thing falls into place perfectly, the Gators will see a furious finish by coach Jim McElwain. While everyone in our dream close is attainable, very few of them are names that can be taken for granted.

The Gaddy twins are still committed to Maryland, Tennessee would probably be considered the favorite for Conliffe, Henderson is being pressed hard by Miami and Herbert is in a back-and-forth battle between Florida and Miami following his decommitment from Michigan. Robinson, a Lakeland native in the Gators' backyard, is getting the full-court press from schools like Ohio State. Even former DB commit Elijah Blades plans to make a final announcement between Florida, Nebraska and Southern California.

McElwain was never billed as a world class recruiter when he was hired by the Gators, but if he can put together a top-10 finish after a slow start while down two coaches, it might be time to slap the "closer" reputation on his credentials.


Estimated scholarship spots remaining: 8

Current team ranking: 15 | Dream ranking (ceiling): 7

Dream close (targets): WR Jeff Thomas, CB Jhavonte Dean, APB Anthony McFarland, WR Michael Harley, WR Devonta Smith, DB Brian Edwards, OT Kai-Leon Herbert, DB Chris Henderson

How it could happen: If Mark Richt finishes with the list above, it's going to start feeling like the old days really soon in Coral Gables. With all that talent in South Florida, Miami has only been inside the top 10 of the recruiting rankings once since 2008. In his first full recruiting cycle, Richt is on the verge of bringing in Miami's best recruiting class in nine years.

He's halfway there already. We would be shocked if Miami missed on any of Thomas, Dean, McFarland or Harley. The Canes are on the other side from Florida in the Herbert and Henderson battles and also have to contend with Florida and Louisville for Edwards.

But we're going to find out most about Miami and Richt in the decision from Devonta Smith. If the 247Sports five-star wide receiver chooses to be Ahmmon Richards' running mate at Miami, that will mean that the best player in Louisiana is turning his back on LSU and telling Nick Saban "No." It would also mean that Miami is regaining some of its swagger.


Estimated scholarship spots remaining: 7

Current team ranking: 7 | Dream ranking (ceiling): 3

Dream finish (targets): DT Marvin Wilson, DE/LB K'Lavon Chaisson, LB Willie Gay, LB Jacob Phillips, DT Phidarian Mathis, RB Travis Etienne, DE/LB Markaviest Bryant

How it could happen: LSU gets the title for degree of difficulty. Let's break it down dream commit by dream commit.

Wilson is one of this cycle's most highly recruited players at any position. LSU has to beat out Florida State and Ohio State among others for him but many consider the Tigers the favorites. Chaisson is one of the hottest names in the country. LSU has to pull a Texan out of Texas even as he becomes the signature focus of Herman's new tenure in Austin. Gay might be the guy LSU is in the best shape with at this time; all the Tigers have to do here is pull a Starkville native out of Mississippi State's backyard. That never happens without a bitter fight.

Phillips might be a done deal if not for already being committed to Oklahoma. Mathis is a Northern Louisiana stud who Alabama wants badly. This has ended badly for the Tigers before. Etienne might be an in-state talent at running back, but LSU was late to offer and now it has to fight off the defending national champions in Clemson. Bryant, a talented pass rusher out of Georgia, would be one of the few in-state prospects to resist Kirby Smart's allure if he spurns the Bulldogs for the Tigers.

And yet, don't be surprised if LSU gets every single one of these guys. That's just how good this staff is from a recruiting perspective. Also don't be surprised if a local talent like Amik Robertson fits into the equation somewhere.


Estimated scholarship spots remaining: 5

Current team ranking: 10 | Dream ranking (ceiling): 4

Dream finish (targets): DT Jay Tufele, OT Austin Jackson, WR Joseph Lewis, TE Josh Falo, S Isaiah Pola-Mao

How it could happen: USC is that team you don't want to face on national signing day. It has pulled more coast-to-coast surprises in modern recruiting than just about any team in the country. If a USC hat is sitting next to your school's hat, be afraid. Whether you're in Georgia, Florida or California, be afraid.

This year, USC is doing most of its work out West. It looks great for long-time Trojan leans Lewis and Jackson. Oregon's hot new staff is the competition for Falo and USC is battling Pac-12 upstart Washington for Pola-Mao. Tufele will be the exclamation point. The five-star defensive tackle and Utah native will likely choose either Utah, Ohio State or USC, but it sure helps that his close friend and fellow five-star DT Marlon Tuipulotu just flipped from Washington to USC.

The challenge for USC will be making room for these guys. Plenty of other realistic scenarios include landing guys like five-star DT Aubrey Solomon, four-star athlete Greg Johnson and four-star DL Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, among others.


Estimated scholarship spots remaining: 6

Current team ranking: 1 | Dream ranking (ceiling): Best of all-time

Dream finish (targets): DT Aubrey Solomon, WR Henry Ruggs III, WR Devonta Smith, DL LaBryan Ray, S Todd Harris, DT Phidarian Mathis

How it could happen: Alabama isn't looking to climb in the rankings. It's looking to climb into the history books. A close with the names listed above would put Alabama into contention for the best recruiting class of all-time.

Ray and Ruggs are in-state prospects that are favorites to land at Alabama. A Smith commitment to Miami would be a big upset. Harris is trending toward the Tide and Mathis is a toss-up between Alabama and LSU. Solomon is the name drumming up the most drama as Michigan continues to mount a strong finishing charge.

Not only is this group attainable, it's likely. Nick Saban is doing it, again.